‘The Way Forward’: Treñas envisions Iloilo as PH’s top 3 competitive highly urbanized city

Iloilo City Mayor Jerry P. Treñas delivers the State of the City Address (SOCA) at Plaza Libertad Wednesday afternoon. (Photo from Mayor Treñas’ FB page)

By Rjay Castor

Iloilo City Mayor Jerry P. Treñas set his vision of propelling Iloilo City as among the top 3 most competitive highly urbanized cities in the country by 2028 by focusing on the four pillars of its new “transitional blueprint.”

Treñas shared this ambitious aspiration and the strategic roadmap for the city in his State of the City Address (SOCA) at Plaza Libertad Wednesday afternoon.

“This blueprint is not just a plan; it is an architectural marvel towards our aimed destination,” he explained.

The “transformational metamorphosis”, which Treñas described, will be rooted in four core pillars: environmental sustainability, resilient infrastructure, innovative economic development, and responsive and inclusive human development.

“Iloilo City shall be a model of a livable, sustainable, and resilient city of [well-governed] and empowered Ilonggos that safeguard the environment and preserve the culture while sustaining a robust, inclusive, and innovative economy,” read the vision statement of the roadmap.

Treñas said the “strategy refresh intervention” was created in collaboration with the Institute for Solidarity in Asia to ensure that the strategic objectives and initiatives of the city government will remain relevant and responsive to the needs of the Ilonggos.

In 2019, the mayor presented the Iloilo City Roadmap through the “WHEELS” programs or the Welfare, Health and Sanitation, Education, Environmental Management, Livelihood, and Sustainability.

“Four years of navigating the roadmap we created in 2019, WHEELS for Inclusive Development, we have seen a lot of progress, but it doesn’t stop there,” the city mayor said.

“For every single dream I have for Iloilo City that turns into reality, sprouts another,” he added.


Treñas said under the environmental sustainability pillar, the city government will create green spaces, promote waste reduction, and advocate for clean energy alternatives, which his administration has taken crucial steps in already.

“The Beach Forest, Lanit Tree Park, and the Mangrove eco-park and the redevelopment of plazas are some of the notable green projects that we have promoting environmental sustainability,” he said.

As the city cemented itself as the “Bike Capital of the Philippines,” Treñas said he will install a bike-sharing system through a mobile application. In a bike-sharing system, Ilonggos can rent a bike for short or longer distances.

Treñas said he will also focus on improving the walkability of the sidewalks, adapting e-vehicles as part of green transport, and implementing a comprehensive urban drainage plan that will lessen the flooding.

The city mayor also stressed that the “heartbeat of our city is its economy.” He noted the ongoing market developments, digital systems for markets, and connecting Iloilo to the global economy are some of the few strides his administration is pushing to drive economic development.

Treñas said the city government is also embarking on reengineering organizational structure and human resource systems.

He emphasized that reengineering the organizational structure will ensure that the machinery aligns with the city government’s strategic mandate.

“With a workforce that is equipped, motivated, and aligned with our goals, we are laying the foundation for excellence,” he added.

Trenas aspires for Iloilo to be a model city of transparent and excellent governance, in which he described the aspiration as “not just a vision; it is our duty to you, our constituents.”


Iloilo City achieving greater heights over the past years is all thanks to the spirit of the Ilonggos — the dedication, resilience, and passion — which shaped the city’s destiny according to Treñas.

“I am reminded that the most beautiful achievements are those that are shared,” he said

The city mayor recalled the achievements of Iloilo since he took office in 2019 and pursued his second term in the 2022 elections.

In 2019, Iloilo City was awarded the ASEAN Clean Tourist City Award, one of the three cities in the country that received such an award. The following year, the city emerged as a model in the fight against the CoVID-19 pandemic. The city also saw improvements in the business sector and its economic activities in 2021.

“These victories are not mine alone; they belong to each one of you. It is the spirit of the Ilonggos, your dedication, your resilience, and your passion, that has shaped our city’s destiny,’ he continued.

Treñas said that this only proves that a community comes together and works together, incredible achievements are within reach.