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Bacolod City, PhilippinesThursday, June 14, 2007
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Bacolod expecting boost
in hosting regional confab

The Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and Industry will host the 16th Visayas Area Business Conference at the L'Fisher Hotel in Bacolod City on September 7 to 9.

MBCCI vice president Jose Ma. Zayco yesterday said they are expecting about 120 chief executive officers of various corporations all over the Philippines to attend the conference.

He said officers of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry will come to reaffirm the sustainability of Bacolod City, which has been adjudged the Most Business Friendly City in Western Visayas in 2006 by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Zayco said the main topics to be discussed during the conference are the tourism viability of Negros Occidental, the bio-ethanol program of the province and the review of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program. He said these will be contained in a resolution that they will submit to the Senate and Congress.

Zayco said the MBCCI believes that CARP needs to be reviewed, if not cancelled, since it has no sustainability and has only reduced their production.

He said it has also created conflicts between the landowners and the beneficiaries since there is no sustainable income that would propel them and that their lives have not been alleviated.

Zayco said they want to see a review of the program, its advantages and disadvantages and the problems encountered in its implementation especially in Negros.

Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia said "The coming over of about 120 CEOs of the biggest corporations all over the country is for us, a significant occasion in the light of our thrust to push Bacolod into the investment map of the Philippines."

He said these business executives started to notice the city after it was recognized as the Most Business Friendly City in the whole Visayas. This will be an opportunity to interact with these people and we hope this will be a chance for the city to sustain its gains towards in the economic progress of Bacolod, he added.

Leonardia said he is thanking the MBCCI for bringing in these top quality business executives who could be somehow very influential and very instrumental if, and when more investments come to Bacolod. He said this is very encouraging in the light of many other business prospects citing, as an example, a big call center company that is very serious in locating in Bacolod, which would mean another 1,000 new jobs for the people.

"At the rate we are going, as far as the call center industry is concerned, we will need more people who are qualified for the job," Leonardia said. This was among the topics he discussed recently with Manapla Mayor Manuel Escalante, president of the Association Chief Executives, and San Carlos Mayor Eugenio Lacson.

Leonardia said that with Councilor Jocelle Batapa-Sigue, as the IT Focus Team key player, they hope to see local governments in the province developing prospective employees for the call center industry in Bacolod.*CGS

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