🇵🇭 Iloilo City, officially the City of Iloilo, is a 1st class highly urbanised city in the Western Visayas region of the Philippines. It is the capital city of the province of Iloilo where it is geographically situated and grouped under the Philippine Statistics Authority, but remains politically independent in terms of government and administration. In addition, it is the centre of the Iloilo-Guimaras Metropolitan Area, as well as the regional centre and primate city of the Western Visayas region.
Economy Iloilo City is a hub for trade, commerce, finance, technology, medical tourism, hospitality, real estate, tourism, education, and industry in the Western Visayas region. Major industries in the city include management of port facilities, telecommunications infrastructure and utilities, banking and finance, retail trading, real estate, tourism and business process out-sourcing. The local government has provided incentives to businesses in certain investment areas, such as income tax holidays and free issuance of permits and licenses. It is the home of Mang Inasal headquartered in Iloilo.
During Spanish colonial period, sugar was the main export product of Iloilo. The industry brought immense wealth to the city when its port was opened to the international trade. It was in 21st century that the economic activity in Iloilo flourished. The opening of the Iloilo International Airport in 2007 paved the way for the city to prosper. The acquisition of the old airport after it was decommissioned, and a construction of a business park on its site by the real estate giant Megaworld Corporation, became a catalyst for land developers to invest in Iloilo.
As a thriving economic hub in the Western Visayas region, an adequate and growing number of banks establishing branches leads the metropolis as the city with the most banks savings deposits and accounts in the Western Visayas region (third in the Philippines); the modernly built Iloilo International Airport is the 4th busiest airport in the country; the Port of Iloilo which is one of the historical ports in the Philippine islands is now one of the busiest ports and natural harbor in the country by terms of passenger movement and cargo handling; and with the on-going building construction boom especially in the real estate and retail sectors. Iloilo city has the lowest crime rate in entire Philippines, lowest level of corruption, highest life expectancy in Visayas and Mindanao, huge concentration of middle class and rank 1 in happiness index, and the most business-friendly city
Trade and industry There were 8,407 business establishments as of December 2003 in Iloilo City, of which 1,182 are new. Total capital investments for new business establishments is P365,506,020.92. However, both new and renewed capital investments for the year 2003 amounted to ₱13.02 billion. Of the employed person by type of industry from primary occupation 82% belongs to service sector, 14% belongs industry sector and only 4% are in agriculture (as of April 2003 FIES, NSO). Average annual family income (at current prices) is P 283,604 or a percentage increase of 32.3 between 1994 and 1997 while Average Annual Family Expenditures is P 226,887 or a 25.6% increase (2000 FIES).
Average per Capita Income is P 65,136 and Average Per Capita Expenditures is P 51,557 (FIES 2000). Average Inflation Rate is 3.2, the Average Purchasing Power of the Peso is 0.62 and the Average Consumer Price Index (CPI) is 162.6 in 2003. (Source: NSO, Prices Section).
Banking and finance The banking industry in Iloilo dates back during the Spanish times. The establishment of banks during such time is hinge to Iloilo's importance as an international gateway when its port was open for foreign ships to dock in, and the sugar-boom. The first Banco Español-Filipino (now Bank of the Philippines), opened its first branch outside of Manila in Iloilo. The first Philippine National Bank branch outside Manila also opened in the city. With that, there are also international banks implying the city's importance in banking history in the Philippines, that opened in Iloilo during Spanish-American times that ceased their operations in the city: the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC), first HSBC branch outside Manila; and Standard Chartered (first Standard Chartered Bank branch outside Manila).
At present, Iloilo ranks 3rd in the country as the city with most deposits or savings account, fueled by OFW remittances, IT-BPO industry, and the local industries. The surge of microfinancial and other lending institutions in the city has also sprouted. It is the headquarters of LifeBank MFI, the Iloilo's largest homegrown microfinancial institution (3rd largest microfinancial institution in the country) with ~500 branches across the Philippines.
Queen City Development Bank (QueenBank) which is owned by the Florete Group, is one of the founding member of Megalink (the first bank outside of Manila to become a member of it) has its headquarters and 1st branch in Iloilo City.
Information technology The IT-BPO and KPO industry has spurred employment in the metropolis. IT-BPO and KPO locators are attracted to Iloilo because of the literacy rate and number of graduates per year. With continuous influx of business-process outsourcing (BPO) and knowledge process outsourcing (KPO) industry, Iloilo has fast becoming a "Silicon Valley" backed by its political leaders. BPO investors are attracted to Iloilo due to stable energy source, availability of building spaces, high number of graduates and English Proficiency.
