MANILA, Philippines - Sen. Franklin M. Drilon will lead today the launching of his brainchild project that will add another feather to Iloilo City’s already colorful cap of glory and that will bestow a new title to the premiere city as the conference hub of Western Visayas and nearby regions.
Drilon will be joined by Megaworld Corp. president Mr. Andrew L. Tan, Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez, Iloilo City Rep. Jerry Treñas, and Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog in the grand launching of the Iloilo City Convention Center.
“I am envisioning a more progressive Iloilo province in the next two to three years with the establishment of the convention center right at the very heart of the province. Our airport, terminals, piers, as well as the hotels and malls will be one of the busiest in the region once we have built this edifice,” said Drilon.
“This new edifice is something that we, Ilonggos, will take pride in because of its very unique design that is indeed a testament of our high regard for our rich culture. It will feature the sail of Paraw and the figures of Dinagyang revelry for where Iloilo is widely known,” he added.
The state-of-the-art convention center will be built on a 1.7-hectare of lot in the district of Mandurriao donated by the Megaworld Corp. The funds will be sourced from the annual priority development assistance fund of Drilon. Aside from his PDAF, the senator was able to secure funding from the Department of Tourism and Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority budget.
The construction is expected to begin early next year and be finished by the end of 2014. The convention center is designed by architect Willy Coscoluella and will be able to hold the best and the most glamorous of the conferences, exhibitions, and trade fairs among others, said Drilon.
He noted the establishment of a convention center in the Western Visayas will boost the country’s rapidly growing tourism.
Lastly, it will boost the province’s capability to host the Asia Pacific Economic Council meeting in the first quarter of 2015, for the convention center is designed to attract and accommodate large sized conferences, summits, congresses, fairs, and trade shows and exhibits, said Drilon.