The Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN) once again opened its doors as part of the province’s 199th foundation anniversary celebration on February 2.
As part of the annual program initiated by Governor Imee R. Marcos, the “Open Capitol” on February 6 engaged every PGIN department to showcase their respective office, services offered, responsibilities, and structure.
It aims to promote transparency by allowing thousands of young people to visit the Capitol offices.
With the theme “Old and New,” the exhibits involved a look into the past, present-day processes, and anticipation for more advanced services in the future, answering the question of Governor Imee R. Marcos, “What’s next, after 200 years?”
This year’s foundation anniversary is unique as it serves as a prequel to the province’s 200th or bicentennial foundation anniversary.
On February 2, the official countdown to the Bicentennial was launched alongside a countdown to the 100th birthday of the late President Ferdinand Edralin Marcos (FEM).
Offices put up a “freedom wall” during the “Open Capitol,” where over 3,000 visitors, made up mostly of elementary and high school students Ilocos Norte, wrote down their dreams for the province and what they wanted to be developed.
The children’s wishes ranged from “peace and order,” “zoos,” and “more tourist spots” to more humorous ones like “the Eiffel Tower” and concerts of their favorite celebrities.
Governor Marcos welcomed them “to know the Capitol; know the provincial government. Indeed, we’ve come a long way… shown by the extraordinary infrastructure starting with the great Paoay Church in the 1600’s ‘til the present; the miracles with the windmills, and the renewable energy.
“I am certain that this tradition of exemplary and extraordinary infrastructure will persist throughout the ages,” emphasizing that PGIN would continue building more infrastructure to upgrade provincial resilience.
Mentioning FEM’s upcoming centenary, she added, “talaga namannapakaraming celebration ngayong September hanggang February 2 ng 2018.”
The Open Capitol activities, highlighted by the selection of “junior” counterparts to Governor Marcos, Vice Governor Angelo M. Barba, Sangguniang Panlalawigan members, and city and town mayors, was culminated in front of the Provincial Capitol.
“Sigurado akong tuluy-tuloy ang ating pagsisibong sa susunod na 200 years upang makamit ang ating ‘arapaap’ (pangarap) na mataginayon, makaay-ayo, ken naondor a pagnaedan (a sustainable, livable, and resilient home),” Governor Marcos said, elaborating the province to be “our home indeed where each and every one of us is welcome, is loved, is accomplishing.”(Ma.RhonaYsabel T. Daoang and MizpahGrace G. Castro, PGIN-CMO)