ILOILO CITY Development and Tourism:
Development Updates

Saturday, August 01, 2015

750M for Port Modernization of Iloilo

Senate President Franklin M. Drilon has urged the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) the urgent need to upgrade the Port of Iloilo to enhance its shipping and cargo capabilities, particularly due to the heightened economic activities to be generated by government initiatives like the Jalaur River Multi-Purpose Project and the Iloilo Convention Center.

Drilon, urged the modernization of the Port of Iloilo which will play a critical role in the economic development of the whole Panay Island, amid the completion of major projects in the region.

According to Drilon, the lack of modern and efficient port facilities in Iloilo could hamper the growth of the city and province of Iloilo and of the entire Panay Island.

The Senate chief said that if not upgraded, the existing port facilities are not equipped to meet the demands for shipping services and cargo transport which are expected to escalate once the Jalaur project is finished.

Drilon's call as the government is allotting PHP 750 million for the development and expansion of the Port of Iloilo.

The port is consist of three terminals including the old foreign pier at Fort San Pedro, the new river wharf at Brgy. Progreso Lapuz district and the international commercial port at Brgy. Loboc, Lapuz.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Iloilo's Investment Climate Attractive

Undersecretary Gil Beltran of the Department of Finance (DOF) lauded Iloilo City’s attractive investment climate that could lure more foreign investors.

In a press conference for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting held last July 24, 2015 at Amigo Terrace Hotel here, Beltran said that the city is growing so fast with all the ongoing infrastructure projects.

“The city can expect more infrastructures, more airports that could cater to big aircrafts and for easier travel, and seaports so it would be easy for businesses to transport their goods”, he said.

He said that City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog has mentioned that the city government is looking into more infrastructure projects and considering PPP (public-private partnership) so they could develop more projects.

Meanwhile, Beltran stressed the importance of infrastructure development as key to rapid and sustainable growth.

“We can only grow at a higher rate, 6 percent above, 6 to 7 to 8 percent if we are able to invest adequately in infrastructure,” he said.

He also emphasized that growth could be stifled with the lack of infrastructure. “For instance our ports can no longer ship the products of our companies, we can no longer move the cargoes in the air because there's no space for our airplanes to land,” he said.

He said that infrastructure is crucial for our country’s growth particularly in job generation especially in rural areas. “In Iloilo you have seen how that big Diversion road would generate so much investment. At the periphery of the road, there are a lot of hotels going up now,” he added.

Iloilo hosted a two-day APEC meeting on July 23 -24 which tackled fostering APEC’s infrastructure through long-term investment and capital market development.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015


The Department of Tourism (DOT)-6 projects a steady growth in the number of international flights with the increasing passenger arrivals from and to Iloilo International Airport in two years of operation.

DOT-6 Regional Director Helen Catalbas said that international flight arrivals also increased. “From 64 flight arrivals in 2013, international flight arrivals went up to 65 in 2014 and 67 in 2015 for the first quarter of the years reported,” she said.

She said that the figures may only show a gradual growth in terms of flights but there is a huge impact in passenger arrivals. “From 26,871 passenger arrivals in 2013, the numbers went up to 27,154 in 2014 and with the Visit Philippines Year this 2015, we are looking to accommodate a large volume of visitors coming in the region”, she stressed. DOT-6 records also revealed that the first quarter of 2013, 2014 and 2015 showed marginal significant difference on the number of international flights with the shift of frequency on the arrivals per week recorded.

In 2013, three flights from Singapore and two flights from Hong Kong arrived at the Iloilo International Airport weekly while in 2014, two flights from Singapore and three flights from Hong Kong weekly were reported.

In 2015, flights were arriving alternately from Singapore and Hong Kong four to six times a week. Iloilo International Airport’s passenger terminal is designed to hold 1.6 – million passengers a year while its cargo terminal can handle 11, 500 metric tons a year.

Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines confirmed that Department of Transportation and Communications has proposed expansion of the Iloilo International Airport but has not yet stated the exact date of implementation.

“The Department of Tourism Region VI fully supports the proposed expansion because we are looking forward to additional direct flights from and to Iloilo in the future.

Our tourist market is expanding every year and so should our facilities”, Catalbas said.

More BIG PPP projects for Iloilo eyed

Ms. Cosette Canilao, executive director of the Public Private Partnership (PPP) Center said Iloilo is recipient of three big projects.

