Iloilo told to put investors together under one umbrella


Iloilo told to put investors together under one umbrella

by ES Subong

Iloilo City (28 February) -- The country in general may be reeling from speculations of instability but Iloilo City is reeling from so many potential investments that all it has to do is put them all together under one big umbrella of cooperative efforts for greater impact.

This was the overall perspective of the panelists in a roundtable discussion organized by the Canadian Urban Institute (CUI) and the ABS-CBN TV 10 with funding assistance from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) held the other day.

The forum was anchored/moderated by Atty. Jobert Penaflorida of ABS-CBN’s Sikat Ka! Program. It was dubbed “Who Does What? In Achieving Iloilo City’s Vision of a ‘Premier City’ by 2015.”

The panelists included DOT Regional Director Edwin Trompeta, DTI Provincial Director Diosdado Cadena, Dinagyang Foundation Executive Committee chair Mr. Ben Jimena, Hon Merci Drilon-Garcia of the City council, Iloilo Business Club director Leah Victoria Lara, Central Philippine University’s Student Affairs director Rinand Escuban, Iloilo Convention Center chair Ms. Jane Jaspe, and youth sector representatives Nielex Tupas, Sedfrey Cabaluna, and Michael Vincent Palacios.

The forum sought to identify the on-going impact programs which are contributing in making Iloilo a hub of tourism, economic and social development activities in the region. It also tackled the issues on how effective these programs are, how do agencies and sectors respond to the programs being pushed and what are the challenges the sectors are facing.

The views from both the panelists and the other participants from the audience pointed to the fact that Iloilo has so many mechanisms and programs that boost both tourism and economy, for one, the Dinagyang Festival, which undeniably had brought Iloilo to the attention of the world community.

The forum participants, likewise, believed that factors like education, information, and communication technology and all the other relevant policies are pushing Iloilo nearer its 2015 vision. Added to this, is the effort at connecting the tourism and economic development goals of Iloilo and Guimaras.

They, however, believed that partnerships and linkages have to be strengthened and effectively forged, and that a single big body should be able to put all the initiatives and the proponents together for sustainability.

CUI Advisors Terry Boutilier and Patricia MacPherson both believed Iloilo has the capacity to pursue its vision and it has to start by being able to put in place measures to see its direction clearly.

Program host Atty. Jobert Penaflorida underscored the role of the local media in helping Iloilo achieve its goal. That forum was just among the initiatives, he said. (PIA 6) - - Diosdado Cadena Jr.

Boracay, Aklan