Metro Iloilo Development Updates: The Roll Call
Indeed, the majestic Queen City of the South – Iloilo City and her neighboring towns are in development frenzy. In major urban centers whether in Iloilo City, Oton or other parts of Metro Iloilo, there are public and private infrastructure projects being planned or implemented. From buildings, business parks, restoration efforts, road widening and construction, to power generation and irrigation dams, Iloilo is definitely busy gearing up for its comeback, not only as a premier city, but as one of the fastest growing province in the country.
A lucrative market for investors, a livable community for Filipinos – Iloilo is now taking its rightful place as an economic powerhouse in the country.
Note: Some of these projects were included in the updates in December and February. There may be some redundancies, but the photos speak the latest state of the projects. This may well be called a roll call of some of the projects that are gaining interest and enthusiasm here in Iloilo.
All I can shout is,
“Hala Bira Iloilo! Padayon sa kauswagan!”
Heritage and history is part and nature of Iloilo City. Neglected for decades while others were damaged and degraded, heritage sites in Iloilo are now on the spotlight because of the enthusiastic restoration and conservation projects now being implemented in the city. News has it that Iloilo City is now planning to declare itself as a heritage city through local government action. It is worthy to note that Iloilo City is being included in UNESCO candidate list of heritage cities.
Here are some of the sites being restored or repaired as of the moment:
1. Molo Plaza
Right in front of the historic Church of St. Anne, the Molo Plaza has been a silent witness to the rich history of its district. Years of neglect and poor maintenance has transformed this beautiful plaza into what is prior to the project. Last January, half of the plaza (the one where the Temple of God gazebo is located) was closed to the public for rehabilitation. This month, the enclosure was expanded to include the rest of the plaza (excluding the basketball court).
On recent visit, the pathways or pavement are now replaced, trees are trimmed and the iconic gazebo repaired and repainted. Will they install a replacement for the four statues that once occupied the now emptied pedestals at the gazebo? That’s something to watch out for.
2. Fort San Pedro Sea Wall Restoration
Last February, after decades of promises by our leaders, the repair of the sea wall of the historic Fort San Pedro commenced. On recent visit, the sea wall is now taking shape; most of the metal retention walls are now removed. Some of the breakwaters were also cleared away.
3. Casa Real De Iloilo Restoration
Started right after the Semana sang Iloilo celebration, the restoration of the old Iloilo Capitol is now making visible changes. Most of the structures that were not originally part of the building were now removed. These include offices, the arched edifice in the entrance, and other elements added in the 1960s. This is a very exciting development as Casa Real De Iloilo is one of the oldest capitols in the Philippines.
4. Calle Real Heritage Buildings Restoration Efforts
These projects have been featured several times in this site. The most recent project, the Villanueva Building, also known as the International House, is now being restored. I’m very excited to see more heritage buildings at the historic Calle Real be restored to their former glory.
5. Jaro Belfry Restoration
The iconic Jaro Belfry is also up for restoration after the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) has allocated P5million fund for the project. The bell tower was constructed during the time of Fray Ilanos in 1826-1837. It was ruined by a 1948 magnitude 8.6 earthquake and restored by the city government in the 1990s. The Jaro Belfry is now in poor shape, badly needing repair and renovation to return it to its stately form. The tourism office of Iloilo City has now formed a task force to oversee the project.
Low and Mid Rise Constructions
Several low and mid-rise buildings are now constructed or renovated in the city. From Jaro to Molo, these buildings are now sprouting like mushrooms.
1. Commonwealth Insurance Building
The new site of the Commonwealth Insurance is expected to rise at Kapideco estate at Barangay San Rafael, Mandurriao. Construction is still about to start while a tarpaulin is now erected to announce the upcoming project. Commonwealth Insurance Company (CIC) was established in 1935 by Don Andres Soriano, who also founded San Miguel Brewery. CIC is one of the most experienced non-life insurance company in the Philippines. It is today, one of the respected and recognized leader in the insurance industry.
2. Buildings at Timawa
These are photos of building being renovated or constructed at Timawa in Molo, near the Iloilo Doctors Hospital.
3. Multipurpose Building at Alta Tierra
A three-storey commercial / apartment building is now also being constructed at Phase IV of Alta Tierra Subdivision at Jaro.
4. Building Construction near Jaro Plaza
For months now, these enclosure at Lopez Jaena Street corner El 98 had been very busy. Details of this project is soon to be revealed as well.
