The Department of Tourism (DOT) has recommended the start of city tours at the new seven-storey Iloilo city hall building in front of the historic Plaza Libertad for tourists to see the beautiful and rehabilitated Iloilo River.
DOT Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. said that aside from seeing the beautiful city gallery exhibits, the tour should begin at the top floor or roofdeck to see not only the river but also the imposing Lin-ay sang Iloilo statue and the plaza which he called the town square.
Jimenez also announced his commitment to city mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog to donate an express elevator at the cityhall for the use of tourists and visitors from the groundfloor up to the roofdeck without hassle for elderly visitors.
The DOT Secretary was a guest on the unveiling of the proposed P450 million Iloilo Convention Center at the Megaworld Corp. property at the old Iloilo airport site in the city.
The convention center is a joint undertaking by DOT-Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (DOT-TIEZA), Senator Franklin M. Drilon and Megaworld which donated 17,000 square meters of land for the project inside the more than 50-hectare proposed Iloilo Business Park.
Jimenez said the city has a wealth of Ilonggo culture and heritage sites for the tourists but tourism is primarily counting job opportunities created from these developments. What is significant is poverty alleviation to start turning the future into reality.
On the other hand, Mabilog said the convention center here will become the “urban badge of honor” to make reality the city’s current slogan “My City My Pride”.
“Let us not criticize our people, our city and province because Iloilo is the best in this world,” Mabilog said during the unveiling rites. By Lydia Pendon