THE NEW GOVERNMENT CENTER
by: Arct. Orlando M. Mateo/ I.S. Kana-an


 

     A growing family naturally needs more space in the house for its new members while some may opt to have their own, without severing the ties with its birth home. This now happens to the City of Bacolod. Rapid urbanization, a burgeoning population of half a million, a fast – tracked physical transformation and a dynamic economy give the city that unprecedented growth as a family.

     The existing ”home,” at Araneta - Luzuriaga Streets could no longer accommodate more employees for new offices to cater to the present demand of a now bigger population. The offices at the city hall are either cramped up or are located far from city hall premises or in some rented spaces, hampering the effective and fast delivery of public services since clients will have to shuttle from one office to another for the same transaction.

    Some post city leader dreamt in their sleepy moments of putting all these offices together for employees’ efficiency and for public comfort while transacting with their government. Assuming the mayorship of Bacolod through an unprecedented lead in the 2004 election, Mayor Evelio R. Leonardia, since then has never stopped dreaming in all his waking moments to realize the idea of giving the Bacoleños a home benefiting the status of Bacolod as one of the ”Billionaire Cities of the Philippines.”

    On June 13, 2006, Mayor Leonardia, in behalf of the city, signed and accepted the deed of donation of a 5-hectare lot from the Fernando F. Gonzaga, Inc. and Angela Estate, Inc. after this the task of weaving the dream to reality started and with it were storms of protests from, grandstanding politicians, pseudo-political analysts, saboteurs and destructive non-believers who mistake their staunch as public advocacy. Good intention for public service and Leonardia’s strong political will easily weathered them all.

    Now it is feat accompli for Mayor Leonardia in the second year of his second term as chief executive of Bacolod. The NEW GOVERNMENT CENTER or NGC is at present a sight to behold, rising from out of an open space of fresh greenery, catching the attention of passers-by who sometimes call it THE WHITE HOUSE. The building stands proudly along the eastern part of the Circumferential Road which is considered the EDSA of Bacolod as it can be approached from all the four direction entrances to the city. 

    The NGC has truly transformed the scenario of the area as the newest growth center in the city. Like a magnet, it has attracted establishments and sparked trade, commerce and economy in what used to be an agricultural or natural set up. Banks, restaurants, call centers, private offices, an almost-finished hotel and new jeepney routes for more commuters and employees and an exciting night life are now visible.

     To the city employees, the NGC is a work moral booster in an area set amidst a breather of fresh country air. To the public clientele, it is a delight transacting with government in a more comfortable area than in the former crowded offices.

     All these physical changes create a new scenario and light a spark for a new business growth center for the city of the present and of the future, making the New Government Center of Bacolod a living testimony of the political acumen and will of the Leonardia administration to which the city will forever be grateful.


THE BUILDING


The imposing and authoritative character of the New Government Center of Bacolod City is a symbol of strong civic service, good governance and firm direction of the present administration.

The façade and neo-Classical Renaissance columns and windows speak of the sobriety of the old elegance and tasteful restrains clashing yet artfully complementing her modern interiors.

Aesthetics is combined with intelligent spacing to ensure that the civic center is receptive of Bacolod’s public and responsive to the needs of the city.

The grand lobbies to the hallways in her three floors are space breathers while the well-thought of offices dignify the delivery of public service expected of the men and women occupying them.


THE FOUNTAIN AREA AND ESPLANADE


Site development is given much careful planning as the building itself. The idea of the Esplanade is to see the picture - perfect vista of the New Government Center. Pedestrians approach the building through the Esplanade of wide open space centered with a magnificent 40 meter-round reflecting pool.

The center jet water spout is supported by 213 ring jet nozzles with water spouting in synchrony.

At night, the fountain looks like a gala performance of water in harmony with a dazzling array of red, green and other lights against a backdrop of soothing music. The 3-ft. Pool softens the visual impact of a square park that provides a luxury of space rarely present in many government structures today throughout the country. The esplanade is, indeed, a welcome respite for the NGC clientele and the general public experiencing the hustle of a rapid urban growth like that of Bacolod City.

 

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