PHILIPPINE REAL ESTATE and RELATED NEWS in and around the country . . .
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LOOK: List of holidays for August 2018

Updated
By MB Online

Mark your calendars and plan your trips early as here are the holidays to be observed for the month of August.

(photo from Pixabay)
(photo from Pixabay)

August 21 – Ninoy Aquino Day (special non-working holiday)
August 22 – Eid’l Adha (regular holiday)
August 27 – National Heroes Day (regular holiday)
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Megaworld to invest P28 billion in Bacolod township development

 


Megaworld Corp. is investing P28 billion over the next 10 years to develop its first integrated township in Bacolod City, which is being positioned to be a central business district in the area.

The propery company of tycoon Andrew L. Tan said it will start construction for the 34-hectare project dubbed The Upper East. The project takes inspiration from New York’s upscale lifestyle district of the same name.

“The Upper East will be the city’s first master-planned mixed-use community that integrates the live-work-play components of an integrated urban township…Around 35% of the township will be dedicated to parks and open spaces. We are excited to build Bacolod’s new and modern central business and lifestyle district,” Megaworld Vice President for Sales and Marketing Rachelle Peñaflorida said in a statement. — Arra B. Francia
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Creba seeks P350B fund for housing

 
 
The Chamber of Real Estate and Builders’ Associations, Inc. (CREBA) is pushing for the passage of a bill that will create a Comprehensive Home Financing Program (CHFP) which will tap  P350-billion worth of funds that would address housing requirements of Filipinos.

CHFP is designed exclusively for home loan borrowers with no component for development financing.

Charlie A. V. Gorayeb, national chairman of CREBA, said all income-earning Filipinos should be entitled to low-interest, long-term housing loans, even if they are not members of the Social Security System (SSS), Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), or the Pag-lBIG Fund.

Gorayeb said CHFP will ensure the use of funds will strictly be for shelter acquisition by the homeless, estimated by the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) to be at least 6.57 million families nationwide as of 2017.

The country’s largest organization of real estate and housing industry players said the resulting surge in housing beneficiaries would be covered by an initial P350-billion fund sourced in the form of investment in bonds by the SSS at P5 billion; GSIS at P25 billion; a minimum of P70 billion up to a maximum of 70 percent of Pag-IBIG Fund’s total investible funds for housing; P200 billion from the unused or residual agri-agra funds of banks; plus another P50 billion from government’s annual budget, all with mandatory guaranty cover from the Home Guaranty Corp.

If passed into law, the proposed bill thus amends Republic Act 7835 or the Comprehensive and Integrated Shelter Finance Act (CISFA) of 1994.

These fund sources, CREBA said, have  been identified by various existing laws and need only to be integrated for effective administration to socialized and economic housing beneficiaries.

Payable in at least 30 or more years, CHFP loans for residential units in subdivisions or medium-rise condominium buildings shall be P1.5 million and below at 3 percent fixed interest rate for socialized housing, and above P1.5 million up to P3,199,200 at 4 percent for economic housing.

All income-earning citizens who qualify as beneficiaries under the Urban Development and Housing Act and who have not acquired housing assistance from any government institution shall be eligible for home loans through the CHFP.

CREBA envisions the CHFP to have two components: loans program under Pag-IBIG Fund and housing securitization under the National Home Mortgage Finance Corp..

The proposed bill is listed in CREBA’s five-point agenda for housing.

The five-point agenda also covers affordable homes for employees in urban areas; lands for residential, commercial and industrial development; efficient housing regulations; and a full-fledged housing and urban development department.

CREBA will hold its 27th annual national convention  in October which is also  the national housing month
 
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PCC clears trade deals in real estate, manufacturing sectors

/ 05:16 AM July 26, 2018
 
Sans any competition bottlenecks, the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) approved on Wednesday three deals in the real estate and manufacturing industries.

In a statement, PCC said it cleared the acquisition by Alveo Land Corp. of properties from Antel Land Holdings Inc. in Makati City; the joint venture between Century Properties Group Inc. and Mitsubishi Corporation; and the acquisition of shares by Aisin Seiki Co. Ltd. Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC).

For the first transaction, Alveo is set to acquire Antel’s 1.3-hectare land and assets, including A. Venue Mall, in Makati City.

“PCC found that the transaction does not result in substantial lessening of competition in the market of medium-cost residential condominiums in Makati and BGC, Taguig,” the statement read.

