‘Iloilo moving forward with reclamation plans’ Man-made islands to offer over 300 hectares of commercial space

By Rhick Lars Vladimer Albay

ILOILO City – “Iloilo City’s land resource is limited and with the rapid growth of [our] economy, planning ahead to sustain the economic success and maintaining the livability of the city is a must,” shared Iloilo City mayor Jed Partrick Mabilog on social media on Wednesday.
“We are moving forward with the two island reclamation projects [that] will add more than 300 hectares of land to Iloilo City,” the local official posted, along with photos of the conceptual land use plans for the proposed man-mad islands.
Roni Baterna, president of Marikudo Realty and Development Corp., is the main proponent of the Iloilo City reclamation project together with Sunwest Group of companies and Van Oord.
Sunwest group is involved in reclamation, green energy generation through hydro power plants, resort, hotel, construction, mall/commercial and residential developments.
While, Van Oord is one of the biggest reclamation companies in the world and is popular for spearheading the palm-design reclamation project in Dubai.
The planned P45-billion reclamation project will cover 365 hectares of reclaimed land in Iloilo Strait along coastal barangays from Ortiz, City Proper to Calumpang, Molo district.
BUILD, BUILD, BUILD
“[It’s] the biggest plan we have so far – the 365 hectare reclamation project,” shared Local Economic and Investment Promotion Office (LEIPO) head Ritchel Gavan. “This is a mixed use commercial zone, so it’s for offices and other commercial spaces.”
“The reclamation project will be divided into two islands separated by a waterway of about 40-meters wide. Island A is approximately 115 hectares and Island B is about 250 hectares so that’s a total of 365 hectares. This island destination will be connected to the mainland through seven bridges,” the LEIPO executive added.
Mabilog also expressed support for the “Build, build, build” mandate of President Rodrigo Duterte, as the national chief executive endeavors to bolster economic growth in the country through vital public infrastructure and empowering the construction industry.
“My administration also supports the national government’s ‘Build, build, build’ [initiative] because it’s the way to go. [Enhancing] connectivity and [building] infrastructure that create jobs, widen the tax base and achieve a positive economic impact on specific areas,” Mabilog shared.
ILOILO A ‘SMART’ CITY
“[Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog] envisions Iloilo City to be a premier smart city of excellence, as well as a ‘SMART’ metropolis – an acronym that stands for our priority industries: services, manufacturing, agribusiness, arts & culture, research and technology, and tourism,” explained Gavan.
Gavan further highlighted the city’s ten main priorities for development as of the moment:
1. Education
2. Manpower and livelihood
3. Business streamlining
4. Business tax incentives
5. Utilities
6. Peace and order
7. Anti-corruption
8. Infrastructure
9. Environment
10. Healthy lifestyle and recreation
“Our previous vision was to be a ‘premier city’ by 2015, and amazingly Iloilo was so good in achieving this vision that it was reached in 2013,” added Gavan. “So that’s why we had to expand on vision. [Our top ten main priorities] are our guide to planning and policy making. These have augmented and simplified our goals of transforming Iloilo into a highly competitive and urbanized metropolis.”
“We assure you that Iloilo City’s local economy is here to stay, here to compete in the global community because Iloilo city means investment opportunities, growth and development,” the LEIPO head concluded./PN