LEGAZPI CITY (4-July-2012/PNA) – Thousands of people mostly school children welcomed with cheers Queen Sofia of Spain as they waved Spain and Philippines’ flags.
Queen Sofia accompanied by local, national and foreign officials unveiled the life sized statue of Jose Maria Penaranda at the Albay Penaranda Park here.
Wearing a printed blouse and white slacks, she walked alongside Albay Governor Joey Salceda, Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman and Spanish Ambassador to the Philippines Jorge Domecq and unveiled the statue of Penaranda, the first Spanish national to seat as governor of the province.
At least 5,000 flag-waving children in school uniform and residents were awed by the sight of the Queen of Spain, the second high foreign dignitary to tour the province after Pope John Paul II visited this city in February 1981.
The Queen, after the unveiling ceremony accommodated a photo session with town and city mayors of the province including other provincial and municipal officials.
Queen Sofia, accompanied by a convoy of local and foreign officials in her first leg of her tour to Spanish-funded projects in Albay, inspected the Camalig North Central School in Camalig town in Albay some 16 kilometers away from this city.
The Camalig Emergency and Educational Shelter (CEES) is a 14-classroom emergency educational shelter building erected on February 24, 2010 with a P24.7-million funding from the Agencia Espanola De Cooperacion para el Desarullo (AECID).
At the Josefina Belmonte Duran Memorial District Hospital (JBDMDH) in Barangay Tuburan, Ligao City, the Queen of Spain was met by Ligao City Mayor Linda Gonzalez.
During the Queen’s visit at the JBDMDH, health officials here showcased the hospital facilities and equipment funded by AECID in the amount of P14.4 million.
The Queen proceeded to the Climate Change Adaptation Academy (CCAA) at the Bicol University (BU) Campus here where she was briefed by City Mayor Geraldine Rosal on the Legazpi City Solid Waste Management Project in Barangay Banquerohan, here.
The AECID invested some P110 million to finance the implementation of the city’s SWM project, Rosal said.
Queen Sofia was also briefed on the province initiatives with regard projects under the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) wherein the Spanish government gave funding support to the province, while another project presented was the Climate Change Academy (CCAA) which was recently opened, and the first Climate Change school in the country.
The Spanish government through the AECID has released some P112.7 million funding support to Albay to finance various projects including the Rehabilitation of the emergency evacuation center in Daraga (P13 million); Emergency School Shelters in Guinobatan (P28.7 million), Camalig (P28.7 million), rehabilitation of JBDMD Hospital in Ligao City (P14.4 million); Strengthening of the Albay Public Safety and Emergency Management Office (APSEMO) equipment (P11 million); and the Rural-based Flood Preparedness Project (P16.9 million). (PNA)