Century Property and Mitsubishi meanwhile agreed to engage in the development, construction and sale of residential properties on parcels of land in Tanza, Cavite.

This will create a spinoff company, reportedly named as PHirst Park Homes, which will be incorporated with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

PCC noted there were numerous firms that remained engaged in the residential real estate development within the identified geographic market. These competitors were seen to exert competitive pressures on the parties after the transaction.

Aisin Seiki Co. Ltd., on the other hand, is set to acquire additional shares of Toyota Autoparts Philippines Inc. (TAP) from Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) in the Philippines. The move will switch Aisin Seiki from being a minority to a majority shareholder of TAP.

PCC said conditions of production and the sale of manual transmission components to TAP would be the same before and after the transaction.

Aisin and its subsidiaries are engaged in the manufacture and sales of automotive parts, lifestyle- and energy-related products and wellness-related products. —ROY STEPHEN C. CANIVEL
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Megaworld sees P7-B sales from McKinley West condo

Published
By James A. Loyola

Township developer Megaworld Corporation is expecting to generate P7 billion in sales from the newly-launched second tower of Park McKinley West, its third residential condominium development in McKinley West.

megaworld-logo
The firm noted that “huge demand for residential properties inside the 34.5-hectare McKinley West continues even as prices have significantly increased during the past years.”

Park McKinley West sold the entire first tower in just two months after it was launched in May, with total sales of around P6.5 billion.

“At present, unit prices of Park McKinley West already rose 15 percent to P250,000 per square meter because of the huge demand for residential properties in McKinley West,” said Megaworld Senior Vice President for Sales and Marketing Noli D. Hernandez.

He added that, “we somehow expected this considering the remarkable take-up of lots in McKinley West Village, and the brisk sales of units in St. Moritz and The Albany. McKinley West is truly on a roll.”

The second tower of Park McKinley West will have 478 spacious units ranging from one-bedroom (up to 48.5 square meters); two-bedroom (up to 110 square meters); three-bedroom (up to 212 square meters); four-bedroom (up to 229 square meters); and five-bedroom penthouse units (up to 336 square meters).

The 25-story second tower of Park McKinley West will have the same amenities as the first tower, which includes the lap pool and kiddie pool with own pool deck and lounge, fitness center, function rooms, yoga room and outdoor yoga deck, outdoor sitting areas, water features, children’s playground, game room and sky garden.

The project is expected for completion by 2023.

Park McKinley West is the fourth residential development launched in McKinley West, which is strategically located in the southern part of Fort Bonifacio beside Forbes Park and the Manila Polo Club.
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CREBA urges passage of comprehensive home financing bill

Published
By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

The Chamber of Real Estate and Builders’ Associations, Inc. (CREBA), the country’s largest organization of real estate and housing industry players, is once again urging the passage of a bill that will create a Comprehensive Home Financing Program (CHFP) to make all income-earning Filipinos entitled to low-interest, long-term housing loans, even if they are not members of the Social Security System (SSS), Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), or the Pag-lBIG Fund.

Charlie A. V. Gorayeb
Charlie A. V. Gorayeb

Charlie A. V. Gorayeb, CREBA national chairman, said they will reiterate this during the 27th national convention slated at the Thunderbird Resort in La Union from October 17-20 this year.
CHFP is designed exclusively for home loan borrowers with no component for development financing.

This is to ensure that the use of funds strictly for shelter acquisition by the homeless, estimated by the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) to be at least 6.57 million families nationwide as of 2017.

As proposed by CREBA, the resulting surge in housing beneficiaries would be covered by an initial P350-billion fund sourced in the form of investment in bonds by the SSS at P5 billion; GSIS at P25 billion; a minimum of P70 billion up to a maximum of 70 percent of Pag-IBIG Fund’s total investible funds for housing; P200 billion from the unused or residual agri-agra funds of banks; plus another P50 billion from government’s annual budget, all with mandatory guaranty cover from the Home Guaranty Corporation.

If passed into law, the proposed bill thus amends Republic Act 7835 or the Comprehensive and Integrated Shelter Finance Act (CISFA) of 1994.

These fund sources, according to CREBA national president Noel Toti M. Cariño, have already been identified by various existing laws and need only to be integrated for effective administration to socialized and economic housing beneficiaries.

