ILOILO CITY Development and Tourism:
Development Updates

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Construction of 9.1 Trillion Euros "High Speed Bullet Train" to the Philippines will be funded by European Leaders

Filipinos travelling to the provinces and relying on an airplane and a passenger ship are a thing of the past. Another alternative means of modern transportation is the planned construction of a "High-Speed Bullet Train" that can be used once it has been placed on the entire Philippine Archipelago.

A budget of 9.1 Trillion Euros is being allocated by the European Leaders to become a bullet train line system a reality for the Filipino people that will connect Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

The entire construction of the railway line system including the bullet train will be financed by the European Financial Intermediary, this is according to Retired Colonel Rodrigo Bonifacio.

High Speed Rail (HSR) delivers fast, efficient transportation. Commuters can save time, energy and money. HSR is extremely reliable and operates in all weather conditions. HSR is not subject to congestion, so it operates on schedule everyday without delay especially during rush hour and peak travel times.

HSR spurs the revitalization of cities by encouraging high density, mixed-use real estate development around the stations. HSR also fosters economic development in second-tier cities along train routes. HSR link cities together into integrated regions that can then function as a single stronger economy. HSR also expands visitor  markets and tourism while increasing visitor spending.

Better connectivity now at Iloilo Airport

The Iloilo Airport now promises better digital connectivity for travelers with the upgrade provided by PLDT and Smart Communications, a wireless subsidiary.

A press release from Smart said that this firing up of Smart Wifi will significantly improve the digital experience of travelers using the airport terminal.

With a bandwidth of up to 1 gigabit per second, Wifi users will have the best customer experience whether surfing the web or keeping connected with home or office while on travel.

“In this digital age, data connectivity is important. Especially when one is on the go,” said Eric r. Alberto, EVP for PLDT/Smart and President and CEO, ePLDT,

“With Smart Wifi, travelers get to enjoy a seamless digital experience for more productive and meaningful journeys,” Alberto added.

The installation of Smart Wifi in the Iloilo Airport came in the heels of similar events in Francisco Bangoy International Airport in Davao City, Misamis Oriental’s Laguindingan Airport and Bacolod City’s Silay International Airport.

The Iloilo, Bacolod, Laguindingan and Davao airports are among the key transport hubs identified for the installation of Smart Wifi to bring the internet into the hands of more Filipinos all over the country.

“A tourist’s impression of a country is largely based on the first and last experience of his destination,” said Department of Transportation Undersecretary Roberto Lim during the deployment in Davao City’s airport.

He added that Smart Wifi contributes to improving this experience and the success of having them come and visit again.

The Iloilo airport is the country’s fourth busiest airport and is regarded as one of the most beautiful airports, serving the provinces of Iloilo and Guimaras as well as the general area of Panay Island, and is an alternative gateway to the Manila-NAIA and Mactan-Cebu International Airports.

Smart Wifi will also be expanded to cover more public areas, like city halls, schools, hospitals, and establishments such as malls, restaurants, and coffee shops, amidst the increasing demand for more wifi hotspots in the country.

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

“Smart” metering soon to be available in Iloilo City

Soon,Panay Electric Company (PECO), which holds the franchise to distribute power in this city, will soon be embarking on “smart” metering. “Accurate reading of meter readers has always been a contention between the consumer and the utility,” said Randy Pastolero, assistant vice president of PECO.

With the proposed automated metering scheme project, the reading of the meter will be done electronically right at the PECO office. It also has the capability to auto-reconnect and auto-disconnect without going to the site, he explained.

The project is spread in seven years and in 10 years PECO is planning to acquire 50,000 new meters.

Part of the project also is the prepaid metering that will work similar to prepaid cards used by telecommunication networks.

The plan as he cited the electric utility’s efforts on improving the “reliability” of its service.

It now has a usable capacity of 137 megawatts as against the peak demand of Iloilo City that happens only during the hottest period of the year, which is 107 megawatts.

Pastolero said that power outages in the city have been reduced by around 600 minutes this year.

“We have reduced number of outages through time and we aim to definitely reduce it further in cooperation with our power generators and suppliers,” he said.

PECO recorded some 14,000 minutes of power outages in 2010 down to more than 2,000 minutes in 2015.

Source: PNA

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.