Children’s party and gift-giving activities highlighted the opening of the fifth three-generational (3G) playground-cum-fitness-park located in Bacarra, Ilocos Norte, further strengthening Governor Imee R. Marcos’ vision for a “livable” province through the creation of public recreational spaces.
New public parks in Laoag City, Dingras, Badoc, and Batac City were already opened last month.
The project is spearheaded by Senior Sangguniang Panlalawigan Member Matthew Marcos Manotoc, who vowed to “encourage Ilocano youth to start playing sports and become active.”
Veronica Salmon, the town’s social welfare and development officer, said, “Buti napag-isipan ng gobyerno na mag-put up ng ganitong proyekto para sa physical fitness… Kasi ang mga bata ngayon, ayaw nang lumabas dahil mas gusto ng magkompyuter. Ngayon, magugustuhan na siguro nilang maglaro rito.”
Equipped with children’s play tools and outdoor exercise facilities, the parks fulfill the purpose of being 3G playground where both the young and old can enjoy more active lifestyles.
Governor Marcos had described in her 2016 State of the Province Address, “Three generations together, na habang naglalaro ang bagets, mag-exercise na ang yaya ng bakets!”
This also aims to strengthen community relations among Ilocanos as social capital is considered a valuable resource in times of crisis or calamity.
“Sana po maging isang family space, community space, and safe space ito,” Manotoc said.
Coinciding with the park opening, the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Caravan which began mid-December last year also reached its last stop in Bacarra, with Governor Marcos distributing grocery items, livelihood support, medicines, and veterinary supplies to beneficiary residents.
A yearly program of the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN), the Caravan aims to drive the province forward in attaining the worldwide MDGs set by the United Nations in 2015, primarily addressing poverty.
While the MDGs reached its deadline in 2015, PGIN continues extending assistance to indigent families, sustaining Governor Marcos’ mission for inclusive growth and an enabling environment in Ilocos Norte.
In addition to grocery packs which included rice, cooking supplies, snacks, and toiletries, the 78 beneficiary families were also given 45-day-old chicks as livelihood assistance.
The Municipal Agriculture Office also assumed veterinary drugs and equipment, while barangay health workers received additional medicines.
“Nagpapasalamat kami dahil hindi kami nalilimutan ni Apo Gobernadora,” Bacarra Agriculture Officer William Ulep said in Ilocano, saying that the supplies arrived just in time for the town’s annual vaccinations and that they would benefit the town as a whole.
He added, “Ang progreso, hindi lamang para sa iisa o dadalawang tao, kundi para sa lahat.”
Governor Marcos called 2016 a “blockbuster year” for the province, adding, “I’m sure that 2017 will be an even greater year for Bacarra and Ilocos Norte.”
From December 16 until yesterday, a total of 2,376 families in Ilocos Norte received aid from the Caravan.
These projects bring closer Governor Marcos’ threefold vision of a “livable, sustainable, and resilient” province through creating more and safer public spaces, providing strong educational and livelihood assistance, and assuring early recovery during disasters.—(Mizpah Grace G. Castro, PGIN-CMO)