Iloilo City has been chosen as the venue of the upcoming 2018 East Asian Seas Congress to be held on November 27 to 30 at the Iloilo Convention Center (ICC). Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. said that it is a great privilege to be the host city for the upcoming Congress as the ICC’s state of the art facilities has been “home to congregations that encourage dialogues towards sustainable development and bridging potential collaborations towards the future of the East Asian Seas region.”
“With a coastline of approximately 72 kilometers, Iloilo City is a coastal metropolitan area with a population of around 950,000 Ilonggos,” said Governor Defensor. “We extend our warm invitation to the delegates to explore the historic and scenic side of the city and the rest of the province.”
Similarly, Iloilo Mayor Jose Espinosa III expressed that they are “deeply honored that our beloved city has been chosen as the venue for this momentous event.” He added that the City Government of Iloilo supports the efforts of the Congress in “bringing together various stakeholders and working towards aligning local, national and regional actions and goals with that of the global ocean agenda.”
Mayor Espinosa added that “Iloilo is actively pursuing good and responsible governance that promotes social, economic and environmental development. Aside from the different Congress events, get ready to be welcomed with warm Ilonggo hospitality, to indulge in our delicious cuisine, and to immerse in our rich culture.”
Known as the “Heart of the Philippines,” Iloilo City has successfully hosted international assemblies such as the 2015 APEC High-Level Policy Dialogue on Food Security and the Blue Economy and ASEAN in the past.
Initial preparations for the Congress have already commenced, as representatives from the PEMSEA Resource Facility (PRF) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) convened for a preparatory meeting with the local organizing committee (LOC) members from DENR Region 6 and the Provincial and City Governments of Iloilo and Guimaras during a four-day visit last April 17 to 20.
This year’s EAS Congress will feature an International Conference and Environmental Exhibition alongside other events including the Fifth EAS Youth Forum and PEMSEA Network of Local Governments (PNLG) Forum which will culminate with the Sixth Ministerial Forum. A special field visit to a PEMSEA integrated coastal management (ICM) site in the Island of Guimaras will also happen.