TWO international firms expressed interest to fund several projects in Iloilo City through public-private partnership (PPP) even if these projects are still in the pre-feasibility study stage.

This was revealed by Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog recently after being informed of the status of the central business district and Guimaras-Iloilo ferry terminal (Gift) projects whose pre-feasibility studies were already evaluated to pave the way for a formal feasibility study that will be submitted and recommended to the Regional Development Council (RDC) and the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda).

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The Gift project will connect Guimaras island-province to Iloilo City through a modern terminal for ferry boats. The project also aims to improve the Jordan and Buenavista wharves in Guimaras to complement the proposed ferry terminal for Buenavista and Jordan ferries in the city.

Mabilog said the President “is enthusiastic with the project” and has ordered the Presidential Management Staff under Julia Abad to look over and review the Iloilo City project for possible foreign and National Government funding.

The city mayor said that Asia Development Bank is also expected to help in the project by providing a loan facility complemented by an ideal public and private partnership with 51 percent from the private and 49 percent from the government.

Under the same PPP set-up, it is expected to revitalize the central business district into a modern multi-storey edifice for wet and dry sections and other stalls. The CBD pre-feasibility study was also conducted by Concept Consultants calling for the rehabilitation of the Iloilo central market into a world class shopping center complete with a podium and mall stores. (Lydia C. Pendon)