ILOILO City – This southern city’s I-Bike Program which promotes the bike culture won this year’s Galing Pook Award that annually recognizes the best and most innovative local governance programs harnessing citizens’ participation and delivering positive results and impact.
Mayor Jerry P. Treñas received the award from President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. during the awarding ceremony at the Malacañan Palace yesterday.
“This proves that good governance can produce good results for the benefit of our constituents. Ilonggos should continue to strive harder to reach greater heights,” said Treñas.
He cited the hard work of city government officials and employees.
This year, nearly 200 local government units (LGUs) vied for the Galing Pook Award.
The 200 were trimmed down to 18 finalists, which included Iloilo City.
The finalists underwent panel interview and final presentation on Nov. 21. Ten entries stood out and were declared winners.
The I-Bike Program encourages people to bike and walk on a regular basis, and promotes road sharing and safe mobility practices.
Locals have embraced these habits and are enjoying a healthier, more sustainable and environmentally-friendly lifestyle.
During his final presentation, Treñas reported that bike events in the city doubled in early 2022. The bike community became active in planning various culture and bike tours. Women cyclists, on the other hand, felt more safe using the bike lanes.
Treñas said the 2021 Bike Festival proved that it is safe to tour around the city and more.
The program enhances bike networks which improved the connectivity of establishments, and city biking culture which would make them known as the “Bike Capital of the Philippines”.
It was in August 2022 when this southern city officially positioned itself as the “Bike Capital of the Philippines”. The title came with a hash tag – #BikeKaNamanSaIloiloCity.
The city’s bike lane – called the Iloilo City Network – is a safe, scenic and eco-friendly bike path stretching 11 kilometers, the mayor stressed.
The city government through the MICE Center has carefully planned the marketing campaign centered on the Iloilo City Network with the objective of inviting people from all walks of life to come and experience Iloilo City.
For her part, Tourism Promotion Board (TPB) chief operating officer, Atty. Maria Anthonette Velasco-Allones, through TPB Marketing and Events Division acting head Eloisa Romero, emphasized that the launch of Iloilo as the “Bike Capital of the Philippines” is well aligned with TPB’s advocacy for responsible tourism as it helps bring down carbon footprints.
The I-Bike Program is the third Iloilo City initiative to win the Galing Pook Award. The first two were the Iloilo River Rehabilitation Project and the Iloilo Dinagyang Festival.
Meanwhile, President Marcos, who led the Galing Pook awarding ceremony, lauded the awardees for formulating and implementing programs that provide solutions to common problem of society.
“I encourage you to continue your programs and advocacies so that you may inspire your fellow LGUs to also introduce innovative practices geared towards improving the lives of your constituents,” the President told the awardees.
Marcos also commended the Galing Pook Foundation Inc. for promoting excellence and innovation in local government by recognizing and incentivizing performing LGUs.
“The recognition that you gave to the cities and municipalities inspire them to accelerate their drive toward improvement…,” he added.
The Galing Pook Foundation is the leading resource institution that provides support, tools and resources to LGUs to enable them in building adaptive solutions to challenges in their respective communities.
Through its programs, local chief executives and their units can enhance their knowledge and exchange best practices in fostering development in their localities./PN