Monday, August 27, 2007

Goodbye Museo Iloilo?

A little over a year after the Petron Oil Spill tragedy, President Arroyo dissolves the Task Force Solar I Oil Spill (TF SOS) headed by Presidential Adviser Rafael Coscolluela (read it here). It seems that Coscolluela is off to bigger things, having been appointed Administrator of the Sugar Regulatory Commission, and with the IOCF no longer planning to release additional funds to compensate victims in Guimaras, the President has seen no more need for TF SOS.


Museo Iloilo, which has been standing on its present site at the Capitol complex since 1971, is in danger of being demolished if plans to construct a convention center pushes thru (read more here). This idea for a convention center is not feasible for the following reasons:

1.) it will be competing against privately-owned hotels, resorts and convention centers which are presently catering to our convention visitors. We have more than enough convention facilities at the moment to fulfill the needs of our visitors. Government should support, not compete, with private business.

2.) the convention market is not big enough. It's not as if doctors and dentists are all rushing to book their conventions in Iloilo that some cannot be accommodated anymore. As it is, competition among our hotels and resorts for convention bookings is already cutthroat. The last thing they need is for government to compete with them.

3.) government has no business being in business. One sure way to make a business enterprise fail is to ask government to run it. Just look at NAWASA back then: it cannot even make money from selling water. If you cannot make money selling a most basic and vital commodity such as water, then you have no business being in business.

I recall that the provincial government of Cebu built a similar convention center for the ASEAN Summit and it is hardly being used today. While I support efforts to promote Iloilo as a convention destination, this idea of putting up a government-run convention center should be nipped in the bud moreso if the plan calls for the demolition of Museo Iloilo. The people don't need it and don't want it.


mschumey07 said...

So much for the privatization program of the government. More SOPs for the officials.


Agree Iloilo Boy.

Why put up a convention center when hotels can do that? Nonsense.

A bit topsy-turvy this govt is when it comes to reasoning the right way.

I hope they read your post!