With evident progress and the local economy reflecting full recovery from the ill-effects of the pandemic, more investors are enticed to explore opportunities in Iloilo City.
As of November 30, Iloilo City welcomed 2, 619 new businesses out of 18, 790 businesses issued with permits, as per record of the city government’s Investment Services, Business Permit and Licensing Division (ISBPLD).
This is higher compared to 17, 379 business permits issued in 2022, composed of 2, 590 for new businesses and 14, 789 for renewals.
Mayor Jerry P. Treñas stressed that good business climate is a result of the city government’s successful initiatives, good promotion of Iloilo City, and the investors’ trust and confidence in the local leadership.
“We have been recognized as one of the leading investment hubs in the country, and we remain committed to even strengthen our collective efforts in attracting more investment prospects that can benefit not only Iloilo City, but also Metro Iloilo and Guimaras,” the city mayor said.
One of the landmark initiatives of the city government is the establishment of off-site payment centers in malls such as The Atrium, Marymart Mall, Festive Walk and SM City Iloilo.
These centers helped a lot as they have provided easy, fast and convenient access for those who are applying for renewal and payment of business permits, and other payment-related transactions.
In November, the Metro Iloilo- Guimaras Economic Development Council (MIGEDC) chaired by Treñas, in partnership with Iloilo Economic Development Foundation, Inc. (ILED), brought to Manila its first Investment Forum.
The MIGEDC investment forum has generated over P1 billion worth of potential investments, higher than its P500-million initial target.
The Ilonggo homegrown firm La Filipina Uygongco Group of Companies, for one, is planning to establish a feed mill in Barangay Ingore, La Paz.
Also, SMX targets put up a bigger convention center in the city while Rockwell Land Corporation is eyeing a mixed-use development.
This year also marked the entry of proposed big investments in Iloilo City including the proposed construction of a state-of-the-art Integrated Solid Waste Management Facility (ISWMF) by Metro Pacific Investments Corporation.
Treñas said the introduction of waste-to-energy (WTE) facilities not only provides a sustainable solution for managing waste but also presents a remarkable opportunity for the city’s economic growth.
Moreover, Futran Philippines, Inc. has also presented a proposal for the potential implementation of podcars transport system in Iloilo City that could revolutionize transportation in the city.
As the International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) plans to revive its proposal to develop and operate the Iloilo Commercial Port Complex (ICPC) for better services, Mayor Treñas as chairman of the Infrastructure Development Committee (IDC) of the Regional Development Council (RDC) 6 has been calling concerned government agencies to fast-track the said proposed development.
He is fully backed by the business groups based in Iloilo.
Another significant investment that made its way to the city, connecting Iloilo to the rest of the world, is the first international shipment services by RCL Feeders Philippine, Inc.
Meanwhile, as recognition of its exceptional efforts in implementing good governance reforms that foster trade and investment, transparency, accountability, and efficiency in delivering business services, Iloilo City has been named as the country’s “Most Business-Friendly Local Government Unit “ for 2023 given by Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI).
According to PCCI, the city’s initiatives drive inclusive and sustainable growth, fast-track local economic development, and create an environment where businesses can flourish and remain competitive through collaboration with the private sector.
Moreover, the southern city has also been hailed again, by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), as Western Visayas’ Most Competitive Highly Urbanized City after ranking first in all five competitiveness pillars – Economic Dynamism, Government Efficiency, Resiliency, Infrastructure, and Innovation.
Nationwide, from seventh place in 2022, Iloilo City climbed three notches higher to Top 4 surpassing big cities like Muntinlupa, Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Makati, Pasig, and Valenzuela.
Most Progressive City in Western Visayas
The city’s strong economy and high-income level is also reflected in the recent statistical data released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
It says that this southern city recorded the highest per capita GDP (Gross Domestic Product) in Western Visayas in 2022.
This means that each person created a value added through production of goods and services amounting to P306,000 for the whole year, which was higher than Region 6’s P118,000 per capita GDP.
Iloilo City contributed 15.2% share to the region’s P955-billion GDP while Bacolod’s share was 13.9%.
In terms of services, Iloilo City contributed 21.7% to the region’s P582-billion, while Bacolod’s share was 17.2%.
Iloilo City is mainly driven by services which include wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles; financial and insurance activities; education; professional and business; real estate and ownership of dwellings; transportation and storage; information and communication; human health and social work activities; public administration and defense, compulsory social activities; and accommodation and food.
As local chief executive, Treñas assured that the city government will continue to invest more and pursue efforts to realize its vision of transforming Iloilo City into the country’s Top 3 Most Liveable, Sustainable and Resilient HUC by 2028. (Iloilo City PIO)