There’s a new plan for integrated communities in the Philippines

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Some areas in the metro still waiting to be explored though

The ‘perfect cone’ of Mayon Volcano as seen from Legazpi City, Albay, Philippines. jejim/Shutterstock

Townships or integrated communities with live-work-play components are branching out from their current concentration in the agglomeration of cities around Manila toward the countryside, Colliers Philippines noted in its recent report.

Office spaces could spread north and south of Metro Manila, into the provinces of Bulacan, Pampanga, Cavite and Laguna, the consultancy noted. Other strategic locations include the provinces of La Union, Pangasinan, Tarlac, Batangas, Naga, Iloilo, Bacolod, Cebu, Davao, and Cagayan de Oro.

President Rodrigo Duterte, inaugurated a year ago last month, ran on a campaign of decentralisation from the national capital region, where office vacancy rates have dipped as low as one percent in the financial district of Makati.

“Colliers believes that the Duterte administration’s decentralization thrust anchored on the implementation of major public infrastructure projects should entice developers to aggressively pursue integrated communities outside of Metro Manila,” the consultancy noted in a statement.

More: How Duterte’s federalism could diversify the Philippine property sector

Developers can still exhaust commercial opportunities in the capital by means of “reacquisition” or buying back previous assets sold to private owners and donated to government agencies.

“Even if these pieces of land cost much higher now, they would still be able to realize higher returns,” Colliers Philippines research manager Joey Bondoc told the Philippine Inquirer.

Otherwise, realty firms can explore reclamation opportunities in Manila Bay in the vein of projects like the 148-hectare Manila Solar City. City of Pearl, a Belt & Road project that has gained approval from Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, is set to occupy 407 hectares of reclaimed land near the Baseco Compound.

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