Payable in at least 30 or more years, CHFP loans for residential units in subdivisions or medium-rise condominium buildings shall be P1.5 million and below at 3 percent fixed interest rate for socialized housing, and above P1.5 million up to P3,199,200 at 4 percent for economic housing.

All income-earning citizens who qualify as beneficiaries under the Urban Development and Housing Act and who have not acquired housing assistance from any government institution shall be eligible for home loans through the CHFP.
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SM readies mall expansion in north and south Luzon



SM City Telabastagan in Pampanga — SM
By Arra B. Francia, Reporter

SM INVESTMENTS Corp. is looking at areas in northern and southern Luzon for the next stage of expansion of its shopping mall business, a top official of the Sy-led holding firm said.

Wala pa kaming northern Luzon, wala pa kaming southern Luzon. Wala pa kaming pababa doon,” SM Chairman Jose T. Sio told reporters after the Sharephil Summit 2018 at Dusit Thani Manila last Friday.

He added that the holding firm of the country’s richest man Henry Sy, Sr. is also planning to further its presence in Mindanao “at the right time.”

Even with a target to have 75 malls in the country by the end of 2018, Mr. Sio said the Philippines is not yet saturated with shopping malls.

The company is opening malls mostly in the provinces in the next three years, with SM City Urdaneta Central, SM City Telabastagan, SM City Legaspi, SM City Ormoc and SM City Dagupan set for opening this year.

In 2019, SM’s property unit SM Prime Holdings, Inc. expects to open SM Daet, SM Butuan, SM Olongapo Central, SM Balanga Bataan, SM Sorsogon, SM Tagum, SM City Tuguegarao, SM Mindoro and SM Grand Central in Caloocan.

SM Prime will also be opening SM City Roxas, SM Calamba Turbina, SM Tanza, SM San Fernando, La Union, SM Laoag, SM Zamboanga and SM Malolos in 2020.

This year alone, the listed conglomerate is spending P75-90 billion to finance its expansion.
Mr. Sio said SM is also interested in buying more retailing brands, as long as they are in a “good location, right time, at the right price.”

The company currently operates more than 2,000 retail brands, after folding over a thousand specialty retail store brands into SM Retail, Inc. such as Ace Hardware, Watsons, Toy Kingdom, and Pet Express in 2016.

Meanwhile, the SM chairman noted the current impacts of technology on the general business environment, citing that disruptions like artificial intelligence could hamper sectors like the business process outsourcing industry in the near future.

“Call centers are not sustainable, they are stagnating. Now they are no longer signing long-term contracts… they only want to sign (for building leases) every year,” Mr. Sio said.

Should BPOs weaken in the coming years, Mr. Sio said office buildings can be converted to other uses.

The company has a combined gross floor area of 464,000 square meters (sq.m.) for its commercial properties group, which it looks to expand by 130,000 sq.m. with the launch of a third office building in the Mall of Asia complex this year.

SM’s core businesses include property, retail, and banking, with its portfolio now expanding to Belle Corp., Atlas Consolidated Mining and Development Corp., CityMall Commercial Centers, Inc., Philippine Urban Living Solutions, Inc., the Net buildings, and 2Go Group, Inc.
SM’s consolidated net income grew 10% to P8.5 billion in the first quarter of 2018, boosted by an 11% increase in consolidated revenues to P95 billion during the period.
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DENR suspends Boracay environmental permits

by on [ manilatimes.net ]
 Establishments required to build sewage treatment plants

THE Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has suspended the environmental compliance certificates (ECC) of all business establishments on Boracay Island to allow a review of their compliance with environmental laws.

Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu, through Memorandum Circular 2018-08 dated July 18, 2018, ordered the DENR’s Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) office in Region 6 (Western Visayas) to continue monitoring Boracay establishments during the suspension of their ECCs to ensure that there would be no violation of environmental laws.

The order also requires all properties along Boracay’s beachfront to have sewage treatment plants (STPs) whether they connect to the sewer lines of Boracay Island Water Company (BIWC) or not.




Small restaurants, bars and hotels along the beachfront with five rooms and below, and with no available space for the construction or installation of individual or clustered STPs, are exempted from the STP requirement, provided they secure discharge permits from the EMB Region 6 stating the volume and quality of wastewater to be discharged.

These establishments will also be required to install pre-treatment facilities like grease traps, subject to DENR inspection.

