Groundbreaking of Iloilo convention center held

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Saturday, March 1, 2014


SENATOR Franklin Drilon graced the groundbreaking of the P700-million worth Iloilo Convention Center and bared other projects for the province on Friday.

The groundbreaking rites of the convention center was held at the Megaworld property in Mandurriao district.

The convention center, which is being constructed by Hilmarcs Const. Inc., is eyed to be completed six months before the Asia Pacific Economic Council (Apec) conference in Iloilo City in October 2015.

Hilmarcs chairman Efren Canlas said he is committed to finish the construction of the building from January 2014 to February 2015 to allow enough time for a private contractor to add the other needed equipment and facilities and to manage the whole convention center.

Drilon, during the groundbreaking rites, also revealed other projects for the city, including the ports of Iloilo City and Dumangas.

Drilon said a long term master plan is eyed for the Iloilo City Port and Dumangas Port after the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) already committed some P180 million for the upgrading of the Dumangas Port considered as a possible transfer venue for the proposed expansion of the Port of Iloilo.

The masterplan will cover a feasibility study to program the development of both Iloilo and Dumangas ports, he added.

Drilon said there is a need to upgrade the ports, because 70 percent of the Philippines’ commerce and trade pass through them.

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is also establishing a major road network in the province that will support the expanded port operations including the acceleration of a roll-on and roll-off (Roro) terminal at the Dumangas Port, some 35 kilometers north of the city.

DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson, who accompanied Drilon during the inspection of Iloilo projects, said the Roro will traverse from central Philippines to Cagayan de Oro in about 18 hours and Panay Island Roro will start at the Dumangas Port.

Singson also committed to increase funding for the road network in Panay Island from 2014 to 2015 after seeing the grim condition of a barangay road in Dumangas before reaching its port.

The roads will be upgraded and all access roads be expanded before the term of President Benigno Aquino III expires in 2016, Singson said.

The DPWH chief also vowed to finish the expanded road stretch from the city going to the Iloilo airport in Cabatuan, Iloilo by the end of 2014.

Drilon expressed optimism following the groundbreaking ceremony of the convention center saying: “We have not yet seen the best of Iloilo. Give us five more years and this southern city will emerge as one of the best cities of the world if not in the entire country.”

Local news

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