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Economic growth has increasingly been spilling over to regions outside Metro Manila over the past several years, owing partly to the government’s aggressive P8- trillion infrastructure initiative and decentralization thrust.
Today, the so-called “emerging provinces” are taking the spotlight as investors recognize the prospective opportunities that can be tapped here, given the improved infrastructure and connectivity, a skilled labor force, as well as a conducive business environment.
Provinces like Cavite and Iloilo, in particular, have seen a healthy influx of companies, from manufacturing, outsourcing, real estate to even tech start-ups and finance, all drawn to their vibrant investment climate.
Cavite, for one, remains in the radar of investors who find the province an attractive location given expected completion of key infrastructure projects that will improve accessibility to Metro Manila. Among them are the Light Rail Transit 1 Cavite extension, Cavite-Laguna Expressway (Calaex), and North Luzon Expressway and South Luzon Expressway connector road—all of which are poised to unlock land values and make it a key regional hub for Southern Luzon.
Add the fact that Cavite has been a staple in the Top 10 Most Competitive Provinces in the country since 2015. This is based on the Department of Trade and Industry’s Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index, which assesses provinces, cities and municipalities according to their economic dynamism, government efficiency, infrastructure and resiliency.
The province of Iloilo, meanwhile, made a mark on the local and global business community when it hosted high level and ministerial meetings for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) in 2015. Set at the Iloilo Convention Center inside the Iloilo Business Park, the Apec meetings helped showcase the modern side of the province and the prospects it can offer to companies wanting to set up a regional hub in the Visayas.
Iloilo City, the capital city of the province, has seen in recent years the continued influx of outsourcing companies and expansion of sectors such as insurance and finance, according to an earlier report by Colliers International Philippines.
The office property market here in particular is seen to hold much promise and is expected to thrive over the next several years due to this steadily growing demand from investors.
Rising business district
In Cavite, a rising business district is offering companies modern office spaces within a green, sustainable community where everything is integrated.
The 17-storey One Corporate Place, which is under Megaworld Premier Offices, is selling 93 premium offices within the 140-hectare Maple Grove township in General Trias, Cavite.
The township is accessible via the the Coastal Road and Cavitex, with an estimated travel time of only 30 to 45 minutes from Makati central business district and Fort Bonifacio. It will become even more accessible once Calaex is completed.
“Maple Grove’s rising business district in this side of Cavite allows companies to thrive and grow their businesses in a green and sustainable community where everything is integrated and within reach. The entire development itself, as in any other townships that we’ve already built, will be walkable from one office tower to another, or to the mall, residential towers and parks that we will build around the community,” said Rachelle Peñaflorida, vice president for sales and marketing of property giant Megaworld Corp.
“Owning an office space in Maple Grove would be a wise move especially that General Trias is now fast becoming a key growth area of Cavite. In five years, we expect rental prices to go up as more developments rise within the township,” she added.
These office spaces, which will have layout sizes ranging from 63 sqm to 281 sqm, are seen highly suitable for a wide range of industries and businesses including corporate offices, tech startups, banking and finance, small and medium sized enterprises, advertising and media agencies, as well as IT-business process management firms, among others.
How so? One Corporate Place offers a well-balanced, holistic working environment that can perfectly complement the business. Companies will benefit from the office tower’s topnotch facilities such as the 24-hour Security and Fire Command Center, Building Management System, Seismic Detection and Monitoring System, stand-by generators for 100 percent back-up power, fire security system, water reservoir with separate fire reserve water tanks, and a 24-hour CCTV monitoring system.
Future employees meanwhile will be near the Central Park, dubbed as the green jewel of the township, which could help ease one’s stresses. Green spaces also abound throughout the township—a clear benefit for workers there because communing with nature, as several studies have stated, helps boost productivity and efficiency.
Accessibility will not be a concern for office workers because public transportation is readily at hand, whether you’re working the night shift or you have an early morning schedule.
New Visayan CBD
Down further south in the West Visayas Region meanwhile is another premium office tower being managed by Megaworld Premier Offices.
The 19-storey International Corporate Plaza—envisioned to be Western Visayas’ most stateof- the-art, facility-packed green office development—is also selling 301 prime office units conducive to a wide range of industries including professional services (law and architectural firms, clinics), start-ups, as well as established enterprises. It is be located within the bustling 74-ha Iloilo Business Park in Mandurriao, Iloilo City, where the province’s newest central business district is set to rise.
“So far, this will be the most modern and state-of-the-art office tower in Western Visayas where companies including entrepreneurs can own their office spaces and enjoy its generous facilities never been seen before in any office building in the region,” said Jennifer Palmares-Fong, vice president for sales and marketing of Iloilo Business Park. “One of the main highlights is its enhanced security and safety features, another first in Western Visayas.”
The International Corporate Plaza will have a four-level parking podium, retail spaces and arcade area at the ground floor. Keycard-enabled turnstiles will provide enhanced security for the main lobby, while RFID cards will be used to secure parking areas. The office tower will be fiber optic-ready, and equipped with its own seismic detection and monitoring system, building management system, 24-hour Security and Fire Command Center, fire security system, and a 100 percent back-up power facility.
The tower will likewise house “managed facilities” including boardrooms, meeting rooms, co-working and breakout areas, executive lounge, and a skygarden that will offer office workers a slice of tranquility with the stunning views of the sea and Guimaras Island.
Indeed, companies will need to level up their game given the increasingly cutthroat business environment, in order to tap the lucrative opportunities at hand.
And one way to do so is to be strategic in selecting your home base—to be right where the next wave of growth will be and set up shop in an office tower that provides a conducive investment climate, given cutting-edge, sustainable amenities that will help ease the way you manage and conduct your business.
Written by: Amy R. Remo | Philippine Daily Inquirer