Saturday, August 12, 2006

Ilonggo Politicians Quarrel Over Tourism Pie

Last week, Ilonggos were treated to the spectacle of local politicians quarrelling over who gets a slice of the tourism pie in the region. Local media reported that Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas was royally pissed during last week's Regional Development Council (RDC) meeting when he found out that his city was inadvertently excluded from the region's over-all tourism masterplan under the newly-established Panay Development Authority. Directing his ire at RDC Chair and Antique Governor Sally Perez (who is incidentally also his relative by marriage), Treñas supposedly threw a tantrum during the meeting, shoving papers and refusing to be mollified despite verbal assurances to the contrary. Governor Perez attributed the omission of Iloilo City in the tourism masterplan to a typographical error and repeatedly assured Treñas that they will correct it accordingly.

Well, typographical error or not, it really seems glaring that Iloilo City, being the regional capital, would be excluded in the region's development plan. I would also be pissed if I was the mayor of Iloilo City. And if you are wondering why Mayor Treñas is making such a big fuss over this seemingly simple error, let me just say that this simple clerical error would cost Iloilo City billions in foregone infrastructure projects. As I have written in my previous blog entry, Ilonggo politicians are eagerly anticipating billions of pesos of tourism-related infra projects to come pouring in ever since the President announced in her SONA that she is earmarking Region 6 as the country's "Tourism Corridor." And many insiders see the new Panay Development Authority as the clearinghouse for most of the multi-billion peso infrastructure projects that will boost tourism in the area.


Anonymous said...

Iloilo city together with the provincial government can create a Development authority on it's own.The province and the city has assets that generate revenues.In the current format the revenues go to the coffer of the city or the province and being used for delivery of services, thereby limiting the growth or expansion of these assets.This is the reason why LGUS' depend entirely from the national government for infrastructure projects.Iloilo is in a very unique position to create such authority, if run efficiently the city and the province will be totally independent from the national government,.How this thing can be done? is too lenghty for me to discuss but if they want they can commission a study , make a model and present it to the people.I am very much willing to provide an assistance to the creation of such a worthy endeavor.

vic said...


that is a pre-lude to "federalism" that i think is a good idea in having each province or region strive to generate its own industry and job creation from its very own resources. And the central government will benefit then by default by also generating more taxes out of the provinces and be able to download to poorer provinces to help them out. But i suggest before you go about it, an agreement between the central government and the provinces when it comes to taxation and other services should be clearly defined first, otherwise it will be really rough sailing.

Anonymous said...

What i'm talking about is not Federalism, this is about an authority that would be able to handle income generating assets of the city and the provincial government.It will be run like a private entity but will deliver public services.It's structure is too complex to explain, it will be something like a quasi-government outfit that can and will generate revenues for both the city and the province, it will have nothing to do with taxation.The province and the city as I said has assets that can make this proposal works.Our political leaders should look at other means how to improve its income so that it can generate disposable
funds for other projects that would accomodate the growth of both the city and the province.