More than a thousand civil servants, local dignitaries led by Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo, military and police personnel, members of the academe and other citizens join the rest of the country in observing the 120th Independence Day at Manuel L. Quezon Park, this morning.

Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo urged those present to remember the sacrifices of our forefathers to attain freedom from oppression against colonial forces. At present, the challenge is how to free our city and the country from the bondage of poverty, environmental degradation, crimes and corruption. But he expressed gratitude to all the men and women, who continue to support his programs and projects for poverty alleviation, anti-drugs campaign, proper garbage disposal and traffic management.

This year’s speaker Urban Planner and Full Professor at California State University in USA Dr. Efren N. Padilla paid tribute to Dr. Jose Rizal and all the other great heroes and thinkers of the revolution who shaped our nation.

However, Padilla stressed that in order to improve the quality of life in our city, our leaders must exercise political will in its planning and development as the “business as usual approach” is no longer tenable.

Led by the dynamic Mayor Remollo and his allies who are committed to the implementation of the master plan, any citizen motivated by the genuine desire to embrace change while taking care of the environment, can actually become agents of change for Dumaguete, Negros Oriental and the Philippines.