Bacolod Rotary clubs to assist city’s clean and green program

Bacolod Mayor Albee Benitez (center) with representatives of eight Rotary clubs in Bacolod led by District Governor Elect Mate Espina.*

Bacolod Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez welcomed the proposal of eight Rotary clubs in Bacolod to spearhead the plans of rehabilitating median islands in and around the city as part of their “clean and green” initiative.

Benitez met with representatives of the Rotary clubs in Bacolod led by District Governor Elect Matè Espina and former city councilor Sonya Verdeflor to discuss plans on how the city government and the civic organization can collaborate in rehabilitating median islands, particularly in major roads on Monday, March 6.

“Any help the city government can get to beautify our surroundings is very much welcomed,” Benitez said, adding that he will direct the Department of Public Service to work with the Rotary clubs in drafting a program that will ensure a sustainable greening program, starting with the city’s road islands.

Abang Lingkod Rep. Stephen Paduano and Bacolod Mayor Albee Benitez discuss plans of greening the city. *

Also in the meeting was Abang Lingkod Rep. Stephen Paduano who pledged his support to Rotary’s initiative.

As part of the plan, the Rotary Clubs of Bacolod, Bacolod Central, Bacolod East, Bacolod North, Bacolod West, Bacolod South, Metro Bacolod and Bacolod Marapara will spearhead a landscape design competition, which will be launched in a month’s time to solicit ideas from local landscape architects and enthusiasts on what design is best suited for road islands that requires minimum maintenance.

The winning design that will be chosen by both the city government and the civic organization will then be implemented around the city.

Part of the program will include sprucing up the Luzuriaga burial grounds beside the Bacolod City Cemetery to make it an important landmark in the city for its uniqueness as the only cemetery in the middle of the road that has made it to the Guinness Book of World Records.

Rotarians Juliana Carbon, Millie Maglasang, Mate Espina and Sonya Verdeflor (l-r) join the presentation of ideas to the mayor.*

Caring for the environment is among Rotary’s major thrusts and this collaboration with the city government is a welcome opportunity for us Rotarians to step up and show that we do care for the environment and the community we live in, Espina said.

Benitez said another group also volunteered to work on the sidewalks, and with Rotary coming in to work on the islands, “we can all help to make our city visually attractive again.”

Espina also said this is “very timely” as Bacolod will be next year’s host for the District Convention of Rotary District 3850.

“We can very well boast to fellow Rotarians from Western Visayas and Western Mindanao who will be attending the convention that Bacolod is indeed fast becoming a green community.”

Benitez is an honorary Rotarian of the Rotary Club of Bacolod North.*

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