DPWH completes construction of CDO convention center
September 09, 2021 - Thursday 12:09 PM by PNACOMPLETION. Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar gives a speech inside the newly established main building of the Cagayan de Oro City Convention Center in a canned video released Wednesday (Sept. 8, 2021). The Convention Center was the pet project of the late Senator Aquilino Pimentel Jr. in 1998 but was delayed due to budgetary constraints when it started construction in 2001. (File photo)
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) on Wednesday announced the completion of the Cagayan de Oro City Convention Center's main building, 20 years after the start of its construction.
The inauguration was made public through a canned video presentation and uploaded via DPWH Region 10's Facebook page.
Secretary Mark Villar said a total of PHP1.335 billion is needed to meet the requirements from Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) for the convention center to become globally competitive.
"Now that the completion of the main building is realized, CDO (Cagayan de Oro) will further ignite economic development through investments, infrastructure improvements, and tourism," he said.
DPWH-10 Director Zenaida Tan said the event seals a mark of confederation as the department also officially turns over the facility to TIEZA's stewardship.
"After several years in the making, accompanied with left and right controversies upon its suspension from the year 2012 to 2016, the CDO Convention Center’s main building is finally completed," she said.
The convention center project was conceptualized by the late Senator Aquilino Pimentel, Jr. at the start of his term in 1998. The construction of the facility began in 2001 and was expected to be completed in August 2003.
With initial funding of PHP125 million in 2000, the convention center aimed to support big events like sports, concerts, conventions, exhibits, seminars, conferences, and trade shows.
The building is designed to accommodate 7,700 people. The DPWH-10 has already requested funding for the rest of the facilities including the establishment of the pavilion, car park, deck with helipad, view deck, powerhouse, sewage treatment plant facility, materials recovery facility, and pump house.
Meanwhile, TIEZA Chief Operating Officer Mark Lapid said the center will help boost the region's tourism, especially with the onslaught of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In 2016, the construction continued after its suspension in 2012 as the Magtajas family donated the land where the complex is located. The project was then funded in 2017 with PHP350 million, 2018 (PHP100 million), 2020 (PHP214 million).
"The completion of the Cagayan de Oro Convention Center, which stands two decades, demonstrates our resolve and commitment to pursue into fruition our development goals and aspirations. Amid a pandemic, we are able to offer the region a landmark that can host regional, national, and even international gatherings," National Economic and Development Authority Regional Director Mylah Faye Cariño said in a statement. Nef Luczon
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