PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III is asking a list of all National Government properties and vacant lots in Iloilo City so that a presidential proclamation will be issued for their proper use.

Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said he met the President during a cocktail party after the State of the Nation Address (Sona) last Monday, July 26, and Aquino reiterated the promised presidential proclamation for the abandoned Rotary Park property along the Port San Pedro area in the city proper.

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Aquino assured his approval of the property but, at same time, asked for all other abandoned or vacant National Government properties in the city so that similar proclamations can be issued.

Mabilog said the President is aware that the Philippine Coast Guard is asking for the transfer of its building to a nearby area so that the whole vacant lot will be placed under a presidential proclamation in Port San Pedro.

The almost one-hectare lot is proposed to be the site of a world-class multi-million peso Guimaras Iloilo ferry terminal project that would develop and rehabilitate the existing ferry boat terminal for Buenavista, Guimaras as a major gateway for tourists and passengers for the island province.

A pre-feasibility study was conducted in 2008 by Concept Consultants Inc. and funded by Asia Development Bank, calling for the upgrading and rehabilitation of the Fort San Pedro ferry terminal into a world-class passsenger facility complete with a terminal building, passenger lounge, offices and other passenger amenities.

The study also showed the rehabilitation of the Buenavista and Jordan wharves, both in Guimaras, and the other wharf in Ortiz in Iloilo City. (Lydia C. Pendon)