By Lydia C. Pendon
LONE district representative Jerry P. Treñas here has recently filed House Bill 3956 creating the Metro Iloilo-Guimaras Economic Development Council (MIGEDC).
The bill seeks to upgrade the council’s status since its creation in 2006 through an executive order
The council encompasses the city of Iloilo and the province of Guimaras and the municipalities of Pavia, San Miguel, Oton, Leganes and Sta. Barbara. The mayor of Iloilo City is the council chairman while the governor of Guimaras is the co-chairman.
Other members are the municipal mayors of Pavia, San Miguel, Oton, Leganes and Sta Barbara and the president of the League of Municipalities of Guimaras.
Treñas said that in order for a regional economic development strategy to succeed, it is necessary to bolster the effectiveness of inter-local government cooperation. The council proved effective in accelerating economic and tourism development in the Iloilo-Guimaras area, he said.
The proposed bill seeks to consolidate the functions of the existing council and solidify its existence by defining and strengthening its mandate.
The Iloilo-Guimaras area has been tagged as having an inherent competitive edge in tourism. It is also considered by the national government as a priority area for investments.
The council, if upgraded by law, shall be able to capitalize on the identified inherent strengths of the Western Visayas region and boost commerce, industry and tourism in the area.