By Richmond Mercurio (The Philippine Star) | Updated April 4, 2016 - 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines is on the brink of a major property overhaul as a record number of business hub constructions outside the country’s capital has peaked anew.
About 53 to 55 business districts and IT parks are currently being developed outside Metro Manila at present which are easily worth hundreds of billions of pesos, according to Leechiu Property Consultants chief executive officer David Leechiu.
“We are undergoing an unprecedented boom in the provinces in terms of construction and real estate development. Never has that ever happened on the scale we’re doing it now in the history of the Philippines. The 53 to 55 business districts under construction is totaling about 41,000 hectares of idle property that are being transformed now to massive townships,” Leechiu said.
Although the bulk of these developments is still led by the Ayala’s, the Sy’s, and Andrew Tan’s group, a number of rich families in the provinces are also going on their own investment spree to push progress in these up and coming hotspots.
“It’s not just the big developers’ story anymore, although SM, Ayala and Megaworld are still the three largest township developers. It’s now all these local taipans in Davao, Cagayan De Oro, Bicol – all the local rich that are plowing hundreds of millions, if not billions of pesos of investment in their communities,” Leechiu said.
The Leechiu Property Consultants’ latest report showed Pampanga as having the most number of ongoing master planned developments outside Metro Manila with eight under construction, followed by Davao and the cluster of Laguna/Cavite/Batangas with seven each.
Bacolod and Cebu, meanwhile, have five each, while Baguio has four.
Leechiu said development of these new business districts does not only reinforce business, industry, and tourism in the provinces, but also attracts residents.
“These developments cater to the overseas Filipinos who were coming back here and want to live and own property in the Philippines,” he said.
“Prior to these business districts developing, the overseas Filipinos were quite reluctant in investing in the Philippines because things are so undeveloped in the provinces. But now with these townships they’re seeing development happening at a rapid scale and they are able to say these projects are similar to what they’ve used to in the Middle East, in Canada, Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong and therefore they are starting to put money in real estate,” Leechiu said.