“Those connected to the sewer line of BIWC shall also be required to secure a Certificate of Exemption from the requirement of Discharge Permit under Republic Act 9275 or the Clean Water Act from EMB Region 6. This requirement is applicable to all establishments in the island connected to BIWC sewer line. The BIWC is task[ed]to notify all its clients of this requirement,” Cimatu said.

DENR Region 6 Director Sophie Manuel said the deadline for the submission of applications for permits and registration as a hazardous waste generator, as well as necessary documents for the lifting of ECC suspension, would be on August 15.

Applications may be submitted to the National Task Force at Casa Pilar Resort Boracay. New permits will be issued on or before September 15.

A committee composed of representatives from the DENR, EMB and Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), will be formed “very soon” to review all Boracay establishments, Undersecretary Jonas Leones said.

Under Memorandum Circular No. 2018-08, the committee will review establishments’ compliance with all existing ECCs and Environmental Management Plans.

Results of a Cadastral Mapping and Carrying Capacity Study shall also be taken into full consideration.

The committee is required to submit a report to the DENR chief, either for the lifting of the suspension or cancellation.

Earlier, Cimatu said only compliant establishments would be allowed to operate when Boracay reopens on October 26, 2018.

The interagency task force for the rehabilitation of Boracay is preparing the guidelines for the reopening of the island.
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Robinsons Land opens 50th mall




Robinsons Land opens 50<sup>th</sup> mall
ROBINSONS LAND Corp. has opened its 50th shopping mall. — WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/PG/ROBPLACETUGUEGARAO
ROBINSONS LAND Corp. (RLC) expanded its shopping mall footprint with the opening of Robinsons Place Tuguegarao on Thursday, marking the 50th mall under its portfolio.

The Gokongwei-led property developer said in a statement yesterday that Robinsons Place Tuguegarao will add 38,000 square meters (sq.m.) of leasable spaces to its network. The mall spans 60,000 sq.m. in terms of gross floor area.

“We are happy to mark our 50th mall milestone in Tuguegarao. This city is a perfect place to open a mall right now because of its vibrant economy as the central hub in the Province of Cagayan,” RLC President and Chief Operating Officer Frederick D. Go was quoted as saying in a statement.

The three-storey mall is located in Barangay Tanza, which is surrounded by government offices, educational institutions, transport hubs, and residential areas.

RLC is banking on Tuguegarao’s rising economy, which it noted has gradually shifted to trading, commerce, and services from agriculture. The company also noted that Tuguegarao has become the ideal location for banks and regional branches of big companies.

“With the presence of the new mall, RLC becomes the catalyst in promoting and supporting progress, spurning more businesses to open and flourish in the Region,” Robinsons Malls General Manager Arlene G. Magtibay said in a statement.

Robinsons Place Tuguegarao is RLC’s second mall in the Cagayan region, following Robinsons Place Santiago in Isabela. It has also brought RLC’s presence in Northern Luzon to four malls.

The mall houses anchor tenants such as Robinsons Supermarket, Robinsons Department Store, Handyman, Daiso Japan, Robinsons Appliances, and Robinsons Movieworld, among others. It will also have six cinemas-including a 3D theater, and two activity areas measuring a total of 1,300 sq.m. to be used for hosting events, shows, trade fairs, and conventions.

In addition, the mall will have amusement and entertainment centers for children, such as Kidzoona, Quantum, Tom’s World Amusement, and three other local brands.

RLC will also be developing Go Hotels beside Robinsons Place Tuguegarao. The company’s chain of budget hotels will have 136 rooms for the new site.

With the opening of the 50th mall, Mr. Go said they are looking forward to the next phase of expansion for the company’s commercial unit.

“We look forward to our next 50 malls. We will continue to build in new territories, in underserved markets, and in places where they can be catalysts of economic growth,” he said.

RLC’s net income attributable to the parent grew 12% to P1.54 billion in the first quarter of 2018, following an 18% improvement in revenues to P5.88 billion during the period.

Shares in RLC dropped eight centavos or 0.40% to close at P19.70 each at the stock exchange on Thursday. — Arra B. Francia
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DOTr OKs original proponent status for NAIA Consortium


DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said in a briefing yesterday that the department has recommended the grant of OPS to the NAIA Consortium composed of Aboitiz InfraCapital Inc., AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp., Alliance Global Group Inc., Asia’s Emerging Dragon Corp., Filinvest Development Corp., JG Summit Holdings Inc. and Metro Pacific Investments Corp.
Bening Batuigas
 
 Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star) - July 18, 2018 - 12:00am 
 
CLARK, Pampanga, Philippines — The group of the country’s seven conglomerates which offered to rehabilitate the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) is poised to secure original proponent status (OPS) for its proposal following a recommendation made by the Department of Transportation.

DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said in a briefing yesterday that the department  has recommended the grant of OPS to the NAIA Consortium composed  of Aboitiz InfraCapital Inc., AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp., Alliance Global Group Inc., Asia’s Emerging Dragon Corp., Filinvest Development Corp., JG Summit Holdings Inc. and Metro Pacific Investments Corp.

“There is a decision and paper from our planning department which says to give OPS to the NAIA Consortium. That recommendation we have given to the MIAA (Manila International Airport Authority) because they are the primary agency,” he said.

Tugade said DOTr’s recommendation is not yet final and MIAA’s board of directors would have to approve it.

MIAA general manager Ed Monreal said they have received the endorsement from the DOTr and it would be tackled during the board of directors’ meeting tomorrow.

The grant of OPS to the NAIA Consortium would give the group the right to match offers from other parties when a Swiss challenge is conducted for the project.

The NAIA Consortium initially offered to spend P350 billion for the NAIA’s upgrade for a concession period of 35 years under the proposal submitted to the DOTr on Feb.12.

Under the proposal, the upgrade would be undertaken in phases, with Phase 1 covering improvements and expanding the terminals in the current land area to bring annual capacity to 65 million passengers, and Phase 2 involving building an additional runway, taxiways, passenger terminals and associated support infrastructure. There was also an option to build a third runway.

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New malls expand Megaworld retail space portfolio



MEGAWORLD Corp. recently opened three new community malls in Makati City and Alabang, adding 26,500 square meters (sq.m.) of retail spaces to its portfolio.

In a statement issued over the weekend, the listed property developer said San Lorenzo Place and Three Central in Makati City, and The Village Square in Alabang are now operational. The new malls are touted as “neighborhood commercial centers” that supply the needs of residents who live nearby.

“Smaller than the usual full-scale malls, our community malls still bear the signature brand of our Megaworld Lifestyle Malls. They primarily cater to the surrounding communities of each location, providing accessibility to a variety of dining, shopping, wellness and service options,” Megaworld Senior Vice-President and Head of Lifestyle Malls Kevin Andrew L. Tan said in a statement.

San Lorenzo Place, located along EDSA Corner Chino Roces Avenue in Makati City stands two stories tall, and has Shopwise Express as its supermarket operator. The mall also houses National Book Store, The Medical City Clinic, restaurants, coffee shops, health and wellness stores, and laundry shops, among other tenants.

Also located in Makati is Three Central, at the podium area of the Three Central residential condominium along Valero Street in Salcedo Village. The two-storey mall’s locators include the Marketplace by Rustan’s Supermarket, restaurants, coffee shops and health and wellness shops targeted toward residential and office communities within the area.

Meanwhile, The Village Square Alabang houses SM Supermarket, DIY Store, and a number of restaurants and fastfood chains. The two-level mall is connected to a 12-storey business process outsourcing (BPO) office tower and a four-level parking facility.

With the new mall openings, Megaworld now has 17 full-scale and community malls under the Megaworld Lifestyle Malls brand. Its most recent full-scale mall opening was the Festive Walk Mall in Iloilo Business Park. The company’s first full-scale mall outside Luzon spans 90,000 sq.m. of retail and commercial spaces.

The property firm of tycoon Andrew L. Tan targets to end the year with a total of 18 shopping malls, keeping it on track to hit 28 malls by 2020. Megaworld earlier said it plans to put up malls in all its townships, alongside some smaller properties across the country.

This will support Megaworld’s goal of generating P20 billion in recurring income by 2020, by which time total rental space will have reached 2.5 million sq.m.

Megaworld is included under Mr. Tan’s Alliance Global Group, Inc., which also has core interests in liquor, gaming, and quick- service restaurants.

The company’s attributable profit climbed 11% to P3.2 billion in the first quarter of 2018, following a 10% increase in revenues to P13.1 billion for the period. — Arra B. Francia

Construction of Cavite-Laguna Expressway on schedule


DPWH Secretary Mark Villar (left) is joined by Metro Pacific Tollways South Corp. president Luigi Bautista (center) during an inspection of the progress of construction of the Cavite-Laguna Expressway yesterday. 
Construction of Cavite-Laguna Expressway on schedule 
Ramon Efren Lazaro (The Philippine Star) - July 15, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Department of Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar expressed optimism that the Cavite-Laguna Expressway (CALAx) project will be completed as scheduled in 2020 as he personally checked yesterday the progress of construction.

