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Romblon to give Aquino ashtrays

By: - Reporter / @NikkoDizonINQ
/ 05:59 AM January 09, 2015

ROMBLON, Philippines—It’s not that they condone the President’s vice, but they wish to promote their province’s main industry.

Which is why President Aquino will be receiving Friday not one but three marble ashtrays from Romblon town when he visits to inspect the P65-million national road upgrade and the district hospital in Odiongan town on Tablas Island.

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President Benigno Aquino III. AFP FILE PHOTO

President Benigno Aquino III. AFP FILE PHOTO

This is the first time Aquino will visit the province, which comprises three islands—Romblon, Tablas and Sibuyan.

Romblon Mayor Gerard Montojo told reporters that aside from the ashtrays, a marble coffee table and a marble lampshade would be presented to Aquino.

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The President is a cigarette smoker, a vice he does not hide.

“There’s really nothing much as to why we’re giving him three ashtrays. It doesn’t really mean ‘I love you,’” Montojo joked.

Two of the ashtrays are made from light brown argo marble, while the third, the biggest of the three, is made from white marble.

Montojo said the marble industry made up about 30 percent of his town’s annual income, or some P4 million. Despite having considerably slowed, the industry still boasts more than 100 craftsmen known for their skill and artistry, he added.

They can produce nearly anything, from statues of saints to quirky animal tabletops, furniture and church altars. Marble is also used in construction, particularly for floors.

President Aquino’s trip to the province coincides with the start of the 10-day Biniray Festival, Romblon town’s celebration of its reverence to the Sto. Niño.

Montojo said the President will inspect the ongoing P65-million concreting of two kilometers of Romblon’s provincial road.

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He said his town will also ask Aquino for funds for a new public market and transport terminal. The market will cost P25 million while the terminal P15 million, he added.

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TAGS: ashtrays, Benigno Aquino III, Gerard Montojo, marble, romblon
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