Update: The construction of Iloilo Convention Center will start October 15, 2013 and finish after 9 months. Hilmark Construction won the bidding at a price of P479 million.
The construction of Iloilo Convention Center at the old airport area will go on as scheduled in October.
The P500-million convention center will serve as the venue for the Asia Pacific Economic Conference (Apec) slated in 2015.
Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said Senator Franklin Drilon assured the continuation of the project even without Drilon’s Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), worth some P250 million.
Earlier, the Supreme Court prohibited senators and congressmen from using their PDAF for the rest of the year, pending the resolution of three petitions questioning anew the constitutionality of the system allegedly prone to corruption and abuse.
Drilon, chairman of the congressional committee on appropriations, said he will find ways to get money for the construction of the convention center.
Other national government agencies are expected to fund the project on top of the P250 million assured by the Department of Tourism-Tourism Infrastructure Economic Zone Authority.
The Apec organizing committee visited Iloilo to finalize the city’s hosting of the food security and transportation committees, where more than 2,000 delegates from 21 countries in the Asia and Pacific, including United States and Canada, are expected to attend.
Meanwhile, Drilon also said that other major infrastructure projects like the proposed Arroyo Bridge connecting the city proper to Lapuz district across the Iloilo River will push through. By Lydia Pendon.