5. Construction sites at Smallville Complex:
and another one… (just a few meters away)
Plus: A new construction project beside the Iloilo City Police District and PECO Office, in front of University of San Agustin:
Iloilo City Hall Inauguration
The imposing seven-storey is now ready for turnover and will be inaugurated this June 2012. The building, one of the greenest city halls in the country, has a garden at the roof deck and is half-powered with solar electricity. President Benigno Aquino III is expected to inaugurate the new city hall.
1. Iloilo Community College Inauguration
Another project of the local government, the Iloilo Community College, will also be inaugurated just in time for the opening of the new school year. The P30-M four-storey ICCC is set for a grand launching on June 14 to be witnessed by its pioneer students. The first day of classes is scheduled on June 13. The green-colored building is equipped with school administration offices, 17 classrooms, 150-seater library, audio-visual room, 50-seater computer laboratory and clinic. The building was donated by Ilonggo billionaire, Edgar “Injap” Sia II.
2. St. Robert’s International Academy
St. Robert’s International Academy has now formally announced its plans to erect a new campus at Kapideco Estate in Mandurriao. The new campus will feature a full e-learning environment using tablets instead of books. Expected to include an audience hall, the school will also present major productions and regular recitals. The Smallville campus is expected to open next year.
Housing and Condominium Projects
1. Eagle Crest Condominium
Eagle Crest Condominium is a four-storey building soon to rise at Mission Road extension, Brgy. San Nicolas, La Paz, Iloilo City. Its amenities will include a multi-purpose hall, a laundry shop, a gym, convenience store and parking spaces. It will be equipped with CCTV cameras, an elevator, and a ready generator set.
2. Princeworld at Aurora Subdivision
3. Injap Tower Condotel
Also previously featured in this site is the construction of the 21 storey Injap Tower Condotel right in front of SM City. Expected for completion on December 2013, this skyscraper shall definitely change the skyline of Iloilo City. As of latest visit, ground preparation is still on-going.
4. Uptown Place
Another Injap project, the Uptown Place is a mixed residential and commercial building taking advantage of the scenic Iloilo River. See project here.
Hotels and Pension House
1. Go Hotels and Robinsons Iloilo Expansion
Strengthening the presence of Robinsons Land in the region is the expansion of Robinsons Place Iloilo. Slated for completion on 2013, the mall’s new 6-level building is now being constructed at the area of the Ledesma car park. It will be able to accommodate 75 new tenants with over 3,500 square meters of retail space.
Part of expansion is the addition of Go Hotels – a four level tourist center that will carry the brand’s unique pricing concept and the same hotel and room features. The hotel is expected to contain 150 quality rooms equipped with rainshower and handheld shower, LCD TV, and Wi-fi access. Its proximity to the major landmarks in the city is a big factor in its choice of venue.
2. Diversion 21 Hotel
Now adding to the list of hotels having “21” in their names, the Diversion 21 Hotel at Diversion road is now swiftly taking shape. With the project started last December 2011, two floors of the hotel is now completely visible. As seen on the official render of the project, the hotel is expected to have eight floors. More details of the hotel soon to be revealed as well.
3. Pension House in Delgado Street
Another pension house is now being constructed at Delgado street. Construction started last November 2011.
4. Western Visayas College of Science and Technology Hometel
Tourism Related Projects
1. International Flights to be served at Iloilo International
A good news for Iloilo! Iloilo Airport, which I’ll fondly call “Iloilo International”, is now expected to cater direct international flights to and from Hong Kong and Singapore according to Department of Tourism Region 6. Helen Catalbas of DOT Region 6 disclosed that Cebu Pacific airlines already signified intention of having regular flights from Iloilo to Hong Kong every other day with four flights every week. While Iloilo to Singapore will be held three flights a week as the airlines also include and expand flights from Iloilo to Puerto Princesa, Palawan. DOT Chief Ramon Jimenez Jr. will soon declare the Iloilo Airport as a gateway of Western Visayas in opening up Iloilo and the rest of Panay Island to international visitors with tourism as the major focus.
2. DOT Plans
Another good news coming from the Tourism Department! DOT regional office in Iloilo City has identified six major flagship projects for a five-year period in Western Visayas that covers some P100 billion in government and private sector tourism investments. This will include:
- Experience Western Visayas Firsts campaign in 2012-2016 with a budget cost of P2 million per year to be led by DOT, LGUs and the private sector
- The Iloilo River Cruise in Iloilo City will have an initial budget of P5.4 million that will cover product development. Investment promotion, cruise boat prototype, tour packaging, launching, operationalization and market to be led by DOT, private sector and TIEZA.
