ILOILO CITY Development and Tourism:
Development Updates

Friday, November 20, 2015

Dinagyang tickets to be released middle of December

Organizers of the 2016 Iloilo Dinagyang Festival are eyeing to release stage tickets by middle of December. In its regular meeting, held every Wednesday, the Iloilo Dinagyang Foundation Inc. (IDFI) announced that necessary preparations are now being undertaken to have the tickets printed and ready for interested spectators around middle of next month.

Compared with the 2015 festival, however, IDFI sets a little increase in ticket prices. Tickets for the right wing of the Iloilo Freedom Grandstand will be sold at P1,500 while the right and left wing extensions will be sold at P1,300 each.

Meantime, the main stages at Mabini, Quezon and Maria Clara streets will be sold at P1,300. Extension tickets for Mabini and Quezon stages will be priced at P1,000 each.

Maria Clara, on the other hand, has no extension stage. This will already admit the buyer to the two-day highlights of the festival. Stage at the capitol, on the other hand, is being managed by the Iloilo Provincial government.

Meanwhile, as early as now the foundation has released its schedule for the construction of stages to allow motorists to prepare for possible traffic congestion. The construction will kick off

January 15, 2015 for the Quezon main stage;
January 16, Maria Clara;
January 17, Freedom Grandstand;
January 18, Mabini main and two extension stages and
January 19 extension stages on Quezon street.

The annual festival is managed by the Iloilo City government, San Jose Parish Church and the IDFI. The 2016 celebration anchors on the theme "Senor Santo Nino: Hope for the Poor."

OFW Fun Run Event

The Department of Tourism (DOT)-6 is set to host a fun run for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their families on December 6, 2015 at the Iloilo River Esplanade in Mandurriao district here. This is part of the celebration of the Month of Overseas Filipinos and International Migrants Day that will kick off December 1.

DOT-6 Regional Director Helen Catalbas said the event will afford OFWs the opportunity to cherish the time with their families through bonding activities. “This project also hopes to foster and strengthen partnership with Western Visayas Migrants/OFWs in promoting the region in other countries,” she said.

DOT-6 said the fun run will start at SM City going to the Iloilo River Esplanade and a short program will immediately follow. The DOT official said a number of traditional games such as ‘luksong lubid’, ‘patintero’, and ‘tiyakad’ will surely bring fun and revive the Filipino culture among OFWs and their families participating.

The event is free of charge but migrants/OFWs in Western Visayas and their families are encouraged to register at the DOT Region 6 Office, Bonifacio Drive, Iloilo City. The first 300 participants to register will have a free ‘It’s More Fun in the Philippines’ t-shirt that will be given on December 6, 2015 at SM City, Mandurriao Iloilo City.

“We are inviting our Western Visayas migrants/OFWs and their families to join us on this special occasion,”

Saturday, November 14, 2015

WV joins NorthPhil Expo; flights between Iloilo-Clark proposed

The Department of Tourism (DOT)-6 said that tourist attractions, facilities, and products of region 6 are showcased in the ongoing NorthPhil Expo at SM Clark, Pampanga.

In a media release, DOT-6 Regional Director Helen Catalbas said that the participation of Region 6 in this year’s event is part of DOT-6’s move to establish linkage between Iloilo and Clark by air.

“We are studying the possibility of having a direct flight between Clark International Airport and Iloilo International Airport,” she said.

She said that they are convincing airline companies to operate the route on at least a once-weekly basis as soon as evidence of its sustainability can be provided. At present, Clark and Kalibo in Aklan maintain regular flights with domestic and foreign tourists as passengers.

Catalbas further said that one of the ways to fill the growing number of rooms in Western Visayas is to increase the number of flights to the region. As of the latest count, Western Visayas has around 19,000 accommodation rooms.

“We have to aggressively market Western Visayas and continuously improve the tourist product and develop new ones if we want not only to get a bigger share of the Philippine tourist arrivals but be a major contributor to these arrivals”, she said.

DOT-6 is joined by the provinces of Guimaras, Aklan, Antique, Capiz and Negros Occidental in this year’s NorthPhil Expo.

