It's high time we create new central business districts. Not only can it alleviate the traffic snarl in Metro Manila, but it can also provide opportunities for Filipinos living outside the CBDs and pave the way towards a more inclusive economic growth.
In the past there were only two major CBDs in the Philippines, Makati and Ortigas. Now we have 4 fully developed CBDs in the country, Makati, Ortigas, Bonifacio Global City, and Cebu, the lone CBD outside the metro. However, with the rise in demand for space and talent due to offshoring and outsourcing, the Philippines has started developing "emerging cities" that are dubbed as the next-wave CBDs to match or take over the top CBDs today.
But are they really ready to take over and take on the path of being like Makati and Cebu? In this infographic, we compared Makati (as representative of Metro Manila) and Cebu (as representative of a provincial CBD area) to Laguna, Cavite, Iloilo, and Davao and let the numbers do the talking.
Here are some key takeaways:
- Makati has the least number of population, but it has the largest labor force. Why? Because most of Makati's employees are more likely to come from different parts of Metro Manila, even nearby cities Laguna and Cavite. This tells us that as a CBD, your location does not really matter because as long as you have the demand for talent, people will come to you.
- Cavite and Laguna have the largest population and highest number of graduates, but only a small fraction of the labor force work in the city. These cities have the supply but the areas do not provide much opportunities for its people. Imagine what we could achieve if Cavite and Laguna had its own developed areas, perhaps a more large-scale Nuvali CBD, an Alabang Filinvest CBD-like development in Cavite or several industrial parks across all parts of the city.
- Iloilo and Davao's minimum wage are among the cheapest within the 6 sample cities. These cities offer lower labor and operational costs which woudl be really advantageous to prospective locators.