A GROUP of visiting investors rolled their sleeves up and checked Visayas and Mindanao. They wanted to see how worth investing this country is.
A trip to the Visayas islands brought them to Cebu, Siquijor, Dumaguete, Bacolod, Iloilo, and Boracay.
The team shared social and business impressions on Bacolod City and Iloilo City and compared frank notes. They visited the seaports and airports of both cities and took a drive along their highways exiting the airport terminals.
Here is what they shared leaving the Iloilo International Airport in Cabatuan town via a van:
The smooth drive and long, clean, wide highway to Iloilo City impressed them.
There were no informal settlers or squatters along the way.
On the other hand, in Negros Occidental province, leaving the Bacolod-Silay Airport also enthralled the investors but in a different way. The drive was smooth and the highway was clean, too.
Passing sugar farms gave the investors a feel of the countryside. As they were nearing Bacolod City, however, there was a change of atmosphere.
There were makeshift stores, shops and illegally parked vehicles on the highway. Dismaying.
The visitors also compared notes on their seaport experiences in Iloilo City and Bacolod City.
From the Iloilo seaport, the team observed organized traffic; motorists were disciplined enough; no pesky tricycles or pedicabs on the highway.
Along Lapuz road, the team did not find disorderly sidewalk vendors or illegally parked vehicles. Trucks and vehicles passed smoothly.
Bacolod City has two seaports. The team first checked Banago seaport, once a private port operating for over six decades; now the government is operating it.
The team observed what was going on when a big ro-ro vessel docked. They were dismayed. There were no taxicabs available for arriving passengers.
What were available were dilapidated jeepneys and tricycles; passengers had to squeeze themselves into these rickety vehicles.
As passengers were leaving the port, they were greeted by roadside fish and meat vendors, and more parked tricycles.
The investors’ next stop was the private seaport of Bredco. The passenger terminal is said to be new but the parking area was too far.
There were too many tricycles and pedicabs, their drivers haggling with pasengers.
As the investors left Bredo port they got a good view of a big shopping mall. But the dirty environ – plus dried fish in front of the mall – marred their otherwise good impression of the area.
This article will continue in the next issues. Thank you for reading and getting a true impression of both cities.
This column greets Rey Tabafunda, Tots Vallejo, Fonz Baldonado, May Castro, Rodel Parcon, Richard Oquendo, Nonong dela Cruz, Philip Lacson, Manolet Lamata, Peter Po, Panoy Gonzalez, Christian Garrido, Matin Perez, Nico Ivan Velasquez, Phoebe Mamon, and Natalie Lim. ([email protected]/PN)