Press Release
September 14, 2015

Drilon: ICC is an impossible dream that becomes possible only under PNoy admin

The realization of one of Iloilo's impossible dreams proves that nothing is impossible with strong political will by leaders and solidarity across sectors, Senate President Franklin M. Drilon said.

Drilon joined President Benigno Aquino III as the main guests for the inauguration of the Iloilo Convention Center this morning, where he said that projects like the ICC that will bring in jobs and prestige to Ilonggos are only possible if political leaders "have the political will, the heart of a warrior, and nerves of steel to make things happen."

"In Iloilo, we have proven that there are no impossible dreams if political leaders have the political will. There are no impossible dreams if the private sector and our people will stand in solidarity with us, in the pursuit of our development goals," Drilon stressed.

Drilon, who is a pivotal force in Iloilo's development, credited President Aquino's leadership for making the rebirth of Iloilo possible.

"Your Excellency, it is only during your administration that we have seen significant infrastructure development and the rapid economic expansion of Iloilo. We, Ilonggos, are profoundly grateful for your unrelenting support," Drilon emphasized.

"Under your leadership, the Ilonggos dared to dream the impossible. And we succeeded," he stressed.

Drilon recounted that all the developments in Iloilo, including the construction of the ICC, seemed remote and impossible five years ago.

He said that these developments, which also include the construction of the Jalaur River Multi-Purpose Project, became possible with the strong support from the government.

Drilon said that the ICC will not only boost Iloilo's reputation "as an impeccable location for convention, but will raise the profile of Western Visayas," pointing to ICC's selection as the venue of three upcoming Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministerial Meetings, from September 21 to October 6.

"We built the ICC because we recognize the convention sector's immense potential to contribute to tourism growth, and consequently, to the economic expansion of the Iloilo province and the Western Visayas region," said Drilon.

He also expressed optimism that the Iloilo's hosting of the APEC Ministerial Meetings will create a positive ripple effect to the tourism industry not only of Iloilo but of the entire region.

"In 2013, Western Visayas had 3.5 million tourist arrivals, the highest among the 15 regions in the country. Of the six provinces in the region, Iloilo had 20 percent share of the tourist arrivals. With the ICC, we are confident that we can see a significant increase in the numbers," he noted.

Drilon also said that the ICC will promote Iloilo as a premier tourist destination and highlight its rich cultural heritage.

The ICC is one of the two world class government-owned convention centers in the country. The other one is the Philippine International Convention Center.

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