The Metro Iloilo-Guimaras Economic Development Council (MIGEDC) is hopeful to obtain at least half a billion pesos worth of investments following a forum set on Nov. 20 at Conrad Hotel Manila in Pasay City.

MIGEDC, an inter-local government cooperation initiative established in 2006 that promotes private sector-led and market-driven growth, partnered with the Iloilo Economic Development Foundation (ILEDF), the umbrella organization of various business groups in the province, for the conduct of the first-ever forum aimed at bringing development outside of Iloilo City.

“As economic developments are moving beyond the borders of Iloilo City, the Metro Iloilo-Guimaras Alliance invites investors to look into the growing economies of these new areas for it provides a rare opportunity to grow their investments,” Iloilo City Mayor Jerry P. Treñas, also the chairperson of the council, said in a statement on Wednesday, Nov. 15.

Iloilo City Local Economic Development and Investment Promotion (LEDIP) office head Velma Jane Lao, who also sits as MIGEDC executive director, said the member LGUs will present investment opportunities in towns of Leganes, Pavia, Sta. Barbara, Cabatuan, Oton, San Miguel, and Guimaras province.

Investible areas include Information and Communications Technology-Business Process Management (ICT-BPM), logistics, manufacturing, tourism, healthcare, and real estate.

She said San Miguel town, while serving as the province’s food basket, is interested in going into agro-processing. It has a space that the town would like to convert into a mixed-use commercial area for Technology Park.

Leganes has a 286 contiguous land area consisting of 100 hectares of privately-owned land and 186 hectares of LGU-owned lot that can be developed into an economic zone.

Sta. Barbara, meanwhile, is eyeing a recreation and retirement village while Oton eyes a waste processing facility and an ecological park while sustaining its local industries, like weaving.

Cabatuan, which hosts the international airport, is eyeing to become a logistics and food terminal hub.

Pavia, on the other hand, would maintain its standing as an industrial center of Iloilo.

Guimaras is looking for a stable power supply to complement its target of having cold storage facilities and agri and eco-tourism projects.

Joining the forum is former Senator Franklin M. Drilon, who was behind the huge investments in infrastructure in the city and province, and Mission Director of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Ryan Washburn.Perla Lena/PNA

Photo by Lew DIs