The 2015 NorthPhil Expo, which kicked off today November 13 until 15, is a long-running tourism expo in North Philippines that has emerged as an international event.

Real property payments now online

Tax payers in the province of Iloilo will have the option of paying online and avoid the inconvenience of waiting.

For the first time in the region, this is possible for real property taxpayers especially, as the local government has signed an agreement with the Landbank of the Philippines for use of the ePayment Portal.

Landbank’s ePayment Portal is internet based, designed to accept payments from taxpayers of the province, aimed at decreasing the direct and indirect costs as well associated with cash handling. 

Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor said it is seen to de-clog traffic at the Treasurer’s Office and minimize operational costs. He added that taxpayers from far flung towns, like Carles, do not have to travel more than a hundred kilometers to go to the capitol to pay.

“This innovation will go a long way in improving the tax collection efficiency of the provincial government,” Defensor said. According to Provincial Administrator Raul Banias, this new system boosts Governor Defensor’s “reform and change” principle, for more transparent and convenient transactions.

The system will give taxpayers the experience of electronic banking transactions of simply logging in to https://epaymentportal.landbank.com for speedy transactions.

The ePP facility also allows users to in quire in real time and download reports of successful payment transactions. Provincial Treasurer Melba Sullivan said the Provincial Treasurer’s office is moving into a cashless system where taxpayers do not have to bring their cash around, with a maximized use of technology which gives them 24/7 quality service.

“This is a testament of good governance, giving the people the assurance that their money is safe with us,” Sullivan said.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Dinagyang Festival to go GLOBAL

The city government here is targeting more INTERNATIONAL EXPOSURE to the already world-renowned Dinagyang Festival in 2016.

City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, during the recently held official launching of the 2016 Dinagyang Festival edition, said that they are planning to bring Dinagyang to other countries to promote the city’s rich history and heritage.

“We should be more global and be more proud of what we have,” he said.

He said that historically, Dinagyang Festival has been to various destinations including New York, Los Angeles, Guam, Washington DC in the United States, Hong Kong, Japan, and Korea, among others.

He shared that during the APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation) summit recently held here, the Dinagyang Festival performers elicited the most thunderous applause from the foreign delegates.

Meanwhile, the city government, the Iloilo Dinagyang Foundation, Inc. (IDFI) and the San Jose Parish Church signed a memorandum of agreement for the celebration of the 2016 festival edition.

The Ati Tribes competition which serves as the main highlight of the celebration is slated on January 24, 2016.

The Dinagyang Pamukaw is scheduled on Dec. 11, 2015 while the
Opening Salvo is on January 8, 2016.

The Kasadyahan Festival is on January 23, 2016 while
Fluvial Procession is set on January 20, 2016.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Two New Malls SOON TO RISE in Pavia

Two malls are soon to rise in Pavia. Industry sources reveal between the municipality and the Gokongweis and the Cos. The Gokongweis own Robinsons Corporation. The Cos own Puregold Price Club a chain of 156 department stores that is said to be a threat to the crown of Henry Sy of SM Corporation as the nation’s king of retail industry. It’s owner Lucio Co is said to be very interested in Iloilo, same sources reveal.

To date, Robinson’s corporation is expanding its business base in Iloilo City . Recently, Puregold has acquired Eunilaine foodmarts and Grocer E supermarkets, boosting its number by 15 new stores.

The University of Iloilo (UI) Extension Campus in Ungka II, owned by the Lopez’s, will host the rise of the two malls. Since the campus is not being utilized anymore, the Lopez’s decided to sell the entire property. Also, some part of Ungka II Barangay Complex, including the Barangay Hall, Mini Market, Basketball Court and Health Center, will be moved adjacent to the area where it is currently located.

The plan was conceptualized late few years. It was the opening of the international flights in Iloilo Airport, the rapid growth of the residential subdivisions in the area and the newly opened circumferential road, 300 meters away from the site where the malls will be put up, that provided great influence for the project to come to life.

The airport is the key to the development of the establishments around Pavia. Pavia plays a big role in promoting tourism (in Western Visayas.) Tourists have to pass through the town in coming in and out of Iloilo. Hence, it will continue to grow as a premiere municipality of the Philippines with better economy and balanced environment.