- The Iloilo International Convention Hotel with 500 rooms and 5,000 convention hall capacity has a feasibility study costing P500, 000 in 2013 by DOT.
- The Western Visayas International Sports Fishing competition is proposed in the second quarter of 2013 with a budget cost of P2 million to be led by DOT, TPB, LGU and the private sector.
1. Gaisano Capital Oton
A testament to the growing lucrative market at Oton is the soon to be opened Gaisano Capital in the town. With construction started late last year, the new mall is now almost ready to open its doors to Ogtonganons and visitors from its neighboring towns. It is important to note that Oton is one of the richest municipalities in the province and is expected to be a residential and industrial center owing to its close proximity in the city and its dynamic local government leadership.
2. GT Plaza Molo
The people of Molo will soon have a new place to hang-out – the GT Plaza. With its strategic location, the new shopping and dining venue boasts its large open spaces and its modern design. The GT Plaza will also include a Robinson Supermarket at its ground floor.
1. Concepcion Power Plant
In response to the call of the government for private sector investments in power generation in order to address the urgent and growing requirement for power in the country especially in the Visayas region, the DMCI Power Corporation has announced one of its significant projects – the 100MW Coal Fired Power Plant to be put up by DMCI in Concepcion, Iloilo. The project has already secured all the major necessary permits and endorsements for its construction and operation. It is now finalizing its Energy Supply Agreements with the Electric Cooperatives in Panay Island and Guimaras.
2. Wind Energy at Guimaras and San Joaquin
Now green energy is taking hold in Iloilo with new wind energy projects proposed at NEDA. These include a 12 MW in Barotac Nuevo, 12 MW in Dumangas, and a 9 MW at San Joaquin, all proposed by Trans-Asia Renewable Energy Corporation (TAREC) of PHINMA Group.
Guimaras has one of the largest wind energy projects in the region with its construction 54MW-wind farm project in San Lorenzo. Its main components are comprised of 2MW-wind turbine is 64 meters high with a 76 meter diameter of rotor blades. Project estimate cost: Php 1.5 Billion.
The project is also by TAREC. The company transferred its wind measuring devices and facilities to a site in San Lorenzo in the island of Guimaras. Results of initial wind measurements at the new site during the “high wind” months are very encouraging. If determined to be feasible, the natural buyer of electricity generated by a San Lorenzo wind farm would be the Guimaras Electric Cooperative (Guimelco), Trans-Asia’s customer for the Guimaras diesel plant.
3. Hydroelectric and Biomass Power Plants
Another on-going project regarding renewable source of energy is the 15 MW Mina Biomass Power plant at Brgy. Cabalabaguan, Mina, Iloilo. The developer is Green Power Panay Philippines, Inc. Another biomass power plant is also expected to be put up at Ajuy (30 MW).
Hydroelectric plants are also expected to be set up at Igbaras (6 MW at Igbulo Bais, 1.7 MW Tumagboc, 1 MW Turao, and 1.2 MW) and at Maasin (2.1 MW at Tigum).
Jalaur River Multi-Purpose Project Phase II
JRMP II aims to build a reservoir dam in Calinog, Iloilo, which will be the largest outside Luzon to provide year-round irrigation to 31,840 hectares, including rainfed areas. The project will benefit 24 towns, including Mina and Pototan and others covered by the Jalaur Suague River Irrigation System (JSRIS).
Project Phase II is earmarked to supply 85,000 cubic meters of bulk water as additional water supply in Iloilo City and in the municipalities of Pavia, Oton and Sta. Barbara in the province of Iloilo.
On top of the water supply is the proposed hydroelectric power supply to generate some eight megawatts of electrical power and augment the existing power supply of Iloilo.
President Benigno Aquino is also expected to inaugurate this project on his visit during the 1st Philippine International River Summit. The project is financed by the Korean government, through its Eximbank of Korea, at about P11.2-billion. President Aquino and the Prime Minister of Korea signed a joint agreement last month for the JRMP revival with Korea as the main funder. This project is a revival of the Jalaur Multipurpose Project conceived in 1960.
