This early, the province of Ilocos Norte has started preparing for its bicentennial foundation in 2018 by depicting the lifestyle, customs and traditions of Ilocano ancestors.
Through the “Open Capitol” last February 2 in time for Ilocos Norte’s 197th founding anniversary, provincial officials and employees went on an ancestral throwback and relived the earlier times of Ilocanos.
Ilocos Norte was created as a separate province by the King Ferdinand VII of Spain through a Royal Decree on February 2, 1818.
Now on its fifth year, Open Capitol is a program institutionalized by Governor Imee Marcos to promote government openness and transparency by allowing locals to visit the capitol offices and experience various services.
Employees of each capitol department had specific vintage design of clothings they wore while entertaining the needs of their clients and visitors.
Each employee roaming was dressed in native costumes while the offices and hallways of the capitol building became an exhibit of the different occupational eras in the province from farming, fishing, tribal, taga-ili (illustrado) to the modern times.
“The need for transparency, accountability and responsibility in the national government is an issue. But, in our province, we again open the capitol for our constituents particularly the young people to understand the transactions in every office as we are a consultative, inclusive and open government,” Marcos said in a press statement.
Other highlights of the “open capitol” were a mock session with the Little Sangguniang Panlalawigan members and Sirib Exhibition Debate, painting and Ilocano poem or daniw reading competitions, trade fair and exhibit and jobs fair.
This year’s open capitol mini-job fair was joined by nine firms offering 384 job vacancies, according to Nicole Rudio, head of the Public Employment Service Office (PESO) of Ilocos Norte. (Freddie G. Lazaro/PIA-1 Ilocos Norte)