KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/14 July) — The city government is planning to build a multimillion modern convention center in a bid to draw more major events and visitors or tourists to the city.
City Treasurer Marloun Gumbao said studies are now underway for the construction of the proposed city convention center, which is envisioned to become an events hub in Region 12 or the Soccsksargen Region.
He said the city government is initially planning to invest around P150 million for the structure, which would be patterned after the famed SMX Convention Center at the SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City.
“It will be a boxed structure like that of the SMX and equipped with modern amenities that could accommodate up to 1,000 people,” he said in an interview over radio station dxKR.
Gumbao said there has been a demand in the area for bigger events facilities for the hosting of major activities like conferences and conventions.
At present, he said the only available structure that could accommodate up to 1,000 participants is the provincial government-run South Cotabato Gymnasium and Cultural Center, which could not cope with the demand.
The official said the establishment of the convention center will complement with the city’s enhanced tourism initiatives and the resurging hotel or accommodation sector.
A number of major hotels and other accommodation facilities have mushroomed in the city in the last several years due to its thriving tourism industry.
“If we can draw major events here, our hotels will benefit much as it will also mean more visitors from other areas,” he said.
Gumbao said the convention center will be built on a vacant lot at the back of the city hall complex.
He said the structure will be facing the Sec. Jesse Roberedo Avenue and will anchor the new city center that would be put up in the area.
The site is several meters away from the city’s P150-million transport terminal complex project, which is targeted to commence before the end of the year.
The city government had secured a loan from the Land Bank of the Philippines for the construction of the terminal that is due for completion in two years.
“After the completion of the terminal, we will proceed with the convention center project,” he added. (MindaNews)