By: Francis Allan L. Angelo
THE ILOILO City government is drawing up plans for a convention center that will host at least 5,000 persons during big national and international conventions.
The proposed location of the convention center is the City Hall-owned lot in Molo, Iloilo City which was earlier planned as site for the new City Hall building.
The City Hall and the tourism industry have been longing for a 5,000-seat building that can serve as venues for events like the Advertising Congress which attracts large numbers of delegates.
Former city councilor Eduardo Peñaredondo, executive assistant for infrastructure to Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, said the convention center project will boost the city’s capacity to host national and international events.
Aside from the public sector projects, private developers have pipelined convention center projects in Iloilo City.
T. Vasquez Architects & Planners Inc. (TVA&P), which is drawing the designs for the 15-hectare Gaisano Iloilo Center in Mandurriao district, said they have also included a convention center in their plans.
Based on its Facebook page, TVA&P said the Gaisano Group has partly approved the proposed convention center.
“We are currently conducting a more comprehensive soil and site study to proceed with the next phase in the design. Though we can’t commit exactly when, be rest assured this project will definitely push through as the owners are just as excited as you are,” TVA&P said.
The proposed location of the Gaisano project along Diversion Road, Mandurriao can house a 4,500-seat convention center.
TVA&P said their main challenge is “to make this big development your gem in the city that’s why our designers are working extra hard to deliver – a few more proposals for activities to activate Iloilo tourism are also on the table.”
The firm said it made a presentation with the Gaisano group which “went very well and initial study schemes of additional structure will be posted when it’s ready.”
“It is still under studies and discussions with our client. We’re looking at all options and possibilities we have to accommodate the required components while keeping the conceptualized romance of this proposed built environment intact. We want to generate enough activity to sustain the development. Architect Topy Vasquez will be there first week of July along with his students for a field analysis,” TVA&P said. (With reports from JVF)