ARCHITECT and urban planner Felino Palafox Jr. said that Bacolod City has a very high development potential.

Palafox, in a phone interview with Bacolod reporters Wednesday afternoon, said that after doing his architecture and urban planning work in 39 countries, he is now helping the development of the Philippines.

“I am now helping our country, even Marawi asked for help. I can see a very high development potential of Bacolod City,” he said.

Palafox noted that in the 1950s, Bacolod was among the top cities of the Philippines.

At present, he noted the visionary leadership of the city officials like Mayor Evelio Leonardia.

“…(N)ot because that he is a good friend of mine. He has strong political will, he has a good appreciation of good urban planning and he seems to have a good appreciation of good design like architecture engineering and good governance,” Palafox said.

He said that Bacolod could have a renaissance as he urged to start the re-thinking, re-imagining, re-planning, re-engineering, re-architecture” as well as to remove, reduce, recycle, and re-develop.

Palafox added that Bacolod could be larger, like a Negros Metropolis, or Bacolod Metropolis and it could compete with the rest of the world.

He recalled that the first buyers of real estates in Makati City were from Negros and Bacolod.

“They spent their money outside Bacolod, now our friends and clients in Bacolod are like the governor, the congressman, among others,” Palafox said.

He said he saw the potential of Negros, and Bacolod is in the center of it all.

“In fact in 1989, we were the ones who talked about one-island region, unfortunately I think something went wrong along the way, but let us still hope in the future,” he added.

Palafox noted that 40 years ago Dubai was a desert, and they were under the rule of Dubai to bring it from third world to first world and after 15 years they were able to do it.

“So I think Bacolod has a lot of potentials. Look at the strength, the opportunities to develop, it can compete with the rest of the world,” he said.

“There are so many millennials, the millennials are better than us in the digital infrastructure or artificial intelligence so we will proud if Bacolod will be developed. We can impart the future with the young bright people, the millennials in Bacolod, the scout leaders of the nation,” Palafox added.