Iloilo Business Forum Spotlights Inclusive Economy

The Iloilo River is the heart of the city and province’s economic growth throughout time. (Leo Solinap photo)

By Mariela Angella Oladive

In a recent business forum held in Iloilo City, various sectors including MORE Power, Metro Pacific Iloilo Water, the Iloilo City District Engineering Office, and the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) Iloilo united to discuss the pivotal role of electricity, water, infrastructure, and the private sector in shaping the city’s investment landscape.

The forum centered on inclusive economic growth, infrastructure development, and the critical importance of sustainability in business practices.

“Iloilo City is gaining momentum economically, and we aim to ensure inclusivity,” Jerduen Dongor, PCCI-Iloilo Vice President for External Affairs, stated.

He highlighted the dichotomy of wealth within the city and challenged the youth to engage with Iloilo City’s current growth. His focus was on the essential collaboration between the private sector and the government to streamline business processes and tackle infrastructure challenges, including the city’s sewage system.

Atty. Jon Cerlan P. Bangoy, MPIW’s Head of Legal and Regulatory Affairs, expressed optimism about Iloilo’s economic trajectory, which fuels the company’s dedication to improving water infrastructure and expanding community services.

“We are committed to growing alongside Iloilo through continuous service improvements,” Bangoy affirmed.

Engr. Roy C. Pacanan, Officer-in-Charge District Engineer of the Iloilo City District Engineering Office, detailed plans to enhance road infrastructure, aiming to attract more business and investors, thus elevating the city’s standing.

“Our goal is to ensure our roads are seamless and, ideally, pothole-free,” remarked Pacanan.

The multisector representatives emphasized the integral role of sustainability in their business models, focusing on resource efficiency and office practice improvements to reduce waste and energy use.

Atty. Alyanna Babayen-on of MORE Power underscored the company’s commitment to sustainability despite the challenge of reliance on non-renewable energy sources.

“We strive to mitigate this by preferring suppliers that use renewable energy and emphasizing environmental protection in our CSR initiatives,” she explained.

Dongor highlighted the necessity of embedding sustainability into the core principles of a business, citing the four pillars—financial, environmental, social, and cultural—as essential for success in the current competitive climate.

The sectors pledged to continue innovating and effectively responding to customer needs, contributing to the city’s economic development. The forum concluded with a call to action for continued advocacy for inclusive growth and sustainability.

Approximately 500 participants left with insights into making Iloilo an attractive investment destination.