Megaworld's Iloilo Business Park - One Global Center, Two Global Center and Three Techno Place are Iloilo operation sites of Transcom Asia, StarTek, WNS Global and Convergent powered by Nearsol, respectively. While Richmonde Tower is where Reed Elsevier is operates. Other IT-BPO and KPO locators are Callbox (the largest homegrown IT-BPO company in Iloilo), Fair Trade Outsourcing (Rethink Staffing) (an American IT & BPM/BPO Company), Telus International, Legato Health Technologies, Asurion, Conectys, TeleTech Holdings, Inc., Crawford & Company, Savant Technologies (A non-voice KPO and BPO company), Eversun Philippines (a non voice KPO and BPO), Reed Elsevier, SPI-Global (Now Inspiro), WorldSource Inc., Vista Health Solutions, Xilium Professional Services, WNS, Hinduja Global Solutions, iXL Solution, RS2, Prosync (Process Synergy), Trusttel Customer Care, OneVirtual Global Business Solutions, Bluu Qatar Philippines, POWRD Solutions, iQor Iloilo, Accentline, Voiceless Technologies (Now Leadgen), XtendOps (Extend BPO), and Yazaki-Philippine EDS Techno Service.
The Department of Science and Technology-Information and Communications Technology Office (DOST-ICTO) and Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP), has named Iloilo City as one of the next wave cities.
Iloilo City is a "City of Excellence" as it rivals the cities of Manila and Cebu in terms of economic progress. It has also a number of IT/BPO and KPO centres except than the ones in Iloilo Business Park, and among them is the Ayala Techno Hub Iloilo, Amigo Plaza Mall, SM City Iloilo and Plazuela de Iloilo.
Some of the known IT/BPO centres is Iloilo Business Park, both by Megaworld Corporation while the Iloilo City Center by the Gaisano Group has business process outsourcing (BPO) office buildings undergoing construction for future IT-BPO and KPO locators occupancy.
Shopping and retail As the shopping hub of Western Visayas, retail industry has a big relevant presence in Iloilo City since Spanish and American colonial times. Proliferated after Philippines gained Independence from United States of America.
In 1877, the first department store in the Philippines was Hoskyn Department Store started at Calle Real (or Royal Street) which stretches from Plaza Libertad to Plazoleta Gay. It was first to employ the "fixed pricing" for its commodities in merchandising . Since it was "the store that sold everything from needle to anchor", people of Iloilo and even Bacolod flocked buying from its goods such as English wool imported from England. It offered groceries, hardware, stationery, toys, watches, jewellery, machinery, buttons, threads, etc. It was described as "a great store" and "the best in the islands", Dauncey recounted how she bought "pieces of furniture, some groceries, china, glass, and so forth" from Hoskyn's "at low prices, as they have such an immense business, even being able to compete with the shops in Manila..." by Enid Rolanda Dauncey, wife of Iloilo-based British businessman Campbell Dauncey, in her 1906 memoirs "An Englishwoman in the Philippines". "It has long been a commercial landmark in the Bisayas, people call on it for everything and always get what they want," incorporated in 1925. After the World War II, Que Family acquired Hoskyns and renaimed it to " Washington Commercial " as their second store . They have "Washington Grocery" in Iznart Street. Subsequently, it was renamed "Washington Supermart".
Marymart Shopping Center opened in 1972. Henry Sy purchased land an adjacent lot in Valeria and founded the SM Iloilo now called SM Delgado, is the first SM outside Manila, which started operating in 1979 while Cebu only opened 14 years after in 1993 and Bacolod in 2007. In 1993, Jimenez family sold their property and Atrium Shopping Center was opened beside Caza Plaza Hotel. It was first shopping centre to have a combination of hotel, restobar, Saloon, Supermarket and Restaurants in the whole Philippines.
With the growing demand of consumerism and real estate, Philippine companies such as - SM Prime Holdings, Robinsons Land Corporation, Megaworld Corporation, and Ayala has fueled the popularity of mall culture in Iloilo.
SM City Iloilo by SM Prime Holdings, the largest SM Supermall in Western Visayas (one of the largest in the Philippines); Robinsons Place Iloilo and Robinsons Place Jaro - both by Robinsons Land Corporation; & by Megaworld Corporation's - Festive Walk Iloilo, the first (full-scale) Megaworld Lifestyle Mall outside Luzon and Festive Walk Parade, the longest dining strip in the Philippines.
Iloilo City has a population of over 457,626 people. Iloilo City also forms the centre of the wider Iloilo City metropolitan area which has a population of over 1,109,649 people.
Twin Towns – Sister Cities Iloilo City is twinned with: 🇵🇭 Bacolod, Philippines; 🇵🇭 General Santos, Philippines; 🇵🇭 Koronadal, Philippines; 🇵🇭 Mandaue, Philippines; 🇵🇭 Parañaque, Philippines; 🇵🇭 Quezon City, Philippines; 🇵🇭 Rosario, Philippines; 🇵🇭 San Juan, Philippines; 🇵🇭 Tacurong, Philippines; 🇵🇭 Taguig City, Philippines; 🇨🇳 Qingdao, Shandong, China; 🇨🇳 Yulin, Guangxi, China; 🇬🇺 Dededo, Guam; 🇲🇾 Kulim, Malaysia; 🇺🇸 Stockton, California, United States; 🇰🇭 Phnom Penh, Cambodia.