In the heart of the Western Visayas, Iloilo stands as a testament to the Philippines’ burgeoning regional economic might.
In 2022, Iloilo City was ranked the most competitive highly urbanized city outside the National Capital Region.
Despite its robust economic performance, there remains a palpable consensus that the city, and Iloilo province at large, has not fully tapped into its vast potential. This necessitates a thorough and proactive approach to elevate standards and catalyze further improvements.
The economic prowess of Iloilo City is underpinned by its service sector, which remarkably constitutes 93.27% of its economic activities. The city’s strategic location, enhanced accessibility, and continuous infrastructure developments have poised it as a competitive player in trade, commerce, finance, technology, medical tourism, hospitality, real estate, education, and industry.
The urban landscape of Iloilo City, brimming with industries such as business process outsourcing, banking, finance, and retail, is a hive of bustling economic activity.
Yet, experts underscore that to capitalize on and maximize this economic vigor, Iloilo province must transcend the existing standards and address issues that impede its progress. The objectives laid out for this purpose are not just goals but stepping stones towards a future where Iloilo’s potential is not just recognized but fully realized.
These objectives focus on diversifying economic activities, enhancing productivity, improving infrastructure, and fostering a climate conducive to investment and innovation.
To improve agricultural and fisheries production with value-adding agribusiness and fishery business opportunities is to recognize the rich natural bounty of Iloilo and the role it can play in strengthening food security and sustainability.
Enhancing income, production, and productivity in the city’s commercial areas, industrial zones, and Central Business Districts emphasizes the need to foster an environment where businesses can thrive.
The call to improve tax collection efficiency through smart technologies is a nod to the modern age, where technological solutions can streamline processes, reduce waste, and increase revenue without burdening the populace.
The provision of greater access and connectivity to ICT services also stands as a fundamental pillar for an inclusive, tech-savvy, and future-ready Iloilo.
Infrastructure remains at the heart of any developmental strategy. The push for green and disaster-resilient infrastructure, alongside sustainable utilities, signals an awareness of the environmental challenges we face today. It speaks to a commitment to resilience and sustainability that will benefit not just the current populace but generations to come.
Lastly, the emphasis on Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) for local economic enterprises underscores a critical understanding that development is a collaborative effort. Such partnerships can be the crucibles of innovation, efficiency, and economic dynamism, bringing together the best of both the public and private sectors.
The roadmap for Iloilo’s economic future is clear, yet the journey is not without its challenges. It requires the concerted effort of policymakers, business leaders, and the community to ensure that the strategies and objectives are not merely aspirational but actionable.
As Iloilo strides forward, it is the responsibility of all stakeholders to contribute to a milieu that encourages growth, equity, and sustainability.
The time for Iloilo to transition from a regional powerhouse to a national beacon of progress is now. The potential is there, the plan is set, and the world is watching. With resolve and concerted effort, Iloilo can and will realize its full economic potential.