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Harmonized dev’t plan for Iloilo towns, Guimaras pushed

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By Philippine News Agency

Local government units (LGUs) of the Metro Iloilo Guimaras Economic Development Council (MIGEDC) are looking forward to finalize and approve a working plan for the revitalization of the council this September.

(Iloilo City Public Information Office/ PNA/ MANILA BULLETIN)

(Iloilo City Public Information Office/ PNA/ MANILA BULLETIN)

Its revitalization is geared towards the synchronization of the development plans of local government units that compose the council.

Iloilo City Mayor Jose Espinosa III has called for a closed-door meeting with members of the council on Tuesday where they agreed to “review the working mechanism and system of the MIGEDC as a metropolitan organization” in April.

Espinosa said they would like to have a “holistic” approach when planning for development such that this city takes into account it’s neighboring LGUs and Guimaras, and vice-versa.

Iloilo City is the current chair of the MIGEDC with the province of Guimaras as co-chair while its members are the towns of Pavia, San Miguel, Oton, Leganes and Sta. Barbara in Iloilo and the president of the League of Municipalities of Guimaras.

Espinosa said the last meeting of the MIGEDC was held more than a year ago. With its revitalization, the mayor wanted an authorized and permanent representative from each member.

MIGEDC “focuses on the total development of the area.” He cited for instance Iloilo City gets its supply of food from its immediate vicinity.

The development of Iloilo City has also made an impact on the transportation sector and boarding houses, among others, thus these have to be considered when making future plans.

The upcoming bridge that would connect Guimaras and Iloilo City “will be advantageous to all of us,” the mayor said.

Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno last week confirmed that the Iloilo-Guimaras bridge, which is part of the big ticket projects of the national government, will start construction this year.

With this development, they should plan out on the concentration of each member, he said.

He added that they need to consider whether or not Pavia and Oton will be the industrial center, Zarraga for food production and food security aspect and Guimaras on tourism.

MIGEDC was created by virtue of Executive Order 559 signed by former president and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on August 28, 2006.

It was the fruit of the merger of the Metropolitan Iloilo Development Council (MIDC) that was created through a Memorandum of Agreement in 2001 and the Guimaras-Iloilo City Alliance (GICA) that was formalized in 2005.

MIDC gathered Iloilo towns with focus on six areas of collaboration. These included basic services, environmental management, public safety and security, land use management, infrastructure development and economic promotion and development.

GICA focused on tourism and infrastructure development with special focus on road and port systems improvement.

This coming May, they will be holding a workshop where they will be guided by a consultant who will walk them through the crafting of an effective working plan. The draft will be presented to local chief executives of member-LGUs in July and for approval in September.

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