Leyte braces for PGMA visit, landing anniversary rites tomorrow
TACLOBAN CITY (19 October) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo couldn't have chosen a more appropriate time to visit this premier city in Eastern Visayas where 63 years ago, the returning American Gen. Douglas MacArthur made that historic landing at Leyte Gulf that changed the course of history.
On the eve of her arrival here Saturday, Leytenos, particularly Taclobanons are all giddy over her visit, not only because it falls on the anniversary of the landing but also because it would mean inauguration of new projects that will redound to their benefit.
On tap during her short stint here is the inauguration of the newly-rehabilitated and enhanced flood mitigation structures in Ormoc City which was ravaged by killer floods several years ago.
She is also scheduled to attend the 60th Charter Day celebration of Ormoc before flying in here to induct the officers of the Katig-uban Samarenos Ha Leyte (KASALE) and the Leyte Mayors' League.
The Chief Executive will cap her visit to Leyte by honoring the outstanding Samarenos in the province considered as the gateway to the region.
In his anniversary message, Leyte Gov. Jericho Petilla, who will lead the President's welcomers at the Tacloban airport, called on Leytenos to make a new pact with history by winning back "our economic freedom and hastening development to come in."
"Let us make this promise now on these hallowed grounds where our patriots fought one of the greatest battles of all time to set aside the wars between us and become undivided in making our lives better for generations and more," he said.
Leyte was the first province to be liberated by the Americans during the Second World War. General MacArthur's assault troops landed in the Tacloban and Palo Beaches (White Beach and Red Beach, respectively) and in the neighboring town of Dulag (Blue Beach) on Oct. 20, 1944.
These landings signaled the eventual victory of the American Forces and the fulfillment of MacArthur's famous "I Shall Return" promise.
Three days later, at a ceremony in front of the Capitol Building in this city, General MacArthur, accompanied by President Sergio Osmeņa, made Tacloban the temporary seat of the Commonwealth Government and subsequently the temporary capital of the Philippines until the final liberation of the country. The provincial government of Leyte and the municipal government of Tacloban were reestablished.
Tacloban has grown by leaps and bounds to become the premier city in Eastern Visayas and the gateway to the region.
Tacloban's upcoming Eastern Visayas Regional Agro-Industrial Growth Center located at Barangays New Kawayan, Old Kawayan, Sto. Niņo and Tagpuro will host light and medium manufacturing industries, mostly joint ventures with Korean, Taiwanese, and Japanese capitalists.
The industries that will rise on this estate are relatively labor-intensive and are projected to directly employ more than 5,000 factory workers. Additional jobs are expected to be provided by the ancillary service industries. (OPS) [top]