Left to right: Ms. Maria Donnalyn E. Briñas, San Pablo City Tourism Officer; Landscape Architect Don Patrick C. Manlangit, Department of Budget and Management Project Officer; Congresswoman Sol Aragones, Laguna 3rd District Representative; City Councilor Arnel Ticzon; Engr. Lowelito A. Glorioso, DPWH 3rd District Representative; and Mr. Ramon de Roma, City Environment and Natural Resources Office.
The local government of San Pablo City, the "City with Seven Lakes," has officially begun its rehabilitation project of the historic Doña Leonila Park, a hilly urban greenspace with a breathtaking view of Mt. San Cristobal, and the 99.2-hectare Sampaloc Lake.
With a funding assistance of PhP 14.9 million under the FY 2018 Local Government Support Fund-Assistance to Cities (LGSF-AC), or the Green Green Green Program of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), the first phase of the rehabilitation will focus on repairing the park's features and improving the usability and accessibility of its various spaces.
On March 28, 2019, a groundbreaking ceremony was held at the park, led by the Office of the City Mayor and City Tourism Office, and attended by Laguna 3rd District Representative Sol Aragones, and San Pablo City Mayor Loreto Amante who instructed the immediate start of the bidding process for the contractor. City government employees, local media, DBM staff, members of the community, as well as representatives from the private sector, also gathered in support of the project.
In photo: San Pablo City Mayor Loreto Amante, Congresswoman Sol Aragones, and City officials during the symbolic groundbreaking for the rehabilitation of Dona Leonila Park, San Pablo City, Laguna.
Built in the early 1960s by then San Pablo City Mayor Lauro Dizon, Sr., Doña Leonila Park currently has several access points, one of which is a steep 50-step stone stairway carved into the hillside east of the site. Other access points are through the low stone stairs in the south, facing the busy Trece Martirez Street, and another in the west, in front of the City Hall.
Located beside the City Hall at the heart of San Pablo, the park is visited by thousands of people daily – students, employees, children, and senior citizens – coming from the Poblacion area, schools, hospitals, offices, and other establishments. Constantly busy and full of visitors, the area is where students, residents, and tourists visit for social events, school projects, and recreation.
To increase access into the park, especially for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs), children, and senior citizens, the new design drafted through a collaboration among the DBM, the San Pablo City Tourism Office, and the City Engineering Office included the construction of PWD-friendly ramps and pathways that will not only allow them to enter the park, but also enjoy the different areas of the site despite its hilly and wooded terrain.
At the eastern side of the park, a retaining wall with a PWD-accessible view deck will be constructed, allowing visitors a space to appreciate a panoramic view of the popular Sampaloc Lake.
The event area of the park will also be improved with the installation of a roof for the stage, as well as a set of new bleachers.
Moreover, solar-powered lights will be installed across the park to keep the area illuminated at night.
San Pablo City’s Doña Leonila Park is one of the country’s parks that received funding and technical assistance in 2018 from the DBM Green Green Green Program, a unique initiative that aims to make all of the Philippines’ cities livable and sustainable through the development of public open spaces.
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