ICon of progress rises in Iloilo
ILOILO CITY—The establishment of the Iloilo Convention Center (ICon) here is expected to strengthen the province’s position as a viable meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (MICE) destination in the country.
In an interview, Rebecca Rascon, acting provincial director for the Department of Trade and Industry in Iloilo, said this recently inaugurated convention center will serve as a significant driver of economic development that will support other related industries such as tourism, services, transport, food and manufacturing.
“The establishment of the ICon means that Iloilo will become a MICE destination. If that’s the case, the convention center becomes an economic driver because it will drive other industries providing support such as tourism, services, transport, food, manufacturing, and even housing as well. That’s how significant the ICon is,” Rascon said.
“According to the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (Tieza), the Iloilo Convention Center will be open to all exhibitions not [just] for the local, but [also] for international conventions. This will be initially operated by Tieza, but it will be income-generating,” she added.
An infrastructure project of the Department of Tourism, ICon was built on a 1.7-hectare lot donated by property giant Megaworld Corp. It is within the 72-ha Iloilo Business Park in the Mandurriao district.
President Aquino himself inaugurated the ICon two weeks ago, along with Richmonde Hotel Iloilo. He likewise graced the launch of the Iloilo Business Park, the biggest investment made by Megaworld outside Metro Manila to the tune of P35 billion.
Over the last two weeks, the ICon has already hosted several events, including the two-day National SME Summit 2015. The latter brought together policymakers, the private sector, and development partners to discuss how to further maximize the potential of Philippine micro, small, and medium sized enterprises as engines of economic growth.
It has also hosted so far two Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) meetings. Amy R. Remo
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