9 firms commit to invest P100 B in Iloilo

By Louella D. Desiderio, The Philippine Star

Posted at Mar 13 2014 08:05 AM | Updated as of Mar 13 2014 04:06 PM

MANILA, Philippines - More than P100 billion worth of investments have been committed by nine companies for different projects in the province of Iloilo.

Among the firms which announced plans to pour in funds in the province is Ayala Land Inc. (ALI) which will spend as much as P25 billion in the next 10 years.

Speaking at the Iloilo Means Business forum held in Makati City yesterday, ALI president and chief executive officer Antonino Aquino said the firm has already spent about P2 billion a year over the past two years for projects in the province and the plan is to sustain that level of commitment in the next five to 10 years.

“Our vision is to develop something similar to what we did in El Nido, Palawan in North Iloilo. We will be investing a billion a year in the next five years for that particular venture,” he added.

ALI is expanding the El Nido Resorts to cater to more guests amid rising tourist arrivals.

Kevin Andrew Tan, first vice president and head of commercial division at Megaworld Corp. said in the same event Megamall is spending P35 billion in the next 10 years for the development of the 72-hectare Iloilo Business Park, which would have office as well as retail spaces.

“The Iloilo Business Park, by far, is the largest township in the Philippines,” he said.

For his part, Palm Concepcion Power Corp. executive chairman Walter Brown said the company plans to invest P24 billion for two power plants in the province.

Global Business Power Corp. chairman Franciso Sebastian said the firm is investing P15.6 billion for a 150-megawatt power plant in Iloilo, with commercial operations expected by June 2016.

Dream Engineering Co. Ltd. chairman Youn Pyo Hong said the company intends to spend P1.35 billion for a waste-to-energy plant in the province, and may even invest further as it expressed interest for a project being promoted by the local government.

“We are interested in the cable car project between Iloilo and Guimaras,” he said.

Energy Renewables Asia, Inc. president James Buskowitz said the firm has allotted P1-to 1.2-billion for a photovoltaic solar project in Jaro.

NV Vogt Singapore Pte. Ltd. director Nikesh Sinha said P500 million has been programmed for putting up a five-megawatt solar power plant in the province.

IntraCare, Inc. chief executive officer Dion Ugbebor said an initial investment of P150-to P200-million will be made for a planned boutique hotel to complement the cable car project from Iloilo to Guimaras which the local government intends to pursue.

Double Dragon Properties Corp., the property firm of Mang Inasal founder Edgar “Injap” Sia II and Jollibee Foods owner Tony Tan Caktiong meanwhile is building five city malls in Iloilo.

“Each city mall will have 7,000-square meters and have a project cost of P275 million, for a total of P1.4 billion,” Sia said in the same event.

Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor, Sr. said they would like to attract more investments in the area citing opportunities particularly in agriculture or agribusiness, information communications technology, education and tourism.

As Iloilo City has been named as one of the venues for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)Summit in 2015, Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said the local government hopes to attract more investments.