MANILA -- The Metro Iloilo-Guimaras Economic Development Council (MIDEDC) pushed for investments in the agricultural sector with infrastructure developments in their area during an investment forum on Monday.
In an investment forum held in Pasay City, among the big ticket projects for Metro Iloilo-Guimaras in need of investors are the Jalaur River Multipurpose Project, a cold storage facility in Guimaras, and a food hub and abattoir or slaughterhouse in Iloilo.
Iloilo City Mayor and MIGEDC Chairman Jerry Treñas emphasized that the agriculture sector should not be left behind as economic developments are planned in the provinces.
He added that one key infrastructure project, the Jalaur Dam, is currently 71 percent completed and is expected to irrigate around 33,000 hectares of farmland.
“It’s very important because Iloilo Province is largely agricultural… That will triple the rice production of Iloilo which will add more income to our farmers and lower the cost of agriculture (products) and rice,” Treñas said.
MIGEDC is also looking to develop the transport sector in the area with the expansion of Iloilo International Airport and redevelopment of Iloilo Central and Public terminals.
Treñas added that investors can take advantage of the lower cost of living and minimum wage in the province as compared to Metro Manila.
United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission Director to the Philippines and Mongolia Ryan Washburn said he believes in the potential of Metro Iloilo-Guimarass as an attractive investment destination with Iloilo City’s inclusion in the agency’s Urban Connect Project.
“To further enhance Iloilo’s already attractive investment climate, USAID is supporting the local government in streamlining business permitting processes,” Washburn said.
MIGDEC expects about P500 million worth of investments for Iloilo and Guimaras coming from the investment forum.