Milestone

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Saturday, March 22, 2014


EARLIER this week was a milestone for the southern Negrenses as URC-Sonedco's Sugar and Renewable Energy Division broke the ground and laid the time capsule for the project of constructing a biomass fired power plant that will energize the sugar mill and the community of southern Negros Occidental.

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Lance Y. Gokongwei, CEO of URC-Sonedco, led government officials and business leaders in the ground breaking rites. He was joined by Kabankalan City Mayor Isidro Zayco, Sixth District Rep. Mercedes Alvarez, former governor Rafael Coscolluela, SRA Administrator Regina Martin.

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This is a good move by the JG Summit Holdings Inc. and the Gokongwei business group of infusing an investment of P2.5 billion to the province. We heard that of the 46 megawatts that the power plant can supply, around half of this will be used by the sugar mill and the rest may be disposed of for the power needs of southern Negros.

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The development in the southern part of the province is moving up with the improvement of the national highway from Bacolod City all the way to the south as bridges along the Bago highway are about to be completed soon by the Chinese construction company for the IBRD-financed road development.

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More developments in Bacolod are expected since Mayor Monico is on his thrust of exercising political will in his city management and administration. This is the secret why Marikina City, Subic Freeport Zone, Davao City, Puerto Princesa City, Cebu City have reached the level of good governance with their former mayors. Luckily Davao City has still the strong-willed Mayor Rody Duterte up on his heels still doing his good governance with ordinances and laws like the anti-littering, comprehensive anti-smoking ordinance, liquor ban after one in the morning.

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Enforcement of laws hurt so many. But more people get the benefits. As they say, only the habitual violators would hate a political leader who enforces the law. But those law-abiding residents would always love to have a leader as such.

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We also came to find out that SM Prime Holdings Inc. is building an SMX Convention Center in Bacolod City. We were surprised to know this when I was invited by the SMX officers to have breakfast with them and indeed this is another plus for Mayor Monico's term. I have been to the SMX Convention Center attending auto shows and other exhibits and such presence of SMX here would be great for the business circle.

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The SMX project would give more business to caterers, event organizers, exhibit suppliers and the entire sector of society. Kudos to the Sy family for such contribution to Bacolod City. As it is expected to open in September, Negrenses are happy that Bacolod City will have the convention center much ahead of Iloilo City that will have one soon with the support of Ilonggo Senator Franklin Drilon.

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Congratulations to Carla Cañet, the new president of Negros Press Club for her initiative in improving the facilities and amenities of the NPC clubhouse. During the NPC induction, Carla was happy when Cebu Pacific PR consultant Charles Lim attended the affair and gave away free round trip tickets to three winners.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on March 22, 2014.

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