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So you’re thinking of investing in Iloilo

By Jed Jaleco Del Rosario IMG_5818-2_Size

ILOILO CITY. With a rich agricultural sector, a strong BPO/IT industry, a robust tourism sectors and numerous natural resources to offer investors, the province of Iloilo along with its capital, Iloilo City, are considered among the fastest growing places in the Philippines today, and also one of the most economically rewarding. So if you’re curious as to what Iloilo has to offer investors then here’s what you need to know.

Why Iloilo? There are several reasons why Iloilo offers a lot of value to investors. Firstly, the province is considered as one of the safest places in the Philippines. Iloilo has been described as “The Most Livable City in the Philippines”.

iloilo-international-airport-landscape
The new Iloilo international airport terminal

However, Iloilo offers more than just safety and security. It was also considered one of the top 5 business-friendly cities in the Philippines in 2015 due to numerous factors, including rich aquatic resources, industrial and manufacturing sectors, strong Business Process Outsourcing and Information Technology industry as well as a dynamic tourism sector.

For those of you who are interested in Iloilo’s aquaculture, she has some of the richest fishing grounds in the Philippines, many of which are home to prawn, milkfish, grouper as well as other popular aquatic delicacies. The municipality of Estancia, for example, has abundant marine resources and numerous fish farms.

fort san pedro
Boardwalk along the Iloilo River

In the field of agriculture and industry, investors should learn about the Regional Agro-Industrial Center in Pavia, home to several manufacturing, packaging and agricultural establishments, including Coca-Cola Bottlers Phils. Inc., Mandaue Foam Industries, the Vitarich Corporation, Prestress International Concrete Builders, Jaspe Light Steel Industries and many more.

gigantes island
Iloilo’s famed Gigantes Island

With regards to BPO and IT, Iloilo boasts of burgeoning call centers and web development companies like Unlideals.com, which describes itself as “Iloilo’s first ever shopping website,” and a promoter of “various services and products including discount coupons for restaurants, food, spas and fitness, beauty and wellness, travel and a lot more.”

The city is also home to numerous call centers, like Teletech, Reedelsevier and Callbox, thanks to the well-educated and highly trained workforce based in the city. Iloilo has the infrastructure and workforce necessary to make your goals a reality.

It’s worth mentioning that Iloilo’s tourism sectors also offer many great opportunities for investors. According to latest estimates Boracay received around 982,000 tourist receipts from January to June of this year, while real estate development companies, like Double Dragon and Megaworld, are creating more malls and shopping centers in most of Iloilo’s major business districts.

There is also the Iloilo Business Park which already hosts some of the most prominent businesses in the city. In addition to specific sectors and commodities, the Iloilo City government has several projects open to interested investors.

They include: development of a Research, Training and Resource Center; construction of the Iloilo Rivercraft Pavilion; development of a Philippine Ship Academy; construction of the Esplanade Apartment Hotel; rehabilitation of the Sunburst Park-Freedom Grandstand; redevelopment of the Iloilo Central Market; establishment of an Iloilo City International Hotel; establishment of a Complex in Jaro, Iloilo; construction of a Center for Entrepreneurial Development; establishment of a city Sports Academy; redevelopment of Iloilo’s Major Commodity Markets; development of Various City Government Properties; redevelopment of Fort San Pedro; and the mixed-use Development of Plazuela De Iloilo 1 and 2.

horizon cafe injap 21 iloilo singaporean hainanese chicken agboi iloilo city 08 cafe ilonggo
Iloilo at night

Interested parties can learn more about these projects by contacting official city representatives at leipo.officeiloilocity@gmail.com

How to Start Your Own Business in IloIlo City

The process flow to acquire a business permit in IloIlo City is relatively easy. First of all, you will need to visit or contact the permits and licensing office. There, you will need to go through three simple steps:

Secure and fill out an application form.

Secure a checklist of requirements

Go to the Examination Division of the City Treasurer’s Office

Once you’re in the City Treasurer’s Office, you will need to follow the following steps.

Submit your form to the Examination Division for assessment of taxes and fees as well as the issuance of Tax Order of Payment.

Take your clearance from the Real Property Tax Division.

Acquire approval for payment from the Assistant City Treasurer.

Pay the necessary taxes and fees, and secure a fire safety inspection certificate as well as a zoning certificate from the concerned offices.

Once you have all the documents you need, return to the Business Permits and Licensing Office and submit your official receipt as well as your application, along with all the documentary requirements for inspection and printing of permit. Once that has been settled, you will be issued and approved your permit.

Where Should You Go If You Require Additional Information?

For additional information about investing in IloIlo or any other region in Panay, please visit the Local Economic and Investment Promotion Office (LEIPO). LEIPO officers are not only trained to answer whatever questions investors have for them, they can also refer them to the right government agencies in order to help facilitate whatever investment or business venture that they wish to start.

Furthermore, LEIPO can also provide you with fact sheets and other useful information about Iloilo, its economy and anything else that you may need in making your business decision. They can also help explain to you how your status as a Filipino-American may affect your business or investment application.

So for those of you who are interested in investing in the Philippines, IloIlo is definitely one of the best options in the country. We have the manpower, the resources, the infrastructure and the services to make this city great. The only thing missing is you.

 

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