ILOILO CITY: Ilonggos are looking forward to a succesful hosting of two high-level Ministerial Meetings of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) conference next year.
Iloilo City was chosen to host the SME Ministerial Meeting from September 21 to 25 and the Food Security Week Meeting tentatively set from September 28 to October 6.
City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, cited by President Benigno Aquino 3rd during the Presidential State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 28 as one of a new breed of emerging dynamic leaders, said he is fully cooperating with Ilonggo Senate President Franklin M. Drilon in making the Apec hosting here a success.
“Every Ilonggo must work together and unite behind efforts to ensure success of Iloilo’s hosting of the Apec ministerial meetings in 2015,” Mabilog said by echoing the appeal of Drilon to all Ilonggos to unite and set aside their political differences for the sake of Apec.
Drilon said “this is the chance for the people of Iloilo to show the rest of the nation and the world the very best of what we can accomplish. We must not fail.”
He hailed the national government support towards massive infrastructure development as integral to the latest signs of Iloilo’s economic transformation and growth.” These projects are possible because Iloilo enjoys the full support of many political leaders, which led to much-needed financial and administrative backing crucial to the realization of these endeavors.”
A seven-man team from the Apec national organizing council arrived here to inspect the vital sites for the hosting. These include the ongoing construction of the Iloilo Convention Center as the main venue for the meetings, hotels and hospitals.
Several big projects may have convinced the Apec national organizing council to pick Iloilo to host the two meetings. These include the Iloilo International Airport and major roads like the 10-lane Senator Benigno Aquino Avenue, which have been updated to internationally-competitive standards, the 4-lane Iloilo Circumferential Road, Iloilo River Esplanade, and the successful rehabilitation of the Iloilo River, among others.
The private sector does not want to be left behind in Iloilo City and they invested in several buildings, restaurants and hotels such as the soon to be finished Iloilo Business Park of Mega–world that includes two high-end hotels and shopping malls, the Avida and Atria Park of Ayala Corp., Gaisano Capital with a hotel and another shopping mall, the newly completed 21-storey Injap Tower and Uptown Residences and the Diversion 21 Hotel.