BACOLOD CITY — Filipino-Chinese tycoon Andrew Lim Tan has vowed to help Bacolod become a “dragon city” through future expansions of his own company, which has initially poured in billions of pesos in two property developments here.
“Bacolod has so much potential and we look forward to helping shape Bacolod into a dragon city,” said Tan, who chairs the holding company Alliance Global Group Inc. (AGI), in his speech during the Spring Festival Dinner of the 15th Bacolaodiat Festival held at the SMX Convention Center on Saturday night.
Earlier in the afternoon, Tan was declared “adopted son of Bacolod” through a resolution approved by the City Council led by Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran, and was also named honorary mayor through an executive order issued by Mayor Evelio Leonardia.
“(We are) looking at Bacolod as a major investment destination… We see a lot of opportunities to expand our businesses here so we can generate more jobs, help more communities, support local entrepreneurs, help boost tourism, and contribute more to the city’s economic progress,” he said.
AGI owns property giant Megaworld, which is the largest real estate investor in Bacolod, with a total of P35 billion worth of developments in its two townships –Northill Gateway along the Bacolod-Silay Airport Road, and the Upper East right across the Bacolod Government Center spanning 87 hectares.
Tan said that part of his company’s vision for the two townships is “to be able to contribute to Bacolod’s booming tourism industry”.
“Congratulations to all of you for making Bacolaodiat Festival a landmark festival for Bacolod and Negros Occidental. Tourism programs like this allow us to discover more about our culture and for tourists and visitors to learn more about the locality,” he added.
Tan said they hope to soon invite the Bacolaodiat Festival to hold the major events and activities at the Upper East township.
In his message at the Mayor’s Office, where he received the symbolic key to the City of Bacolod from Mayor Evelio Leonardia, Tan admitted being overwhelmed and almost teary-eyed by the twin honors bestowed on him, which he described as both an “honor and privilege”.
Tan was joined by his son Kevin, chief executive officer of AGI, during the ceremony, which was also witnessed by Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo.
Leonardia said it was Panelo who introduced him to Tan when they both guests at the Palace official’s birthday celebration last year.
“When the honorable mayor called me several weeks ago to inform me about being the honorary mayor of Bacolod, I never had any second thoughts about accepting it. There was only one question that came into my mind: How do I fill the shoes of Mayor Leonardia, who has already done so much for the city?” Tan said.
As part of his “official duties”, Tan signed three executive orders and one business permit.
The younger Tan, after witnessing the conferment of honors on his father, said their family “would be forever grateful to Bacolod.”
“Thank you for the honor. We will remain committed to help Bacolod progress,” he added.