Roxas City Mayor Alan Celino


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Roxas City, Capiz's capital, has become a bustling metropolis, thanks to the mushrooming of business establishments, the realization of multimillion peso road projects and the emergence of new landmarks in the area.

The "economic boom" as well as the "infrastructure boom" is deemed unprecedented in the city's history, declared Mayor Angel Alan B. Celino.

The latest to invest in this emerging economic hub is the Robinsons Land Corporation (RLC), which is building its full service mall in Roxas City, Capiz - the Robinsons Place Roxas - its eighth mall in the Visayas.

The RLC has reportedly allotted at least a billion pesos to build a new mall at an approximately 75,000 square meter property fronting Pueblo de Panay's main road in Barangay Lawaan. Robinsons Place Roxas is slated for completion in the third quarter of 2013.

During the groundbreaking ceremony April 15, Mayor Celino thanked the RCL "a billion times" for investing at least a billion pesos for its mall in Roxas City.

The mayor noted that the new mall will contribute significantly to the growth of the local economy through the employment of several thousand people during the construction and operational stages, as well as the increase in the revenues of the city.

Upgrading of Infra Facilities

Aware of the fast-paced economic development in Roxas City, Mayor Celino vowed to put in place the needed infrastructure facilities and government services to further entice investors.

Transportation Secretary Mar Roxas ll, an ally of the mayor at the Liberal Party, has also promised to facilitate more projects for the city.

Earlier, Roxas gave P116 million to the city for social and infra projects . The amount was part of Roxas' unspent Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) when he was still senator.

Roxas, in his capacity as DOTC secretary, also bared plans to upgrade the Roxas City airport facilities, citing its potentials in the aviation industry. Roxas particularly wants the airport to accommodate "night-rated" flights.

Circumferential Road

Deemed the most ambitious project so far undertaken by the LP in Capiz, the Roxas City Circumferential Road finally took off after two decades or so.

A groundbreaking ceremony for the project, which was conceived by the late Capiz Rep. Gerardo "Dinggoy" Roxas Jr., was held April 13 in Barangay Libas. No less than Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson graced the occasion.

Mrs. Judy Araneta-Roxas, her son Transportation Secretary Mar Roxas ll, Gov. Victor Tanco Sr., Rep. Antonio del Rosario and Mayor Celino also graced the historic occasion.

An initial amount of P300 million has been released to jumpstart the project, which is anticipated not only to ease the traffic in the now congested inner streets of Roxas City, but to provide effective route of transporting people, commercial and agricultural goods from the Culasi port and the city areas to the municipalities of Capiz.

The road will also serve as a by-pass road for transport of goods and and passengers going to and from Culasi Port and the adjoining north eastern towns of Capiz, without passing through the central business city. The circumferential road proposed for 2012 and 2013 has a length of 19.86 kms including the construction of four bridges with a total estimated cost of P850 milllion.

The project is being implemented under the Office of Congressman Del Rosario.

New Landmarks

Several landmarks have sprouted in the city very recently, prompting observers to tag Roxas City as the "next city to watch" in the Visayas region.

The Department of Tourism-6 has also dubbed Roxas City in Capiz as the "fastest –growing destinations, with the opening of several hotels, restaurants and stalls."

Among the imposing structures to rise in Roxas City recently is the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas building on Arnaldo Boulevard, which is the eight branch constructed using the new design of BSP buildings.

Mayor Celino said the BSP's presence here will, hopefully stimulate more economic activities.

It was learned that Secretary Roxas lobbied for the relocation of the BSP from Aklan to this city when he was still the member of the BSP's monetary board.

Thus, after 17 years of operation in Kalibo, Aklan, BSP transferred to Roxas City with the inauguration of its new office building in Roxas City on March 8,2012.

Another landmark, actually a boost to medical tourism in Capiz, is The Health Centrum, a hospital cum wellness center in Barangay Banica, Roxas City.

Mayor Celino lauded the Balgos family for pioneering this medical tourism in Western Visayas as he urged the various sectors to support the newly-built hospital.

No less than Health Secretary Enrique Ona graced the inauguration of The Health Centrum Building on April 15,2012 as part of the CAPIZtahan festival.

Ona said The Health Centrum could pose a challenge to the way government hospitals discharge their health services. The Health Centrum could show the way, he added.

The 200-million Government and Business Center, one of the most ambitious projects of Gov.Victor Tanco Sr., was inaugurated April 15. The imposing edifice, which was constructed using the most modern architectural designs and technologies, is situated at the corner of San Roque Extension and Fuentes Drive.

Sight to Behold

The historic Roxas City fountain at the foot of the Capiz Bridge and fronting the Roxas City Immaculate Conception Cathedral, has also been renovated and is now a sight to behold. A dancing fountain was also put up at the People's Park.

The rehab of the Roxas City fountain and the putting up of the dancing fountain at the People's Park was undertaken by the Roxas Cirty government in close coordination with and the full support of Mrs. Judy Aranerta-Roxas, chairman of the ONE Capiz Foundation.

ONE Capiz, the Capiz provincial government, the city government and the Capiz First District Congressional Office mounted the recent CAPIZtahan festival.

The CAPIZtahan festival was held to commemorate the 111th establishment of the civil government of Capiz and the 64th death anniversary of the late President Manuel Acuña-Roxas.

Source: Gerry T. Pagharion/ Roxas City Press Bureau