Business groups support markets rehab under PPP

(City Hall PIO photos)

Business groups in Iloilo City expressed their support for the redevelopment of the city’s two biggest markets – Iloilo Central Market and Iloilo Terminal Market – to help small and micro enterprises and further spur economic developments in the metro.

The Iloilo Economic Development Foundation Inc. (ILEDF), Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce Iloilo Inc., Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) – Iloilo Chapter and Iloilo Business Club Inc. all shared the same sentiments in supporting the rehabilitation of the two public markets in the metro under the public private partnership (PPP) scheme.

ILEDF President Engr. Terence Uygongco said that the public markets are essential tools in providing employment opportunities among locals and in enhancing community economic development.

“Public markets are unique economic and social institutions which are increasingly being viewed as tools to achieve improved access to quality food, better marketing opportunities for Iloilo and Western Visayas farmers, fisherfolks, and entrepreneurs providing employment opportunities to locals, creating entrepreneurial environment to increase small business formation and enhancing community economic development,” he said in a statement issued on Thursday.

The ILEDF commended the administration of Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas for the successful PPP partnership for the revamp of the two markets as the group believes that it will further cement Iloilo City’s goal of becoming one of the country’s top investment destinations.

“We also believe that the successful holding of this public-private sector initiative will help upgrade essential economic locations to further cement that Iloilo City is one of the country’s premiere investment destinations.”

In its resolution of support, PCCI Iloilo stressed that rehabilitation of the two public markets will trigger the revitalization of the Downtown area and retain the local heritage of Iloilo City.

“When the two public markets are restored and developed, it will become more attractive, comfortable, and organized. These projects will spur more development and further improve economic activities in the peripheral areas of the market,” the resolution said.

Meanwhile, the Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce Iloilo Inc. highlighted the need to introduce PPP projects as small enterprises need new opportunities to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The PPP projects comes in an opportune time because the business sector is recovering from the adverse effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, and there is a need to create new opportunities for local micro and small enterprises to bounce back.”

With the redevelopment of the two big public markets, Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce Iloilo Inc. (FCCCII) said that they are looking forward to modern and clean public markets where residents can comfortably buy fresh produce and dry goods.

“We are looking forward to a modern, clean, and well-managed facility where residential and corporate shoppers can comfortably buy fresh produce, meats, fish and other dry goods. We are also looking forward to how the project will enhance aesthetics around downtown Iloilo and significantly impact the local economy in terms of job, taxes, and improved public spaces,” the FCCCII said in another statement.

The Iloilo Business Club Inc. said that the redevelopment of the two public markets will be a major game-changer not only for the city but for the whole province of Iloilo.

IBC said that the two public markets deserve the long-overdue makeover.

“The Central and Terminal markets are both historical and economic landmarks deserving of this long-overdue makeover. Once completed, these public markets with its modern, clean, and convenient look will spur the economic activity in the heart of Iloilo City which will pave the way for more business opportunities and investors in the area, thereby generating more livelihoods and jobs for the Ilonggos.”

The biz club commended the city government in pushing for the PPP as it is a manifestation of the essential role of the private sector in the progress and development of the community.

“We further commend the decision of the Iloilo City government to go through the public private partnership route for this project as this affirms the role of the private sector as an important partner of the government in attaining progress and development.”

Last Tuesday, lease agreements were formally awarded to SM Prime Holding Inc. (SMPHI) for the redevelopment of the two public markets.

SMPHI said that initial investment proposals range from P1.5 up to P2.5 billion per market and are expected to be finished within two years.

The Iloilo City government continues to push more PPP projects in the metro to help the city from the necessary burden of expenses and bolster economic development.

“Here in Iloilo City, partnerships, collaborations, and joint ventures are part of our culture. Ang pagbinuligay upod na sa aton nga kultura. We continue to welcome more PPP projects to help spur our economy,” Treñas said.