ILOILO City was adjudged winner of 2019 Most Business-Friendly Highly Urbanized City (HUC) outside the country’s capital during the awarding ceremony in Manila Hotel Friday, October 17.

President Rodrigo Duterte gave Mayor Jerry Treñas the plaque, as he keynoted Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (PCCI) 45th Philippine Business Conference and Expo attended by over a thousand delegates from national and international chambers.

PCCI gives annual recognition to local government units (LGUs) that have demonstrated outstanding efforts in instituting good governance reforms to promote trade and investments, transparency, accountability, and efficiency in delivering business services to generate inclusive and sustainable growth, and fast track local economic development in their localities.

“The award affirms investors’ confidence. The city’s business-friendliness has also raised governance to the next level with active and strong public-private partnerships (PPP) in various priority programs and projects,” Treñas said.

“We have initiated the reclassification of properties identified as new growth areas along and adjacent coastal, circumferential and radial roads into industrial and mixed-use zones to make these ready for investors,” he added.

Slaughterhouse, public markets, and waste-to-energy facilities have been opened for prospective players with the help of PPP Center.

The mayor noted the influx of business process outsourcing (BPO) companies, with one looking for 1,000 nurses and another expressed interest to open a branch.

The City of Love has been chosen by the Department of Tourism as destination for Meetings, Incentive travels, Conventions and Exhibits (Mice). SM will build a 4,000-seater SMX Convention Center set to open in fourth quarter of 2021.

City Hall opened its Mice Center, and invested on promotions with P6-million supplemental fund this year and P28-million proposed budget in 2020.

It also entered into a 25-year usufruct agreement with Gaisano Capital Group for the 375-square meter site of P38-million five-story Iloilo City Action and Response (ICARE) Command Center along Diversion Road in Mandurriao district.

The metropolis generated the support of Megaworld Corp. for P8-million funding for resiliency undertakings.

Ayala Foundation inked agreement to finance leadership trainings for youth, and mentoring for teachers and school heads.

Smart and Globe telecoms will soon provide free public Wi-Fi in City Hall, plazas, Esplanades, and bike lane.

Beautification efforts got a boost with big businesses adopting parks including Global Business Power to enhance Plaza Libertad, and SM City Iloilo to redevelop Molo Plaza.

Colorful environs is in the making courtesy of Davies Paints that donated paints for pedestrian lanes, bridges, waiting sheds, and murals on blank walls. (PR)