Iloilo’s Calle Real hits snag

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014


THE proposed pedestrianization ordinance of Iloilo City Councilor Jason Gonzales hit a snag after the proposal was referred to the City Council on Transportation for further study and recommendation.

Councilor Plaridel Nava, who chaired the committee, announced during the regular session on March 25 his opposition to the proposal as detrimental to the businessmen along Calle Real.

Nava said he is not anymore inclined to approve the proposal after several complaints reached his office, including a position paper of the Iloilo City Loop Alliance of Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association (Iclajoda) and the statement of Representative Jerry P. Treñas showing dissatisfaction over the experimental pedestrianization program.

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However, Gonzales said he has a statement of recommendation from Iclajoda president Boyet Parcon showing the transport association’s approval of the program along JM Basa St. every Sunday afternoon until early evening.

Gonzales said the three months experiment on the closure of Calle Real ended on February, and he proposed an ordinance to make the pedestrianization program permanent through a city legislative measure by April 27 after the Holy Week.

He said he envisions a walkable city through the closure of traffic along JM Basa to allow people to see Calle Real and commercial heritage structures.

Other big cities in Asia such as Singapore and Malaysia have a pedestrianization program solely for walking people.

Iloilo City has the Calle Real to walk and enjoy every Sunday afternoon from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m., as business establishments in the area are also closed on Sundays, Gonzales said.

Gonzales said his pedestrianization program is good for tourism, physical fitness, cultural heritage lessons, entertainment performances and appreciation of the Ilonggos on the rich history of the city.

He said the transport committee is composed of three city councilors.

Aside from Nava, the other members are Councilors Lyndon Acap and Joshua Alim who earlier showed their intentions to support the program.

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