DPWH completes construction of CDO convention center

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COMPLETION. Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar delivers a speech inside the new main building of the Cagayan de Oro City Convention Center in a canned video released on Wednesday, September 8, 2021. The Convention Center was the late favorite project of the late. Senator Aquilino Pimentel Jr. in 1998, but was delayed due to budget constraints when it began construction in 2001. (File photo)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) announced on Wednesday the completion of the main building of the Cagayan de Oro City Convention Center, 20 years after its construction began.

The grand opening was made public through a canned video presentation and uploaded via the DPWH Region 10 Facebook page.

Secretary Mark Villar said a total of PHP 1.335 billion is needed to meet the requirements of the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) for the convention center to become competitive at the global scale.

“Now that the main building is completed, CDO (Cagayan de Oro) will further boost 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 cedes the facility to TIEZA management.

“After several years of preparation, accompanied by controversies left and right over its suspension from 2012 to 2016, the main building of the CDO Convention Center is finally completed,” she said.

The convention center project was conceptualized by the late Senator Aquilino Pimentel, Jr. at the start of his tenure in 1998. Construction of the facility began in 2001 and was due for completion in August 2003.

With initial funding of PHP 125 million in 2000, the convention center aimed to support major events such as sports, concerts, conventions, exhibitions, 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 creation of the pavilion, the parking lot, the bridge with helipad, the panoramic bridge, the power plant, the sewage treatment plant, the the material recovery facility and the pumping station.

Meanwhile, TIEZA chief operating officer Mark Lapid said the center will help boost tourism in the region, especially with the onslaught of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In 2016, construction continued after it was suspended in 2012 when the Magtajas family donated the land where the complex is located. The project was then funded in 2017 with PHP 350 million, 2018 (PHP 100 million), 2020 (PHP 214 million).

“The completion of the Cagayan de Oro Convention Center, which has been in existence for two decades, demonstrates our determination and commitment to pursue our development goals and aspirations. In the midst of a pandemic, we are able to provide the region with a landmark that can host, and even international gatherings, ”said the regional director of the National Authority for Economy and Development, Mylah Faye Cariño, in a statement. (ANP)


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