Property services firm bats for development outside Metro Manila

GMA by Danessa Rivera, 11-26-2014

Decentralizing business districts outside Metro Manila and supporting it with necessary infrastructure will propel not only the Philippines' property sector but also drive the whole economy in general, officials of real estate services firm KMC MAG Group said Wednesday.
Decongesting Metro Manila and building the necessary infrastructure are the key issues for the Philippines to sustain growth momentum, KMC MAG Group capital markets and investments head Jose Carmelo Porciuncula said in a briefing in Makati City.
Business investments need to be redistributed not only in sprouting central business ditricts (CBDs) Metro Manila but also in provinces, he noted.
"Developing new CBDs doesn't necessarily decongest but it helps not to add more traffic in Metro Manila," Porciuncula said.
Among areas with potential are Quezon City and Bay City -- the reclaimed area near Roxas Boulevard on Manila Bay, the real estate services firm said in its third quarter report.
Quezon City has the size, presence of government and educational institutions, and extensive road and railway network.
Meanwhile, Bay City houses the four major casinos in the entertainment city, various business parks and commercial areas.
While there are new CBDs, there has to be some development happening outside the capital, KMC MAG Group vice president Yves Luethi said in the same briefing.
"We see new upcoming CBDs like QC, Bay area...but there are alternative areas like Laguna, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija... that will help also in decongestion of Metro Manila," he said.
In May 2013, the Department of Science and Technology and Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) named 10 more next wave cities for BPO including Baguio City, Davao City, Dumaguete City, Iloilo City, Lipa City, Metro Bulacan, Metro Cavite, Metro Laguna, Metro Naga and Metro Rizal.
In 2012, the list included Davao, Bacolod, Sta. Rosa City, Iloilo City, Metro Cavite, Lipa City, Cagayan de Oro, Malolos City, Baguio City and Dumaguete City.
But in order to attract developers and businesses to move outside Metro Manila, the officials of the real estate services firm noted that the development of infrastructure is critical to support this move.
"In terms of infrastructure, the government is trying. It's not that easy. It's not that it's lacking, but definitely there is more that we can do," Porciuncula said.
Meanwhile, Luethi said the development of necessary infrastructure all boils down to political will.
"Infrastructure projects have been proposed. These could save us a lot of travelling cost. The money is actually ready...with good credit ratings [attained by the Philippines," he added.