Tourism Bolsters Vigan's Income, Social Services

Manila Bulletin, August 15, 2005 | Go to article overview

Tourism Bolsters Vigan's Income, Social Services


Byline: CRIS M. ILUSTRE

VIGAN CITY, Ilocos Sur The sprucing up of this UNESCO-listed World Heritage Site has won for the city a number of awards, a marked increase in its income, and the efficient delivery of basic social services.

This was cited by Mayor Ferdinand C. Medina as among the accomplishments of his administration in his State of the City Address delivered last week at the Vigan Culture and Trade Center here. In attendance were Sangguniang Panglungsod officials led by Vice Mayor Franz Ranches, city government employees, heads of offices, representatives from national agencies and non-governmental organizations, and the media.

Mayor Medina said the awards include "Best In Governance" from the Gawad Pangulo sa Kapaligiran, the countrys "Cleanest Rest Room in a Public Market," and the "Pamilihang Panlalawigan from the Ilocos Sur provincial government.

"Essentially, they are the offshoot of the successful implementation of our three-year development program pursuant to the vision," A World Heritage City for all, home to a thriving and caring community empowered by a responsive and participatory governance, he added.

Efforts in this direction have combined tourism, environment, heritage conservation and revenue generation concerns to give Vigan the facelifting it needed, like the rehabilitation of the three rivers that traverse it, clearing of clogged canals and waterways, strict enforcement of its solid waste management program alongside with the establishment of a controlled dump site and the installation of a materials recovery facility, acquisition of a water tank to flush out with chlorinated water the stench of horse urine on the streets and in clean parking areas, cleaning with soap and water of Crisologo street in the main heritage district, regreening of the barangays and enforcement of pollution control measure, among other things.

On the other hand, enhancing the attractions and conservation of centuries-old ancestral houses cobbled streets and parks were likewise equally addressed through the installation of period lamp post, wooden house markers, street signs made of red clay, and the presence of horse-mounted guards and "senoritas" garbed in old Iloco, costumes to make the area more reminiscent of its hispanic past, creation of the Vigan Heritage Village Management Office, and establishing of linkages for culture-related assistance from the TESDA, the United Architects of the Philippines, UNESCO Bangkok Office, Palafox and Associates the University of Northern Philippines, and the National Museum. …

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