OATH-TAKING. Reelected Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. is joined by his family members when he took his oath of office on Tuesday (June 28, 2022). Defensor laid down his administration's directions that will provide opportunities for Ilonggos. (Photo courtesy of Balita Halin sa Kapitolyo FB page)

ILOILO CITY – Reelected Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. on Tuesday said he will focus on projects that will bring in more economic opportunities for Ilonggos in the next three years as the province bounces back from the impact of the health pandemic.

“We cannot make promises when we lay down the foundation of a new administration but we can give direction. And in giving direction I will give to you and I will say to you all MoReProgGRes,” he said during his inaugural speech following his oath-taking ceremony at the provincial capitol lobby before Senator Sonny Angara on Tuesday.

MoReProgGRes stands for a movement for a resurgent, progressive, globally competitive, and resilient Iloilo province.

The governor is asking for cooperation with what he dubbed a “recovery administration” as the province fights its way to achieve development amid the challenges posed by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

To link commerce, agriculture, and trade to growth areas and ports, the governor is eyeing expanding the Iloilo International Airport in Cabatuan town and the Dumangas port with the help of national government agencies.

Defensor said improving the connectivity of national highways, provincial roads, and farm-to-market roads will also make Iloilo Province attractive to investors.

“If we are able to catalyze commerce and trade, we will create business we will create jobs, we will create economic activity, we will create job and livelihood opportunities for our kasimanwa (provincemates) here in Iloilo,” Defensor added.

In terms of increased investments and employment opportunities, he said that the completion of the Jalaur River Multipurpose Project II (JRMP II), will irrigate more hectares of farms, and provides water for domestic consumption and irrigation of electricity. JRMP II is the biggest dam outside of Luzon.

Aside from Defensor, other elected officials of the province also took their oath before Angara. (PNA)