The CALAx is a 45.29-kilometer four-lane toll road that starts from CAVITEX in Kawit, Cavite and ends at the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX)-Mamplasan Interchange in Biñan, Laguna with eight interchanges and one main toll barrier.

It also has a bridge component of 12,207 meters inclusive of 4,618 meters of viaduct.

The project is part of the Public-Private Partnership Program of the government and is being implemented by private concessionaire MPCALA Holdings, Inc. of the Metro Pacific Group.

Villar said during the inspection the construction and acquisition of road right-of-way (ROW) for CALAx are being fast tracked to complete the project by the planned 2020 deadline.

“To date, 96 percent of Letter Offer have been served to the land owners, 81 percent of the signed Deeds of Absolute Sale (DOAS) and Expropriation Cases have been submitted to the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) and 21 percent of the Permits to Enter/Writ of Possessions have been issued,” Villar noted. 

“The construction of the 18-kilometer Laguna segment, which starts from the Aguinaldo Interchange and ends in Mamplasan Interchange of SLEX in Biñan, Laguna is 13.8 percent completed while the 27-kilometer Cavite Segment will soon begin,” he added. – With Evelyn Macairan 
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SSS eyes joint ventures for P30 billion idle assets


Lawrence Agcaoili (The Philippine Star) - July 12, 2018 - 12:00am 
 
MANILA, Philippines — State-run pension fund manager Social Security System (SSS) is looking for joint venture partners to develop P30 billion worth of prime properties in major central business districts.

SSS president and CEO Emmanuel Dooc said yesterday all major property developers in the country have approached SSS for the joint development of its prime properties in the cities of Makati, Taguig, Pasay and Quezon.

Dooc said the value of the prime properties was at least P30 billion, but may command a higher appraisal value.

These properties include a lot in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig, an old SSS building at the corner of Ayala Ave. and Rufino St. in Makati City, a five-hectare reclaimed area covering the HK Sun Plaza and a vacant lot along Diosdado Macapagal Blvd in Pasay City, and the East Triangle property at the corner of EDSA and East Ave. in Quezon City, and the parking lot near the Senate.

The pension fund manager is engaging the services of property consultancy firms.

Dooc said the SSS is looking for ways to strengthen its financial position after the first tranche of the P2,000 pension hike shortened the fund’s actuarial life to 2032 instead of 2042 as it shelled out P33 billion to P34 billion per year for the pension hike.

The second hike of P1,000, he warned, would further slash the actuarial life of SSS to 2026.
 “That is very precarious already. I did not become SSS president to bankrupt the system,” Dooc said citing the ideal actuarial life of a pension fund is 60 years.

Entering into joint ventures for the prime properties, he explained, would give the pension fund recurring income.

Latest data showed earnings of SSS slipped by 12.5 percent to P3.5 billion in the first quarter from P4 billion in the same quarter last year, while revenue inched up by 1.9 percent to P49.72 billion from P48.78 billion. 

Meanwhile, Dooc said the SSS is pursuing its planned overseas foray after the $1 billion investments abroad of Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) yielded positive results.

 “Based on the experience of GSIS, they reported good returns,” he said on the sidelines of the Kapihan sa Manila Bay.

Dooc said the SSS would allocate between $200 million and $300 million for its first international foray and would tap foreign fund investment advisers.

“It is good for diversification,” he added saying it is allowed by law to invest 7.5 percent of its total investible reserve fund that currently stands at P500 billion.

  The SSS chief said the pension fund manager is going slow on its equity investments as it has only invested about P108 billion or 22 percent of its total investible funds in the stock market, below the 30 percent cap.

On the other hand, he added SSS has invested more than P200 billion in government securities.

Dooc said the pension fund manager continues to push for amendments to the SSS Charter to remove the cap especially in its investments in the equities markets both in the country and overseas.
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Primex breaks ground for San Juan office tower

Primex breaks ground for San Juan office tower
PRIMEX Tower will stand on a 1,944-square meter lot at the corner of EDSA, Connecticut Street, and Florida Street at the Greenhills commercial district.
PRIMEX Corp. started the construction of its P3.6-billion office tower in San Juan City yesterday, banking on its prime location to drive demand for tenants.

