LUBAO, Pampanga – “Full circle, where Lubao started as a basic community, the seat of government fittingly returns to take our people to the next level of development.”
Thus said Mayor Mylyn Pineda-Cayabyab of what she considered “serendipitous coincidence” of locating the P71-million local government complex in Barangay Santa Catalina, site of the first San Agustin parish church built in 1572 in the then settlement of Lubao.
The mayor, along with her parents Gov. Lilia G. Pineda and businessman Rodolfo Q. Pineda, led the groundbreaking ceremonies Friday for the first phase of the project costing P14.7 million and expected to be finished in six months, located along Jose Abad Santos Avenue, the old Gapan-San Fernando- Olongapo Road.
The eight-hectare lot was donated by the Pineda patriarch who also funded the fencing and back filing, as it was low-lying and used to be prone to flooding.
Additional funds for the project will be provided by the provincial government.
Aside from a modern municipal hall building, police station, and local offices, the Lubao campus of the Don Honorio Ventura Technical State University (DHVTSU) will also be constructed in the complex. Pineda-Cayabyab said the Capitol will help provide the P65 million for the DHVTSU campus.
She thanked her father for donating the lot for the project and the development of the property, including back filing and fencing. She also expressed her gratitude to her mother for teaching “the importance of being a dedicated and hardworking public servant.”
With the municipal hall located along the national highway, local officials can only see “more business and employment opportunities” for the town. Representatives of SM malls are reported to have expressed interest in “looking at the site for future ventures.”
To Pineda-Cayabyab, the project is a “fulfilment of the long-held aspiration of the Pineda family to give back to the people of Lubao for all the support they have given us through all these years.”
Another major Pineda family-initiative that has put the town of Lubao in the world map of adventure-tourism is the Lubao International Hot Air Balloon Festival which, in only its second edition last year, was already hailed the “biggest of its kind in Southeast Asia.”
This year, the festival which will feature a record 40 balloonists is slated on April 14-17 at the Pradera Verde, Barangay Prado Siongco where thousands of foreign and local tourists are expected to come.