While Visayas has the Iloilo River Esplanade, Mindanao now has its Mandulog River Esplanade. This is after the Department of Public Works and Highways through its Lanao del Norte 2nd District Engineering Office turned over the newly completed Mandulog River Esplanade project located at Barangay Santiago, Iligan City.
The P46.5-million mega-project has a total length of 298-meters and a width of 8-meters.
“With the opening of this world-class recreational park, we expect to see great things happening here in Iligan. In behalf of Regional Director Zenaida T. Tan, we urge the Iliganons to take advantage of this infrastructure project to adapt to a more active lifestyle, to establish better businesses, to build stronger relationships and ultimately to elevate Iligan City to greater heights,” expressed District Engineer Alykhan Ali.
According to Congressman Frederick Siao, the project was inspired by the River Esplanade of Iloilo City which has become not just a popular tourist attraction but also a source of pride among Ilonggos. “We hope to replicate this feat with our very own river esplanade project,” Siao explained.
As soon as the park’s gates opened, hordes of visitors and locals marched inside the park and marveled at the scenic promenade that runs alongside the Mandulog River. Inside the park, visitors leisurely strolled and enjoyed the tranquil views along the river.
“Heeding the call of Secretary Mark Villar, we made sure that all completed infrastructure projects are calamity-resilient in preparation for natural calamities brought about by climate change,” Project Engineer James Capangpangan said.
Also present during the exclusive turnover ceremony were officials of Barangay Santiago, personnel from the Lone Congressional Office of Iligan, DPWH officials and employees, PNP security teams and members of the Barangay Peacekeeping Action Team (BPAT).
Local police forces were tapped to ensure strict compliance by all the participants to the COVID-19 guidelines set by local and national Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).
“This esplanade is also a flood-control mechanism that will protect the people behind this park. We simply elevated the design to make it more appealing to the Iliganons but at its core, this is really a flood-control structure. Thus, accomplishing two goals with one project,” District Engineer Ali concluded.