Groundbreaking rites mark the start of ISUFST’s Olympic-size Sports Complex : * Solons Biron, Ang show full support to the project

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Herman Lagon, Ph.D.

The Iloilo State University of Fisheries Science and Technology (ISUFST) signaled a significant milestone this Thursday, May 2, 2024, with the groundbreaking ceremony for its new Olympic-size sports complex at the Main Campus-Tiwi Site, Barotac Nuevo, Iloilo. The event was attended by notable figures including 4th District of Iloilo Cong. Ferjenel Biron and Uswag Iloilo Cong. Jojo Ang, who have played pivotal roles in the project’s inception and funding.

The state-of-the-art complex will feature an Olympic-size 50-meter swimming pool with a grandstand and function rooms, a 400-meter rubberized oval, and a renovated basketball court, aimed at bolstering the university’s sports and recreational facilities. 

Speaking at the ceremony attended by hundreds of students, faculty, staff, and guests, ISUFST President Dr. Nordy Siason highlighted the impact of the new facilities: “This project is not just about physical structures but fostering excellence and community engagement. We are immensely grateful for the dedication and support of Cong. Biron and Cong. Ang, which has been instrumental in making this vision a reality.”

“An additional P45 million is to be allocated to ensure the completion of this project to the highest standards,” announced Cong. Biron. “We are here not just to initiate projects but to build legacies that will endure beyond our terms. Public office is a public trust, and we must uphold accountability in every action we take. Our efforts today reflect a commitment not only to present constituents but to future generations.”

Continuing, he highlighted the significance of the legislative support that made the university’s transformation possible: “Without steadfast dedication over the past decade, transitioning ISCOF to ISUFST would have remained a vision unfulfilled. It required a singular, dedicated president [Dr. Siason] and a dedicated set of faculty to meet the rigorous CHED standards, affirming our unique role as the nation’s only fisheries university.” He specifically stressed that “our commitment to the College of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences (CFAS) is about honoring our responsibility to provide exemplary education.”

Reflecting on his diverse career and contributions, Cong. Biron added, “From founding a small pharmaceutical company to leading the largest provider of injectable products in the Philippines, my journey has been guided by a principle that good governance and quiet dedication deliver the most impactful results. In line with this, I am proud to announce that this July, Cong. Ang and I will donate audiovisual facilities and educational instruments worth P1 million, funded from our salaries, to further enhance our university’s educational capabilities.”

Through these efforts, Cong. Biron reiterated his commitment to sustainable development and education in Iloilo, driven by a belief in integrity and the transformative power of education as echoed by Nelson Mandela’s teachings.

For his part, Cong. Ang declared: “Today, as we lay the foundation for this grand sports complex, we’re not just building facilities; we are setting the stage for future Palarong Pambansa games right here in the Fourth District of Iloilo.” 

“With the Barotac Nuevo and Passi City projects, we underscore the ‘one town, one project’ initiative, aiming to replicate this model in every barangay across Iloilo, starting with our district. Moreover, to ensure our athletes and students have the best conditions, we will soon install state-of-the-art big ass fans in the gym. It’s our commitment to provide nothing but the best for our community.”

Meanwhile, DPWH Chief Engr. Allan Rey Pajinma assured those present of the department’s commitment to ensuring the timely and successful completion of the project, set to span 250 calendar days.

As the ceremony concluded, the community looked forward with anticipation to the opportunities and benefits that the new sports complex will bring, not only to ISUFST but to the region as a whole, reinforcing the university’s role as a beacon of education and athletic prowess in the Philippines. (Text by Herman Lagon/Photos by Ricky Ramos, Herman Lagon, and TST/PAMCO)

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