AN EXPRESS crystal elevator exclusively intended for tourists and visitors of the new Iloilo City Hall will be up for installation within 2014.

Tourism Regional Director Helen Catalbas said the elevator was promised by Secretary Ramon Jimenez to Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog last year after seeing the panoramic view surrounding the City Hall, including the beautiful Iloilo River.

Catalbas said the elevator will cost around P15 million to be funded by the Tourism Infrastructure and Economic Zone Authority (Tieza). It will provide an easy and direct access to the penthouse level of the City Hall.

The penthouse, located above the seventh floor, was converted into two rooms for conferences and other social events, and the open spaces for a landscaped garden.

The express elevator for tourists will ferry the visitors from the ground floor directly to the penthouse without passing the other floors so as not to distract the offices.

Catalbas said the visitors and tourists are mostly foreigners, senior citizens and balikbayans who wanted to see the river, the Iloilo Strait and Guimaras Island, Plaza Libertad, San Jose Church, downtown Iloilo City and the central business district and the heritage buildings along Calle Real from the tallest building which is the City Hall.

Mabilog said the new City Hall is the first government building in Western Visayas that has a solar power, rainwater catchment and plants.

Mabilog vowed to add more plants and flowers at the open spaces of the penthouse to add beauty to the area and attract more tourists.