Canilao is co-chair of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) PPP Experts’ Advisory Panel joining the APEC meet in Iloilo, July 23-24.

In a press conference conducted, Canilao said soon to start, among the three, is the expansion of the Iloilo Airport in Cabatuan, already approved by the Department of Transportation and Communication.

Other projects include the proposed government center in Passi City and the railway system from Iloilo City out to other towns, aimed at de-congesting the metro traffic.

Canilao said there are 13 ongoing infrastructure projects, out of the 15, which have to be completed before the term of President Aquino ends in 2016.

Since PPP started as a development intervention, Canilao said there were already 221 projects completed.

“We are looking at sustainability of PPP beyond the 2016 Elections,” Canilao told the media. She added that they are continuously working on capacity building of project implementers and on the passage of amendments in the Board of Investments Act, as well as pursuing pipeline projects in irrigation and other social infrastructures.

“PPP is a work in progress, evolving in a way that at the end of the Aquino administration, it will be passed on and sustained,” Canialo said.

Meanwhile, Canadian Ambassador to the Philippines Neil Reeder, also co-chair of the PPP Experts’ Advisory Council, said the APEC in Iloilo is a “terrific” opportunity for the city to position itself as a destination for investments and tourism.

The APEC in Iloilo focuses on “Fostering APEC’s Infrastructure through Long-term Investment and Capital Market Development.”

More BPO investments in Iloilo seen

Ambassador Neil Reeder of Canada sees more international business process outsourcing (BPO) firms including Canadian companies investing in Iloilo City.

In a press conference for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting held last July 23 at Amigo Terrace Hotel, Reeder said that Iloilo City has a very attractice environment for investments particularly for the BPO industry.

“I have mentioned to Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog what a very impressive city he has, with nice infrastructure, a business center you are developing, new hotels, so I think it is making a very welcoming environment for investments,” he said.

He said that the BPO industry is generally reaching a saturation point in Manila and in terms of employees, travel times, and congestion.

“I think they’re looking increasingly outside of Manila. Cebu is benefiting from that, Davao is benefiting from that, and Iloilo is benefiting from that as well,” he said.

He also said that about 35,000 jobs in the BPO sector nationwide have been provided by Canadian BPO investments. He shared that while there is less direct investments in Panay Island from Canada, there have been long standing development cooperation relationships between Canada and Panay.

“There is a very strong tradition of people-to-people ties with Canada and you have got communities here that are called “Little Toronto” where you have got immigrants who went to Canada and came back,” he said.

He said immigration is a two-way process which enrich both countries and we are proud of the contributions here.

“Immigrants coming back to the Philippines from Canada, they enrich your country with their knowledge-based, they enrich your country with investments based on funds that they have made in Canada over a career,” he said.

He said they are also concious of the importance of Iloilo province as a source of new Canadians who have stayed here.

The Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in Iloilo City on July 23 -24 tackled fostering APEC’s infrastructure through long-term investment and capital market development.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Plan for removal of Jalandoni flyover eyed

Iloilo city councilor Plaridel Nava has reiterated his recommendation to remove the Jalandoni flyover fronting the University of San Agustin along Gen. Luna Street in the city proper as one crucial moves to help decongest traffic in this city.

Nava, chairman of the City Council Committee on Transportation, said he had proposed that this flyover be removed and relocated to other areas of concern such as the busy intersection of the widened diversion and Jalandoni street in Jaro or at the diversion and El 98 street.

The Jalandoni flyover at the intersection of Gen. Luna and Jalandoni streets was built during the time of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo under the Presidential Bridge Program costing more than PHP300 million.

He admitted he had written city mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog in October 2014 about the worst traffic situation in the city and pointed to the Jalandoni flyover as one identified sources of traffic congestion. The public transport very seldom uses the flyover and the vehicles passing through the structure interlock with the opposite vehicles and creating a bottleneck at the foot of the flyover.

Obviously, the project has been installed without a scientific study and with no definite purpose. Unlike in the Infante flyover, the Jalandoni flyover has no road intersections which need express road lane, the city councilor said.

He also said there is no need for a legislative action on this and an executive decision in the interest of public welfare and public convenience will suffice.

Similarly, the result of the first multi-sectoral transport summit conducted in February 11, 2015 also pointed to the Jalandoni flyover as a major factor in traffic congestion and recommended its removal. The transport summit aims to find way and means to solve the imminent traffic problems in the city and to adopt measures to improve the traffic system, Nava added.