‘Biggest’ Dinagyang eyes to boost Iloilo City’s economy

Dinagyang Festival opening salvo scene in Iloilo City last January 12, 2024. (Rjay Castor photo)

By Mariela Angella Oladive

Calling it the “biggest” ever, Iloilo City Mayor Jerry P. Trenas is optimistic that this year’s Dinagyang Festival will further boost the city’s thriving economy.

Emphasizing the city’s economic success in 2022, Mayor Trenas pointed to the city’s remarkable gross domestic product (GDP) numbers in 2022, per a report from the Philippine Statistics Authority in late 2023.

“You know, the city had the biggest GDP in 2022 in Region 6, higher than the national average, higher than the other Highly Urbanized City in the region,” he said.

With a 9.6 percent economic growth in 2022, valued at P145.05 billion, the city is poised for an even more substantial impact during this year’s Dinagyang Festival.

“Ini nga Dinagyang, this is going to be the ‘biggest.’ Manami kay ang mga negosyante halin sa magagmay pareho sang mga nagabligya sang mga BBQ, kulintas, kag mga souvenirs items, asta sa mga hotels, asta sa restaurants puno tanan. So, kadako sini nga impact sa aton, and kanami ni nga makabawi man kita after sa apat ka adlaw nga blackout naton nga courtesy sang NGCP (National Grid Corporation of the Philippines),” Treñas said.

Notably, the recent 4-day Panay power outage lasting from January 2 to 5 caused the city to lose P2 billion in its economy, while the province is estimated to have suffered a total of P3.737 billion in economic losses.

Addressing concerns about potential power disruptions during the festival, Mayor Trenas shared with the public that NGCP has taken measures to prevent disruptions during Dinagyang.

“According to NGCP, gina-ubra na nila ang mga brownouts blackout nila para pag-abot sa Dinagyang waay na ta problema, so we will take their word for that. Otherwise, tubangay naman kami eh,” the Mayor said.

On the other hand, the NGCP recently issued an advisory about a scheduled power interruption in several areas in Iloilo City and Iloilo Province scheduled for January 23, 1:00-5:00 am.

Anticipating an influx of visitors as the country reopens and with the revenge challenge, the city is expecting to welcome an increased number of tourists given the many events apart from the highlights, including those hosted by prominent establishments like SM, Robinson, and Megaworld.

IFFI President Allan Tan, echoing the same sentiment, said in a separate press conference the same day that the city is expecting the number of visitors to double since some of the highlights are for free.

As the city gears up for the festivity, the anticipation is high not only for a spectacular display of cultural events but also for a significant economic boost that will further solidify Iloilo City’s position as an economic powerhouse in the region.