Thousands flocked to the Bacolod City Government Center midnight Monday to witness the New Year’s Eve countdown to 2019.
Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia said “Let us look forward to 2019 with enthusiasm and optimism.”
Leonardia said the New Year’s Countdown was all about the culmination of a great year for Bacolod.
Bacolod is better off today than it was three years ago, he said.
Leonardia, Vice Mayor El Cid Familiarain and Councilor Em Ang led the countdown the BCGC grounds that was capped by a 12-minute fireworks display sponsored by Panasiatic Solutions.
The New Year’s Eve countdown was conceptualized by his administration in 2011 and was patterned after that of New York, he said, adding that they intend to eventually make it a tradition and a tourist attraction.
Familiaran, in his message, said “We should be thankful for the many, many blessings we have received in 2018. Let us work and unite together for the acceleration of progress in Bacolod City.”
Leonardia said they assure the people that Bacolod is very business-friendly. And it is very significant that a call center company sponsored the fireworks display during the countdown,because they want to create a climate that will be conducive for call centers to grow, he said.
He said that among the highlights of his administration in 2018 were the drainageand traffic master plans. “These are two projects that will not only give us a glimpse of the future but will put us in an advantage over other local governments,” Leonardia said.
They have also started the new sanitary landfill, conceptualized the museum and coliseum, Bacolod City College expansion, and improvement of the resettlement site because of the budget they are putting for it, he said.
On the business side, all the major indicators are pointing upward. The business registration has reached an all time high. For the first time in history, they reached the 23,000 mark as against the 18,000 figure when they took over, or a 20 percent increase, Leonardia said
Bacolod has been listed among the top 10 Most Competitive Cities in the Philippines according to the National Competitive Council, he said.
“We can be proud of 2018 since many, many good things happened in the city. I assure you that it is one of the most progressive cities in the Philippines,” he said.
Leonardia said that in 2018, Bacolod marked its 80th year as a chartered city, highlighted by the celebration od the 39th MassKara Festival that was capped by the arrival of President Rodrigo Duterte and his daughter Davao Mayor Sara Duterte.
The festival was graced by the President for the third consecutive time. He also signed in December Republic Act 11146, declaring June 18, 1938 as the day Bacolod was created.
Meanwhile, Leonardia said Bacolod City has gained momentum in the last three years and this has accelerated especially last year so this has to be sustained.
“The more progress we have, the more responsibility we have. Our standards become higher and the needs and demands of our people become more sophisticated, so we have to cope with that, he added.”*CGS
In Bago City, a 20-minute Lights of Bago 2019 fireworks display awed about 35,000 spectators at the Manuel Y. Torres Sports Complex in Bago City, Negros Occidental, Tuesday night.
The colorful, sparkling and lively fireworks display simultaneously grooved to the medley of 80s New Wave hits as people from all age groups, in and outof the sports complex,enjoyed the spectacular sight in the sky.
“Families look forward to this event every year. It has become a family affair that they can do every January 1,” Bago Mayor Nicholas Yulo said.
Yulo said the budget for this year’s LOB, that is the only event of its kind in Negros Occidental, was less compared to the more than PhP1 million allocation last year.
The event has put Bago to the tourism map, Yulo said.
He told spectators during the program before the fireworks show to take care of their hearts and spread love in 2019.
The mayor said his vision for 2019 is still to improve the lives of Bagonhons, continue to attract investments to the city to generate more jobs, to train people for micro and small enterprises, and to improve the agriculture sector by farm mechanization to increase production.*SGG
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