Recently, the city of Iloilo was dubbed as the “Tiger Economy” and Ignition point for the Visayas region in terms of business. This is because business establishments and other infrastructures popped up like mushrooms in the city especially in the Mandurriao area, which is considered as the heart of the City.
Iloilo City is fast becoming a center for investments and developments what with high-rise buildings and commercial centers mushrooming in the area. According to Mr. Jose Roni Peñalosa, head of City Planning and Development Officer (CPDO), “We have large scale investments in Iloilo.”
The city government is fast tracking the construction of various infrastructure support such as the circumferential and radial roads. The proposed development of the downtown area, according to Peñalosa, will complement the efforts undertaken by the Iloilo City Cultural Heritage Foundation, Inc. to restore the façade of Spanish period heritage buildings. Thus, making the downtown area a tourist destination. The continuous development will not only lure trade and commerce but it will make the city a must-see destination for tourists.
Trade and Industry provincial director Wilhelm Malones said the “Project Invest”” has provided Iloilo city the business-friendly environment adding that the swift business processing permit procedures facilitated the entry of more investments in the city. “Project Invest reduced substantially the processing time in the issuance of business permit – five steps; one day and four hours for new business registrations and three steps to last for 25 minutes for renewal,” he said.
Some of the proofs that the city of Iloilo has a good climate for businessman are the Megaworld Iloilo, situated in the old airport that is composed of 54 hectare property, that comes next to the Global Business Power Corp.’s (GBPC) P20-billion coal-fired power plant in LaPaz district.
Edgar J. Sia II, CEO of Injap Investments, Inc. also committed to build more commercial establishments in Iloilo.
“On top of the pioneering, ongoing, and recently completed projects of DoubleDragon [Properties Corp.] in Iloilo, we are pleased to inform you that the company, through its subsidiary CityMall Commercial Center, Inc. (CMCCI), will soon roll out five city malls in Iloilo, with a total project cost of P1.4 billion in the next two years,” said Mr. Sia at the same event.
CMCCI is 66% owned by the 50-50 joint venture of Injap Investments and Honeystar Holdings Corp., chaired by Jollibee Foods Corp. founder Tony Tan Caktiong, and 34% owned by SM Investments Corp.
“Iloilo is not only a great place to expand your business. It is also a highly conducive place to start your business from scratch,” said Mr. Sia, who also founded fast food chain Mang Inasal.
Kevin Andrew L. Tan, first vice-president and head of the commercial division of property developer of Megaworld Corp., said: “We are going to invest P35 billion over the next 10 years as we convert the old Iloilo airport in Mandurriao district into a master plan community complete with luxury residential condominiums, office buildings, tourism and retail establishments, Iloilo convention centers, and sports facilities, among others.”
“What attracted us in Iloilo is its vast economic potential,” said Mr. Tan, adding: “We have always kept an eye on Iloilo given its inherent strength and strong qualities and its enormous potential to become a premier investment destination.” Those are some of the words and sentiments of the biggest business owners in Iloilo City. The positivity in it is an assurance that indeed, Iloilo City is on its way to the limelight in terms of business.