Naga City, Camarines Sur
18 August 2015

President Benigno S. Aquino III together with his Cabinet members honored the legacy of the late Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Jesse M. Robredo on his 3rd death anniversary at the City Hall Grounds in Naga City, Camarines Sur.

With the overall theme: “Remembering Jesse,” friends and former colleagues, including DILG Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II, remembered the kind of governance that Secretary Robredo exemplified with his ‘tsinelas’ leadership — grounded on simplicity and transparency — during his long tenure as Naga City Mayor and when he joined the President’s Cabinet as DILG secretary.

In his message, President Aquino recounted the horror when news of the plane crash bearing Secretary Robredo had been confirmed.

“Aaaminin ko po sa inyo ngayon: Hindi ko napigilang pagdudahan ang sarili ko noong mga panahong iyon. Iniisip ko kung paano ko po kakayanin kung may mangyari rin sa ibang miyembro ng aking gabinete. Niyaya ko sila sa isang panganib na trabaho,” he said.

President Aquino called on everyone to continue the legacy initiated by Secretary Robredo and to tread the straight path towards positive change.

Also part of the occasion was a multi-sectoral forum where the President and a few Cabinet members, including Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Secretary Joseph Emilio “Jun” Abaya, answered various questions from the Nagueños.

Among the concerns raised was the continuation of the Bicol Express Rail Transit. According to DOTC Secretary Abaya, the department has undertaken its biggest project to date, amounting to P170.7 billion for the installation of the South Line of the North-South Railway Project (NSRP).

It will cover a 653-kilometer line transit that will revive the Manila-Legazpi Rail System — the oldest rail system in Southeast Asia. The project is currently undergoing the prequalification bidding process and is set to be completed by 2020.

Another project to be ushered in by the DOTC is the modernization of the Naga City Airport which will require the installation of a 2.1 kilometer runway to cater to jet aircrafts, allowing faster and cheaper fares. Projected funds will be at P3.5 million with construction set to begin in 2017 and completion by 2019.

President Aquino assured the public that all of these projects will be initiated before the end of his term in 2016. However, he reminded everyone that for the continuation of programs like 4Ps (Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program) or the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT), the people must choose the next president who supports these projects.

Prior to the event, the President together with the bereaved family visited the remains of Secretary Robredo at the Eternal Gardens where a requiem mass was held.

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