LAOAG CITY —- About 5,000 school children from the different towns and cities of the province on Friday lined up the whole day and took turns visiting every department of the Provincial Capitol to familiarize themselves of the ongoing development and programs the province has to offer its residents.

Decorated with eye-catching exhibits featuring what every department does with the aid of various audio-visual materials, infographics and other interactive communication media, assigned employees in every department welcomed the school children and their teachers as they also encouraged the kids to answer trivia questions for a treat.

The annual conduct of “Open Capitol” initiated during the term of Governor Imee Marcos is meant to promote government transparency and at the same time, encourage people’s participation in governance.

As it gears up for a grand bicentennial anniversary in 2018, Ilocos Norte continues to showcase what makes it “the best little province” during its 198th foundation celebration on Friday.

“Nandito pa rin tayo, buo ang loob, sama-sama at naka-akbay ang mga Ilocano,” noted Governor Marcos as she pointed out the province’s rich history that spans from the pre-colonial era, Spanish colonization up to the Japanese and American regimes.

Through the creation of the bicentennial council in 2012, the province has been preparing “fitting activities worthy of significance” for the 200th anniversary celebration of the province.

In her speech, Governor Marcos highlighted the continuous development efforts of the provincial government in the past years.

“It’s become clearer that the backbone of our tourism and development has been heritage and culture, and of that, we have much to boast for,” she noted.

In line with this, the province’s municipalities and cities are eyed to reveal their bicentennial projects in 2018.

“Dalawang taon na lamang, at talagang naghahabol ang bawat munisipyo, para kada isa sa atin, may bicentennial project. Magbibigay tayo ng pondo at tulong sa lahat ng mga mayor, galing sa Sangguniang Panlalawigan, para ang bawat bayan ay may bicentennial project,” she said.

The bicentennial celebration of the province in 2018 will be kicked-off by the marking of the centennial birthday of Apo Ferdinand E. Marcos on September 17, 2017. PNA/