In a statement issued Wednesday, the listed property developer said it has broken ground for the Primex Tower. The 50-storey office project will stand on a 1,944-square meter lot at the corner of EDSA, Connecticut Street, and Florida Street at the Greenhills commercial district.

Primex Tower is set to offer around 41,000 square meters (sq.m.) of leasable spaces with a cut of 200 to 300 sq.m each. Offices will be spread out across 37 floors, while 12 floors will be dedicated for above-ground and basement parking.

The project — envisioned to be the tallest one in the city — is expected to be completed in the next four to five years. Primex’s subsidiary Primex Realty Corp. is in charge of its development.

“With the project, the company is looking to take advantage of increasing demand in the office and hotel sectors,” Primex Chairman and President Ernesto O. Ang was quoted as saying in a statement.

Mr. Ang said a study made by real estate consultancy firm Colliers International Philippines had projected an average 10% per annum increase in rental rates across submarkets. This is amid rising vacancy rates in Metro Manila.

“The growth in the sector will be quietly led by knowledge process outsourcers,” Mr. Ang said.

The company said the Primex Tower will be able to attract tenants as the demand for office spaces shifts to new and higher quality buildings, instead of old structures.

The tower will also feature designs in line with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards. This includes surrounding the building with 90% double-gazed glass with vacuum in-between that reduces heat and noise penetration. In turn, the reduced heat gain will enhance the efficiency of the air-conditioning system in the building.

LEED standards are measures imposed by the United States Green Building Council to ensure that a development is healthy, highly efficient, and cost-saving.

The beginning of the Primex Tower’s construction followed the completion of the company’s 31-storey condominium project in Salcedo Village, Makati called The Stratosphere.

Moving forward, the company is looking for more local and foreign partners for the joint development of its existing land bank.
“These locations — in Malabon, Mandaluyong, Quezon City, and San Juan in Metro Manila and surrounding areas like Tagaytay — are showing equally exciting growth potential,” Primex Executive Vice-President Karlvin L. Ang said in a statement.

Primex reported a net loss attributable to the parent of P1.36 million in the first quarter of 2018, versus an attributable profit of P25.74 million in the same period a year ago. This followed a 92% drop in gross revenues to P7.44 billion for the January to March period.

Shares in Primex jumped 6.51% or 22 centavos to close at P3.60 apiece on Wednesday. — Arra B. Francia
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DPWH set to decide on P22-billion Cavite expressway

The Department of Public Works and Highways said it will decide this month on the unsolicited proposal of the unit of Metro Pacific Investments Corp. to build the P22.43-billion Cavite-Batangas Expressway.

“I already evaluated and studied it, we will have a decision soon. Possibly this month,” Public Works Secretary Mark Villar said. 

MPCala Holdings Inc. was awaiting the issuance of the original proponent status for the project from the DPWH. 

CTBex is a proposed 49-kilometer expressway that will connect Cavite and Batangas, with a spur road to Tagaytay City and ultimately terminating in Nasugbu, with another spur road to Tuy, Batangas.

The CTBex project is expected to start construction by the first quarter of 2019.

Once completed, the project would cut travel time from Sta. Rosa, Laguna to Nasugbu, Batangas from 2.5 hours to just an hour. The project is to be completed by the first half of 2022.  

The project will start at Silang East Interchange of the Cavite-Laguna Expressway. The alignment will traverse the towns of Silang, Amadeo, Mendez, Alfonso and Tagaytay in Cavite and Nasugbu in Batangas. 

MPCala is also constructing the P35-billon Calax―a four-lane, 47-kilometer closed-system toll expressway connecting Cavitex and South Luzon Expressway. 

The expressway will start from Cavitex in Kawit, Cavite and end at SLEx-Mamplasan Interchange in Biñan, Laguna. 

The company, in addition, is building the P26-billion Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway project, an 8.25-km bridge that will connect Cebu City to Mactan Island via Cordova. The project is expected to be completed by 2020.

Parent Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. is building the NLEx-SLEx Connector Road, an eight-kilometer, four-lane toll road linking the North Luzon Expressway and South Luzon Expressway, passing through Metro Manila and using the existing Philippine National Railway alignment as the route. 

The MPIC Group operates the North Luzon Expressway, Subic-Tarlac Expressway and Manila-Cavite Toll Expressway.
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