The Iloilo City government will no longer allow the extension of the Iloilo River Esplanade project towards the mouth of the river, reports the Philippine News Agency (PNA).
The announcement was made by Mayor Jose Espinosa III at the meeting of the Iloilo Batiano River Development Council (IBRDC), held at the city hall last Friday.
Earlier that day, the mayor met with the representatives of the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).
“We have made a survey and there will be companies that will be dislocated. Employment and income of the city might be reduced if we will continue the Esplanade up to the Parola area,” the Mayor said. Instead, Espinosa cited the need for the immediate dredging of the river, which is heavily silted. “The PPA said there is an urgent need of dredging of that area,” he added.
He already informed Presidential Assistant for Visayas Michael Dino about the plan of the city government who will relay the message to the general manager of the PPA to “have a sort of emergency dredging on the mouth of the river.”
The Iloilo River Esplanade project started as a flood control project. From an ordinary slope protection, it has become a dike embankment until it became an Esplanade 1 from the Benigno Aquino Avenue to the Carpenter’s Bridge in Molo district stretching some 1.2 kilometers.