More open public spaces eyed in Iloilo City

The newly restored Sunburst Park in Iloilo City. (Photo by Robbie Robles)

Senator Franklin Drilon vowed to continue pushing for the creation of more public open spaces in Iloilo City “where Ilonggos can leisurely walk, exercise, and enjoy the beauty of the environment.”

The Ilonggo senator graced the turnover ceremony of the restored Sunburst Park on J.M. Basa Street, City Proper yesterday.

The Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA), an attached agency of the Department of Tourism (DOT), turned over the management of the park to the Iloilo City Government.

Drilon said the Sunburst Park would complement the Iloilo River Esplanade in terms of providing the public open spaces to promote “a healthy and an active lifestyle for Ilonggos.”

The park, originally known as “Plaza de Aduana”, boasts of wide public space and features such as benches, a walkway, a chess playground, and the Macario Peralta statue, among others.

The restoration of the Sunburst Park, according to the senator, is part of the Iloilo Heritage and Urban Renewal Project that they conceptualized and initiated four years ago.

The project aimed at “preserving the iconic architecture and historical landmarks in Iloilo.”

“With this project, we hope to strike a balance between the economic success that we are experiencing now and our concern for the environment and our heritage,” Drilon said.

“It is only a matter of time before Iloilo is declared a prime tourist and business destination in the country,” he added.

Drilon initiated the funding for the restoration of the park amounting to P19.46 million. The TIEZA implemented the project.

The restoration project was finished in December last year.

The Sunburst Park is situated in front of the iconic and historic Iloilo Customs House, the former site of the Iloilo Freedom Grandstand.

The turnover ceremony was also attended by City Mayor Jose Espinosa, Congressman Jerry P. Trenas, DOT-6 Director Helen J. Catalabas, and TIEZA Chief Operating Officer Pocholo Joselito D. Paragas.IMT

Angelique Amira Cateteya contributed to this report