Iloilo City cements position as MICE destination in 2016
By Perla G. Lena
ILOILO CITY, Dec. 28 (PNA) — Upbeat economic activity was felt in this city this 2016, triggered by the opening of all sorts of attractions and with Iloilo City cementing its position as meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibit (MICE) destination.
Iloilo Business Club executive director Lea Lara on Wednesday said that Iloilo City amid its tag as “shabulized”, was able to rise above the challenge.
“It made us work harder,” she said, citing the improved business climate in this part of the country.
Aside from the election-related spending that fueled the economy, the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector is also making waves with some 21,000 Ilonggos given full-time employment.
She disclosed that a big challenge is how to fill in the demand as the BPO sector is expected to double the available full-time seats with more companies coming in. Megaworld Corporation, she said, has completed its BPO building while there is an ongoing construction of an IT building owned by SM.
This development, she said, made Iloilo City lessen its dependence on the service sector.
Meanwhile, the growing number of local stores has provided balance amid the mushrooming of big establishments.
“We have a good mix of big and small industries,” she cited. This set up, she said, makes Iloilo less vulnerable if in case the bigger ones decide to relocate.
Next year, Iloilo City expects more MICE events and more opening of hotels, she said.
With this booming development, Lara added that the academic community is a bit pressured to produce graduates in response to the need for manpower. There is a need for them to step up although there are others that undertake initiatives to meet their demand.
What is also necessary is to continue working on the integration of local industries, especially the agriculture sector coping with the tourism industry and the urbanization.
Lara added that the construction of the Jalaur Multipurpose Project will surely boost the industry. And with the growing agriculture sector, the target is for it to have a domino effect on the manufacturing sector. (PNA)