Megaworld’s Iloilo Business Park
The most awaited development in Iloilo real estate is no other than Megaworld’s Iloilo Business Park at the old Iloilo airport. With project pegged at almost Php 16 Billion, the IBP shall be the icon of Iloilo City’s development. The Iloilo Business Park will adopt a concept of a mixed use master-planned community in a 54.50 hectare property. It will have BPO offices, hotels, a convention center, commercial and retail centers, skills training center, recreational facilities and a transportation hub, all at the heart of the new growth center in the Visayas.
During my recent visit, the construction of the 12-storey, 90-room Richmonde Hotel is still on-going. While another BPO tower is also being constructed at the other side of the road (if based on the plans released earlier). Access roads connecting the Megaworld Avenue to the Airport road (before separating to the Q. Abeto street, which shall be termed as Mandurriao Jaro Road) and to the old airport road (right beside the proposed Richmonde Hotel) are almost complete.
Here are some of the project details:
- 54.5 hectares total land area, the largest IT park yet of publicly-listed Megaworld Corporation
- P18B investment by Megaworld over the next 10 years
- P2.5 billion initial investment over the next two years to develop the road network
- Expected to create 24,000 BPO seats, 200,000 square meters of commercial space, and around 35,000 jobs.
- A six-lane highway will serve as the main artery running through the entire length of the property
- Philippine Economic Zone Authority certified (IT) park in January 2010. BPO locators will be entitled to income tax holidays, duty-free importation of office equipment and repatriation of earnings, among others.
Iloilo River Esplanade Project
The Iloilo River Esplanade Project which started last December 2011 is now nearing completion. Though with delays, the project is expected to be also inaugurated by President Benigno Aquino III on his visit this June. The Iloilo River Esplanade Project is a priority project of Senator Franklin Drilon which aims to provide an additional recreational and commercial venue in the area. It will be a prime tourist destination in the city once it is completed.
Medicus Medical Center
Also previously featured at this site is the construction of the Medicus Medical Center at Smallville. The new complex is now being built right beside the existing 8-Storey Medicus Health Partners Condo-Clinics. Here are some photos at the site:
In the pipeline:
1. Gaisano Center Iloilo
Another surprise last month was the announcement of the plan to set up Gaisano Center Iloilo – an ambitious Manhattan-like 15-hectare. It will be constructed at West Diversion Road, Brgy. San Rafael, Mandurriao. The project is envisioned as a mixed-use development of commercial, residential units and offices by mall chain Gaisano Capital and its property developer arm GoldPeach Properties. Makati-based T. I. Vasquez Architects & Planners Inc. (TVA&P) announced that the project may start on early 2013 or late 2012.
The major feature of the project is the construction of a 30 or 40 storey hotel. The skyscraper will rise on old fishponds site near Dungon creek.
2. Vista Land’s Savannah Masterplan
Though this may be old news, Vista Land will definitely let itself be left behind among the giant development projects in the province. In its annual report, the company unveiled its masterplan of its Savannah community.
According to the company report, “As the grandest urban center in Iloilo, ongoing and future developments include commercial and lifestyle centers, school, church, and even an IT center – making Savannah truly a city within a city for one’s social, cultural, and economic activities.” The masterplan was unveiled on the 10th anniversary of the company’s presence in the province as it looks forward in completing this within another ten years.
3. University Physicians Medical Center
With the MOA signing held late last year, the University Physicians Medical Center is still in the pipeline. Updates will soon be posted once available. The project is also to be developed by Ayala Land at Barangay San Rafael, Iloilo City.
“Another medical milestone for the University Physicians Medical Center took place last November 11, 2011 for the Panay Medical Ventures, Inc. signed the Memorandum of Agreement to partner with UPMC to establish UPMC — Iloilo. UPMC-Iloilo will be the only Short Stay Specialty Hospital / Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC) facility of its kind in the region. It represents the future of healthcare which combines expert care and advanced diagnostics in a pleasant, relaxing environment at affordable cost. Getting better just got better!”
4. One Front Tower
Also previously featured in this site is the One Front Tower. Still in the pipeline, last I heard, the project is still undergoing clearances from the national and local government. Looking forward to this project also.
5. Unverified projects being planned: Rustan’s in Iloilo, a huge condominium community by Ayala Land (for announcement soon?), and Filinvest coming to Iloilo.
Tags: development updates, Iloilo City, Injap Land, Megaworld, Metro Iloilo - Guimaras
Definitely Iloilo City is becoming a major investor destination in the country. Local and foreign companies are taking a look at Iloilo now. See what opportunities lie ahead for the Queen City of the South!