IT'S final! Iloilo City will host two important ministerial meetings of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) in 2015 out of six regions in the country.
A communication from the Office of the President through Director General Marciano Paynor Jr. detailed the hosting of Iloilo City of the SME Ministerial Meeting with 700 delegates on September 21-25, 2015, and the Food Security Week, a high level policy dialogue on Food Security and the Blue Economy and related meetings with 900 delegates, on September 28 to October 6, 2015.
Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said an accompanying communication dated July 22, 2014 from Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, chairman of the Apec 2015 National Organizing Council, showed the approved hosting sites of the different Apec 2015 meetings.
The approved sites are Metro Manila in the National Capital Region; Bagac, Bataan and Clark, Pampanga in Central Luzon Region III; Tagaytay City, Cavite in the Calabarzon (Region IV-A); Legazpi City, Albay in the Bicol Region (Region V); Boracay Island in Malay, Aklan and Iloilo City in Western Visayas (Region VI); and Metropolitan Cebu in Central Visayas (Region VII).
Mabilog said that Paynor will head the formal advance ocular inspection of Iloilo City soon and will visit the vital sites for the hosting.
Construction is ongoing for the P700 million state-of-art Iloilo Convention Center as site of Apec meetings. Constructed in a 1.7-hectare area inside the 54-hectare property of Megaworld Corp at the old Iloilo airport in Mandurriao district, the convention center will showcase the Dinagyang and Paraw festivals of the city.
Mabilog said he is mobilizing the Iloilo Organizing Committee and other working committees to prepare an itinerary for the delegates to see places in the city and in the province of Iloilo augmented by cultural performances.
Among the city places to see are the Iloilo River, Esplanade, and diversion road, among others, while the province boasts of its cultural heritage Miagao Church and the scenic islets in northern Iloilo, among others.