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By Francis Allan L. Angelo

 

THE new president of an influential business organization in the country vowed to help the city and province of Iloilo rise to economic prominence provided that problems on power and water shortage are solved first.

 

Alfonso Uy, the newly elected president of the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (FFCCCII), said the two problems besetting Iloilo must be solved first to encourage investors to come to the city and the province.

 

“Many investors are interested in Iloilo but they are hesitant because of our unstable and expensive power and water supplies,” Uy said in a phone interview with The Daily Guardian Monday.

 

Uy was elected FFCCCII president April 6 during the federation’s 27th Biennial Convention at the SMX Convention Center at the Mall of Asia in Pasay City. He is the first Visayan president of the federation.

 

FFCCCII is composed of 170 member organizations nationwide and one of the most influential business organization in the Philippines today.

 

Uy also chairs the Iloilo Economic Development Foundation (ILEDF) which promotes the city and province of Iloilo as the future investment site in the country.

 

Uy said they are pushing for projects which are “fundamentally needed to promote Iloilo.”

 

“One good news is the construction of the coal-fired power plant of the Global Business Power Corp. (GBPC). We expect the price and supply of electricity in the city and province to stabilize once the project is completed and goes online between October and November 2010,” Uy said.

 

Engr. Adrian Moncada, GBPC vice president for commercial operations, told the Iloilo business community in a forum on power issues last Friday that the 164-megawatt power plant will be completed in the last quarter of 2010.

 

“Landfill development is currently ongoing in the 24-hectare site and actual construction will start by July or August this year,” Moncada said. 

 

As regards water supply, Uy said they are looking at the long-term supply that will cater to big investments in Iloilo.

 

He cited the integrated irrigation system project of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) which got the support of the World Bank.

 

The NIA project will construct a water dam in Lambunao which has capacity of 360 million cubic meters. The project will also create an irrigation canal system.

 

“The integrated irrigation project will irrigate our farmlands the whole year and supply water to Iloilo City and the towns along the distribution lines. It will mean increase in agricultural production and stable water supply,” Uy said.

 

ILEDF has requested NIA to revisit the study on the integrated irrigation project to find out if it’s still feasible.

 

“We have to revalidate the data of the study to find out if it’s still feasible nowadays to address the water shortage,” Uy said.

 

Uy said solving the power and water problems are the key to Iloilo’s prominence in “sunshine industries” such as the business processes outsourcing sector.

 

“If we solve these concerns, it would be easy to attract members of the business community to invest in Iloilo,” he added.

 

Two years ago, a major call center investor moved to Bacolod City because of high power rates in Iloilo City.

July 2020
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