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The New Iloilo Airport at Cabatuan, Iloilo

News Blog about the New Iloilo Airport

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Sally: I’m sorry, Jerry

The Guardian Iloilo, 8/10/2006
By Francis Allan L. Angelo

A SECOND course of faux pas almost spoiled the apology of Antique Governor Salvacion “Sally” Perez to Mayor Jerry Treñas for the unintentional omission of Iloilo City from the Panay Development Authority.

This time, the Perez-led Regional Development Council (RDC) almost forgot to include Iloilo City and Bacolod City in the Western Visayas Historical and Cultural Council (WVHCC).

The WVHCC took form through Executive Committee Resolution No. 2 passed by the RDC last April 19, 2006.

The purpose of the WVHCC is to formulate policies and coordinate all regional activities related to culture, history and heritage preservation.

Just like in the case of PDC, only the provinces of Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo and Negros Occidental were identified as one of the core members of WVHCC.

During the RDC execom meeting held at the National Economic Development Authority (Neda) building yesterday, Iloilo City Planning and Development officer Jose Peñalosa and Department of Tourism regional director Edwin Trompeta pointed to the body the absence of Iloilo City and Bacolod City from the WVHCC membership.

Trompeta promptly motioned to amend the resolution to include the two charter cities.

Perez feigned surprise at the “oversight” saying “Nalimtan naman ang Iloilo City (Was Iloilo City missed out again)?”

“This happens because we discuss about provinces only. It’s good that the resolution was amended because we want maximum participation from all local government units in the region,” Perez said.

After the WVHCC membership was straightened out, Perez apologized to Treñas and Trompeta before the RDC executive committee for the PDA brouhaha.

Last week, Treñas got mad over the absence of Iloilo City from the proposed PDA revival during the RDC awarding rites for best public sector projects at Sarabia Manor Hotel and Convention Center.

No less than presidential chief of staff Michael Defensor saw how Treñas’ temper flared up over the exclusion of Iloilo City from the PDA.

The fiasco resulted to a “word war” of sorts between Treñas and Perez who called the former “immature and a spoiled brat.”

Perez said the accidental omission of Iloilo City from the PDA was caused by their “overzealous effort” to finish the proposal for presentation to Defensor.

“There was too much excitement for me and Tourism Undersecretary (Salvador) Dong Sarabia because the PDA was our assignment from President Arroyo. We also showed the proposal to Mayor Treñas for his inputs and that was the time he got mad,” the lady governor said.

Perez also acknowledged Treñas for broaching the PDA idea during the joint RDC-cabinet meeting of President Arroyo in Cebu in June.

As a peace offering to Treñas whom she described as her “surrogate son”, Perez said she sent Treñas a book on the life of Ilonggo hero Graciano Lopez-Jaena.

‘PANAY INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT’

Perez also clarified the controversy on the renaming of the new Iloilo airport in Cabatuan-Sta. Barbara area to Panay International Airport.

She said the proposed name popped up during a dinner tendered by the President to Panay governors last month.

Iloilo Governor Niel Tupas, who severed his support for the Arroyo administration July last year, and Treñas were not present in the said meeting.

“The President was discussing the tourism sector in Panay and she said the new airport will become the hub of the industry. Then we suggested to the President to name the airport Panay International Airport. It was just a spontaneous suggestion to the President’s plans on the Panay tourism sector,” Perez explained.

Meanwhile, Trompeta said the new Iloilo airport is still nameless.

“The name will depend on the charter which will be drafted and approved once the airport is operational,” Trompeta said.

The Guardian Iloilo, 8/10/2006

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