ILOILO CITY Development and Tourism:
Development Updates

Friday, April 22, 2016

La Paz Batchoy goes International

Iloilo's best-known signature dish will be showcased for the world to savor. The Department of Tourism (DOT)-6 said that “La Paz batchoy” will be featured in the World Street Food Congress and Jamboree (WFSC) which features the world’s finest hawker and food artisan.

WSFC is a symposium, conference and mega street feasting festival that gathers leading international hawkers, food curators, bloggers and greatest chefs to discuss about food innovation, culinary preservation and success stories that aim to influence and ignite the passion of people about food and culinary arts.

The event is hosted by DOT through the Tourism Promotions Board on April 20-24, 2016 at Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City. DOT-6 Regional Director Atty. Helen J. Catalbas said One Visayas Cluster (Regions 6, 7, and 8) will showcase three dishes that best represent each region.

“The three regions were made to pass dishes that they believe will highlight the culinary experience of each region,” she said. La Paz batchoy of Iloilo was chosen to represent Western Visayas, Kinapusan (crispy pork) of Cebu for Central Visayas and Tahong Lumpia of Tacloban City for Eastern Visayas.

She said these dishes will be served to an estimated 800 to 1,000 people daily during the five-day event by Chef Dennis Jay Uy of Maximama Cucina Latina and former Corporate Executive Chef of Maribago Bluewater Resort and Spa and his sous chef.

Catalbas is looking forward to see those who will visit WSF Jamboree and attend WSFC visiting Western Visayas soon.

“Through serving La Paz Batchoy, anyone can have a glimpse of the rich and flavorful culture of Western Visayas and give them reasons to go and experience the region,” she said. DOT-6 organized Street Food Kulinarya Workshop in 2014-2015 with 328 street food vendors trained.

“With that and Iloilo offering Culinary tourism as one of its tourism product, hosting WSFC in the near future is not far from happening”, she added.

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

P1.7-B BPO Twin Tower soon to rise in Iloilo City

All is set for the construction of an 18-story information technology building of SM City BPO Twin Tower costing P1.7 billion along the Iloilo diversion road to house a call center, other offices, and parking spaces.

The city council here has endorsed the project last March 8, 2016, as a requirement for the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) endorsement of a proposed economic zone for a Presidential Proclamation.

SP committee on trade, commerce and industry chair Candice Magdalane Tupas said the investment project is a big boost to the city, especially it is now ranked as an important area for the business process outsourcing (BPO) or call center industry.

A letter dated January 27, 2016 of SM City mall manager Gilbert Domingo requested for a city council endorsement required for PEZA endorsement. A consultative meeting with stakeholders was conducted on March 7 for the proposed construction of an 18-floor building.

The BPO Twin Tower is across the SM City Mall and besides the Injap Tower building.
An initial plan is to make the lower ground floor as a terminal or drop off and pick up station for public transport and the 2nd to 5th floor as parking areas for the SM clients.

The start of the BPO Twin Tower and other offices is from the 6th until the 18th floor. The building is not solely for a call center but can be leased to other offices.

The SM management is preparing all documents for their prequalification clearance and is requesting only 20 percent of the total floor area to be declared as PEZA accredited area.

Construction will start as soon majority of the works at the SM Southpoint Expansion is finished. This is NOT an OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE from SM City Iloilo. Official PR will published when it comes out.

The target date of completion of the first six floors is in November 2017.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Iloilo international airport up for P30.4B expansion


The Iloilo International Airport located in Cabatuan municipality, Iloilo is up for PHP30.40-billion massive rehabilitation and improvement soon as part of the 14 projects implemented through the public private partnership (PPP).

The 14 PPP projects have an estimated value of PHP556.56 billion include five regional airports, a prison facility, a port modernization and water project, expressway dike, two information technology (IT) projects and three rail projects.

Earlier, Senate President Franklin M. Drilon told the Ilonggos that the PPP projects are exempted from election ban by the Commission on Elections (Comelec). Drilon said the five regional airport projects under the PPP are being offered in two bundles.

The first covers the PHP20.26-billion Bacolod-Silay Airport and the PHP30.40-billion Iloilo Airport. The second bundle includes the PHP2.34-billion New Bohol (Panglao) Airport, PHP40.57-billion Davao Airport and the PHP14.62-billion Laguindingan Airport in Misamis Oriental.

