By Imelda C Rivero, PIA, Ilocos Sur
VIGAN CITY – This World Heritage City of the Philippines is the cleanest, safest and greenest city of Ilocos Region for 2016.
The award was received by Vigan City Mayor Juan Carlo S Medina, Vice Mayor Maria Lourdes Baquiran and the City Council, and concerned department heads of the city government, during the Regional Development Council Conference at the Vigan Convention Center on May 9.
“This is not an award of the LGU, but the city. This is just a validation of the services of the city, the hardships of the LGU employees, the barangays, non-government organizations and other sectors of the city,” Medina, also the chairperson of the Ilocos Region Develop-ment Council, in an interview aired over a local radio station here.
Although the city is the poorest city with little fund, when this fund is well spent, much services is given to residents, he said.
Acknowledging the hardships of former Mayor Eva Marie S Medina, Medina added that the recognition is of the former mayor, the department heads, barangay officials and residents.
“What Mayor Eva started, what she sacrificed for was good for the city since 1995. This is the fruit. She worked hard for this. And the depart-ment heads believed in her administration’s thrusts that they supported her until now,” he said.
Medina said that it is Vigan’s clean river, protected trees, well managed wastes, solved issues, the residents’ feeling of safety in their neighborhood, and the visitors’ confidence in the safe city completed the profile of the city to get the award.
With the help of the Philippine National Police, the crime rate is lesser compared to other cities in the region. And to keep the tourist areas safe, the LGU will install additional CCTVs this year.
This is an award yearly given to outstanding LGUs, but in 2016, the city did not join. In 2015 Vigan was the first runner-up. This year there are more categories and the Seal of Good Governance is one of these. A bonus point is on culture and the arts.
Medina said that the city must join yearly not just to get an award, but to have the city evaluated where the deficiencies and needs of the city are known.
To sustain the validation of the city as the safest, cleanest and greenest city in Ilocos region, services and programs must continue to be given to residents , like what Mayor Eva did, he said. This award is just an incentive for all the hard work.
The mayor appealed to all residents to keep the city clean. Littering in the neighborhood will mean clogged canals that usher flooding, he said.#