Iloilo Convention Center construction hastened

Iloilo City, Iloilo — The Department of Public Works and Highways in Western Visayas (DPWH-6) will initiate efforts to speed up the construction of the Iloilo Convention Center so as to make this city ready for the possible hosting of ministerial meetings of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in 2015.

“We want to finish it before the targeted October 2014 completion schedule,” said Engineer Al Fruto, chief of DWPH-6’s planning division chief.

[caption id="attachment_92893" align="alignright" width="300"] SPEEDING UP DEVELOPMENT IN ILOILO — Construction work by Manila-based property developer Megaworld Corporation on the Iloilo Business Park located at the site of the old Iloilo airport in Iloilo City’s Mandurriao district is going on non-stop. The 72-hectare site is also where the Iloilo Convention Center is being constructed. The city is angling to host some of the ministerial meetings of the 2015 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit which will be held in the country in 2015. (Tara Yap)[/caption]

Fruto said that currently, contractor Hilmarc’s Construction Corp. has finished some 15 percent of the work on the façade of Megaworld Corporation’s Iloilo Business Park, which used to be the site of the old Iloilo airport in the city’s Mandurriao district.

The APEC-National Organizing Committee (APEC-NOC) has pre-selected Iloilo for the hosting of two ministerial meetings.

These are the ministerial meetings on food security and transportation, tentatively scheduled on October 2015.

Fruto said, however, that word has reached DPWH-6 regarding a possibility that such meetings may have to be rescheduled on an earlier date.

To ensure the readiness of Iloilo City, DPWH-6 is pushing Hilmarc’s to speed up its work and complete the first phase of the project before the 300 calendar-day schedule ends.

“We just want to be ready,” Fruto emphasized.

The Iloilo Convention Center had an initial funding of P450 million from the pork barrel of Iloilo native, Ilonggo Senator Franklin Drilon, the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA).

The latest price tag for the two-phase construction is seen to reach P1 billion, but Fruto said the façade or skeletal structure would cost approximately P700 million.