BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – In between reports of crime and village chiefs being suspended here, sitting Mayor Alfredo Abelardo “Albee” Benitez and City Hall officials have announced plans this week that are expected to address a range of issues, from perking up investments here to decongesting vehicular traffic in this urban center of more than half a million people.
Midweek, in a first ever news conference after a long absence from City Hall, Benitez led officials in revealing a plan of the local Traffic Authority that involves turning some minor streets into one-way roads.
Among the more significant pronouncements of Benitez, however, was his plan to join the State visit of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr to China next year.
Benitez told DNX he hopes to discuss investment opportunities with other companies not only with China Railways and Construction Corporation whose officials had earlier expressed their interest to Benitez to invest here.
Benitez also said he sees no problem with the reported planned transfer of presidential son William Vincent Marcos here but denied having discussed with the younger Marcos about his political plans.
“He was here during the MassKara but we did not discuss anything about it,” Benitez said, referring to the visit last October of the presidential family here.
The chief executive, however, also asked local reporters who they can recommend as a replacement for lawyer Lyzander Dilag who was earlier reported to have resigned as his spokesman for health reasons.
Traffic Authority chief Junjie Liba also unveiled a 90-day traffic experiment starting 12 December that will convert some lateral streets in the northern part here into one-way roads to decongest Lacson Street, the main thoroughfare that leads to the northern highway of Negros Occidental.
Vehicular traffic on Lacson is usually heavy during the Christmas season with the increase of cars on the streets as shoppers outside the city come here.
Liba, a police major, said the minor streets of – from 12th and 14th to 23rd Streets will become one-way roads, accommodating only those turning westward towards Aguinaldo Street.
The other side of these streets will become diagonal-only parking areas.
A truck ban will also swing into effect on 12 December at the Carlos Hilado Highway or Circumferential Road from 6am to 9pm.