“In terms of infrastructure, Iloilo greatly benefited from President Aquino’s six-year term,” said Iloilo Gov. Arthur Defensor Jr.
“It was during his term there was an aggressive completion of the national highways and secondary highways in the entire province of Iloilo,” noted Defensor.
“We lost a leader that brought us a robust economy,” echoed Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas.
Aquino’s strong alliance with Ilonggo Sen. Franklin Drilon paved the way for the vigorous growth and development of Iloilo as government-funded infrastructure projects mushroomed.
Aquino himself acknowledged this in one speech during a presidential visit. He said that Iloilo had more government-funded infrastructure projects compared to Tarlac, where he served as congressman.
This included the P11.2-billion Iloilo mega dam project. The Jalaur River Multipurpose Project-Phase II (JRMP-II) in Calinogn, Iloilo is touted to be the biggest dam project outside of Luzon once it is finished.
Aquino also approved other projects that Drilon pushed, including construction of new road networks, new bridges, bike lanes, and a river park.
The construction of the Iloilo Convention Center (ICC) here was also pivotal. It gave Iloilo the opportunity to host side meetings of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in 2015.
Former Gov. Arthur Defensor Sr. said Iloilo joins the nation in “mourning the passing away of one of the country’s patriotic and incorruptible public officials.” Trenas and the incumbent Iloilo governor had earlier condoled with the family of Aquino.