THE Iloilo-Batiano River Development Project was one of the top ten recipients of the highly coveted Galing Pook Awards 2018.
Mayor Jose Espinosa III received the plaque together with other city officials at the Novotel Manila, Araneta Center in Quezon City on October 11, 2018.
The Iloilo-Batiano River Development Project was in collaboration with national agencies, non-government organizations, academe, and civil society to address siltation, water pollution, encroachment, illegal cutting of mangroves, and informal settlements along the Iloilo River.
Espinosa, who lead the city's delegation in the final presentation and panel interview on Oct. 10, cited the significant outcomes of the project that started on 2011.
“It benefited more than 50, 000 residents from the 35 barangays living along the Iloilo River including improved health, ecological sustainability, sense of security, and livability,” Espinosa said.
Espinosa added that aside from the relocation, the project was successful in its contribution to increase fish population, prevent soil erosion, and preserve mangrove’s high biodiversity index through the removal of fish pens.
The flood-control project was also funded by the national government and later paved the way for the construction of the Iloilo Esplanade.
A total of nineteen finalists from local government units (LGUs) around the country vied for this year’s Galing Pook Awards, each with innovative programs that focus on issues of land tenure, environmental conservation, cultural heritage preservation, literacy and education, healthcare, and community safety and security.
Already on its 25th year, the Galing Pook Awards have cited around 319 programs from at least 200 LGUs through the years.
The award giving body aims to recognize the innovative practices of LGUs which are evaluated based on the criteria such as Positive Results and Impact, Promotion of People’s Participation and Empowerment, Innovation, Transferability and Sustainability, and Efficiency of Program Service Delivery.
Last 2013, Iloilo River was also one of the four international finalists in the Thiess International Riverprize.