BACOLOD CITY -- The City of Bacolod has partnered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as part of its initiatives to improve the local business climate.

The city government hosted a two-day SEC-Gender and Development (GAD) Investor Information Seminar at the Bacolod City Government Center until Friday attended by almost 300 participants from the academe, business organizations, and local government units.

Mayor Evelio Leonardia said the aim of his administration is for Bacolod to have a climate conducive for business to grow.

“I believe that in this business world today, corporations are somehow indispensable. I believe that the more corporations we have, the more it would indicate that there is more dynamism and progress, and development is naturally going to follow,” he said.

This year, Bacolod is one of the top 3 finalists in the Search for the Most Business-Friendly City of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and The Top Philippine Model City for 2017 for being the “most livable urban center in the country” in a competition initiated by The Manila Times.

Officials of SEC, led by Commissioner Emilio Aquino, discussed various topics, including GAD’s Role in Capital Market, Microfinance and Lending, Investment Scams, Investment Products, and Company Registration System.

Lawyer Andrea Lizares-Si, chairperson of the Provincial Council for Women, gave a lecture on sexual harassment.

SEC-Iloilo Extension Office Director RusselIldesa also warned participants against investing money in unregistered investment schemes operating in social media.

Most victims were attracted by the good proposal of scammers in sites such as Facebook, he added.

Ildesa added that an extension office of SEC will soon be established in Bacolod.

It was Leonardia, during his term as congressman, who authored the bill creating a permanent SEC office in Bacolod.

It became Republic Act No. 10785 or the SEC Bacolod Office Law after former President Benigno Aquino III signed it into law in early 2016.

Leonardia said he learned recently that more than 50 percent of all corporations in Western Visayas are based in Bacolod.

“The figures are big enough to justify that there should be a SEC office here. If we have SEC office here, that will facilitate business,” the mayor added. (PNA)