DAGUPAN CITY — Mayor Belen T. Fernandez has outlined a plan to renovate the General Douglas MacArthur Park in Barangay Bonuan Gueset here and make it one of the tourist destinations in the city.
She bared her plans following the commemoration of the 72nd General Douglas MacArthur landing in what is now known as Bonuan Tondaligan on Monday, attended by World War II veterans and members of the Knights of Columbus of the Msgr. Henry C. Schmitz Assembly CAN 2995.
She vowed to use part of more or less PHP100 million cash surplus of the city last year to finance the renovation of the park with additional financial assistance from 4th District Congressman Christopher ‘Toff’ de Venecia who earlier committed to help improve the park.
“We already have plans to renovate the park and intend to connect it by a short road to the bigger Tondaligan Park and to be lined up by some sculptures depicting MacArthur and his troops landing in the beach of the city,” the mayor said.
Fernandez added that they will also upgrade the statue of the General and put it in a lower elevation so that people will have a closer look of him and appreciate his historical landing in our city,” said Fernandez.
The mayor called on the members of the Knights of Columbus and the living veterans for a meeting at her office so they can map out plans on how to renovate or remodel the park before she will leave for Washington D.C. in the U.S. as a member of a Philippine Mission to be headed by Interior and Local Government Secretary Ismael Sueño in late January.
She vowed that on her trip to Washington D.C, she will connect with Americans well versed on the subject in a bid to finally settle the issue on where MacArthur really first set his foot when he came to liberate Luzon island from the Japanese Imperial Army.
“Once we have settled this, we will make a representation with the National Historical Commission and Congress to recognize the claims of our own veterans that indeed, the General first landed at the Bonuan Blue Beach,” said Fernandez.
The development of the MacArthur Park, she said, will enforce plans to boost the city’s tourism program, which is among the many activities and programs lined up during the city’s celebration of its platinum (75th) year of cityhood
“We are what we are today because of the great sacrifices of our American friends and our own fellow freedom-loving Filipino war veterans,” she said as she lauded the veterans for risking their lives so the Filipinos will be free. Leonardo Micua/PNA-northboundasia.com