The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) has already started the bidding process and moved the date for the submission of bids, originally set on Feb. 29, to 30 calendar days from the issuance of the final concession agreement and instructions to bidders. The agreement stipulated that the winning bidders for each bundle will operate and maintain the airports for 30 years.

The private sector partner will also improve and expand the airports’ facilities. The groups pre-qualified to bid for the airport projects are the San Miguel Holdings Corp.-Incheon International Airport Consortium, Philippine Airports Consortium, Maya Consortium, GMR Infrastructure and Megawide Consortium, and the Filinvest-JATCO-Sojitz Consortium.

The projects are the PPP program’s second airport deal. In 2014, the government awarded the PHP17.52-billion Mactan-Cebu International Airport Passenger Terminal Building project to GMR Infrastructure and Megawide Consortium.

On the other hand, Malacañan assured that the resignation of PPP Center executive director Cosette Canilao and the Comelec ban would not affect the awarding of projects under the PPP. An Ilongga, Canilao is set to step down from her post effective March 8, to address pressing family concerns.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Iloilo City benefits from ICTO’s free public Wi-Fi

The Information and Communications Technology Office (ICTO) has identified this city as first recipient of the Free Wi-Fi Internet Service Initiative in Western Visayas.

February 16, 2016, a memorandum of agreement (MOA) will be signed between Undersecretary Louis Napoleon C. Casambre and Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog to finalize the project implementation.

Elry Hortillosa, focal person for the project, said that they chose this city as pilot recipient because the bulk of their presence is in this area.

The free Wi-Fi access will be installed in the city’s public plazas, public library, hospitals, seaport and rural health centers.

Several access points will be installed in one area in anticipation of the bulk of users that are expected to avail of the free connection, he said.

Users may avail of 50MB, 100MB or 300MB data per day depending on the level of registration. They can register by browsing for the JuanKonek ID in their gadgets.

The installation of the connection is now going on and the services are expected to be readily available next month, he added.

The free Wi-Fi project is in line with the government’s “Internet for All campaign’” under the Philippine Digital Strategy of 2011 to 2016.

ICTO (Information and Communications Technology Office) is an attached agency of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Drilon cites Aquino support in Development of Iloilo

Senate President Franklin M. Drilon credited President Benigno S. Aquino III as well as the unified local leadership that anchors on good governance for the various projects coming into this city.

“He supported us because he knew we are executing the projects here consistent with public interest without a single centavo of the public work project being pocketed by the officials by the city and the province,” Drilon said.

The Ilonggo senator likewise emphasized that the development in Iloilo is a proof that when they work together along with good governance “we can move a city forward.”

Meantime, Drilon over the weekend’s topping off ceremony of the Iloilo City Center (ICC) few days ago expressed his appreciation to business magnate Edmund Gaisano Sr. for the confidence in putting up his group of companies’ biggest investment in this city.

“Few more years and we will beat Cebu in terms of economic development.”
“You did not make a mistake incoming here to develop this ICC,” Drilon said.

Drilon said that Gaisano was one of those who expressed confidence to Iloilo City and his building a center here is an reiteration of his confidence to this city’s economy.

“I am making my little contributions for ICC, for Iloilo City and for the Ilonggos,” Gaisano said.

Aside from the ICC, which is a 16-hectare mixed use development in the heart of the city, also fast-rising are developments by the Megaworld Corporation, Ayala and homegrown businessman Rogelio Florete

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Ilonggos to have a glimpse of Korean culture through Anseong Baudeogi Festival

For the first time in the history of the Dinagyang Festival, spectators will be treated to a performance of a dance troupe from Anseong City's Baudeogi Festival in South Korea.

Some 20 members of the Anseong Municipal Namsadang Baudeugi Pungmuldan Troupe are now in Iloilo as guest performers during the Ati-ati tribes competition of the Dinagyang Festival on Sunday January 24, 2016.

The dance troupe was formed in an effort to preserve the tradition in Anseong, the home to Namsa, dang. Its performance provides an opportunity for everyone to better understand Korean culture through Namsadangnori, according to the Dinagyang Festival organizer.

The performance by a group from the Baudeogi Festival is a result of the signing of a Friendly City relation between the Anseong City and Iloilo City last year. In October last year, the Iloilo City sent its Dinagyang Festival to perform at the Anseong Baudeogi Festival. The delegation from South Korea is led by Mayor Hwang, EunSeong.