“Free from vestiges of bad economy”

LAOAG CITY, June 12 – As the nation marked the country’s 114th Independence Day, the Philippines has a long way to go to free its people from poverty, hunger and unemployment.

Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos said the country needs to work on reaching freedom from fear, poverty, hunger, unemployment and all vestiges of an underdeveloped economy.

“It is very clear that while we have independence, economic and social equality have been harder to come by,” she said in her Independence Day message.

Marcos led provincial and city officials in a joint celebration this morning at the provincial capitol grounds with dozens of local leaders, government employees and the private sector in attendance.

Laoag Mayor Michael Fariñas and city government employees consolidated the city’s Freedom Day observance with the provincial government, indicating the city’s cooperation with the provincial leadership.

Ilocos Norte’s Freedom Day also gave tribute to Ilocano freedom fighters who fought against Spanish domination that brought Ilocanos together in popular uprisings such as the Basi Revolt in Piddig town and the resistance from tobacco monopoly.

Marcos said the sacrifice that Ilocano heroes gave to free their homeland is the same sacrifice that people need to follow to bring change.

“It is not just about history, it is also about the future. In (trying to bring) change and development, many will find difficulties and will be left behind. But we need to prod on so we can have change at the same time,” she added.

She said, “We need to improve at the same time we need to sacrifice first before we get to where we want us to be.”

Most town mayors joined the Capitol observance while other chief executives later returned to their town halls to mark their own prepared celebrations.

In Batac City, Mayor Jeffrey Nalupta marked Freedom Day with a tree planting activity while San Nicolas Mayor Alfredo Valdez returned to the town plaza to join other officials and employees in their celebration after the event at the provincial capitol.

Hundreds of government employees also showed up in their respective town halls for the morning celebrations. (JCR/CCA-PIA 1 Ilocos Norte)