More than P400-M new investments get tax incentives in Davao City

September 21, 2010

DCIPC officer-in-charge Jason Magnaye during the Davao Business Forum at the MediSpa, SM City Davao

The newest investments in Davao City valued at P441 million that passed through the Davao City Investments and Promotion Center (DCIPC) gets exemption of paying mayor’s permit and fees.DCIPC officer-in-charge Jason Magnaye said this is on top of the approved investments during the first semester amounting to P612 million.

He said they need to work hard in order to meet their target of P1.9 billion this year.

The recent approved investment is still in line with real estate where one is a subdivision project worth P119 million and the other, a commercial building for mixed use with investments at P322 million.

Magnaye also said that the earlier investments consist of two projects on real estate, one in tourism while the other in agri-business.

In the pipeline are on real estate and commercial buildings, he said.

Meanwhile, he said majority of the investments in Davao City for the past several years are in line with real property development.

He said for the past three years, projects in the city were dominated by property development getting a share of 83 percent of the total investments.

He cited that since DCIPC started in 1995, property development got the biggest chunk as it cornered 61 percent of the total investments.

On the other hand, Magnaye is optimistic of hitting their target as they incorporate service marketing in finding new investors.

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio also goes out of her way in meeting with prospective investors and personally discussed with them what the city can offer.

He said the mayor also conducts personal visits to and assessments of existing projects of interested investors like in Manila in order to see for herself their projects.

Magnaye cited for instance that the Mayor led a small team to conduct ocular visit to the World Trade Center (WTC) in Manila as she is interested that a developer would invest in convention center here.

Although he stressed that they cannot dictate on the kind of investments he said perhaps they could influence.

A team from WTC composed of some senior officials will be coming to Davao City by end of September to check on the city’s investment area.

“The fact that a senior official is coming over would indicate that they are interested,” he said.

Magnaye said they double up in finishing their inventory and data as to real property investments as these comprise of the common data that investors ask. The other basic data as to infrastructure and other related information are also being readied by their office, he said.

He said a series of review and assessment are being made by them to ensure that investors get relevant and appropriate data as this will help them decide in locating here.

He also said they will continue to improve on their services and reach out to other sectors as they align with the development direction of the city. (PNA)
DCT/DDB/lvp

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Gov’t to focus on socialized housing projects – Binay

August 25, 2010

DAVAO CITY, Aug. 21 (PNA) — The government will further lower the interest rates of housing loans for socialized housing packages to allow more people to access housing loans, especially the informal sector at very affordable rate.

 Vice President Jejomar Binay, the country’s Housing czar, announced during the national conference of the Organization of Socialized Housing Developers of the Philippines (OSHDP) on Friday at Grand Men Seng Hotel here that studies are ongoing to lower the interest rate to 3 percent.

He said current packages offered by the government housing agency of about P400,000 with monthly amortization of P2,300 is not a realistic package for the lower sector but this can be split to packages of P200,000 or P100,000 and with the lowered interest rate the amount for monthly payment could be at P350.

The amount, he said, will only be the cost for the house and the land will be sourced out through the local government units (LGUs) utilizing some of their idle properties through usufruct agreement.

Binay said in administering this kind of project, the developers can be given incentives from the Bureau of Internal Revenue in support to the lowering of cost of business operation.

He said the LGUs will identify the land and put in the roads and they will provide the financing for the construction of houses.

He admitted, however, that there are not enough funds in the government for socialized housing except that of Pag-IBIG Fund even as he said that because the Fund is already tax-exempt, the P2.5 billion savings could be used for projects under socialized housing.

Vice President Binay also addressed the luncheon General Membership Assembly of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCCII) where he said the relationship between government and the private sector is both through cooperation and coordination.

He said business is a continual dealing with the future and they deal not only with communities but the customers and consumers.

“As head of HUDCC, I also ask you to consider investing in building of homes and we should not only build houses for families but homes for families where their bodies could rest, their spirit soar and find love and peace,” he said.

He said this dream could not be possible without the help of the local government units of finding areas where these projects can immediately take off.

“We need to sustain this confidence and we need to show this to the world,” he said. (PNA) scs/Digna D. Banzon/lvp


Homebuilder offers high-end living @ affordable rates

August 4, 2010

by Prix D. Banzon
Davao City  — The Chula Vista Residences is now ready to accept buyers wanting to experience high-end living with acquisition cost at affordable rate.

Over the weekend was also the inauguration of its Grand Entrance Gate and Guardhouse at Cabantian, Buhangin, Davao City where the ribbon cutting ceremony was led by Pag-IBIG Fund vice president for Southern Mindanao operations Jose W. Banzon, Jr. and Hemeni Land Corporation (HLC) vice pesident and chief operations officer Andrea Leah V. Romero with HLC officer-in-charge Abigail Tao and Pag-IBIG Davao branch manager Rodrigo Suemith.

The project consists of 430 house and lot packages in an 8.5 hectares property where it is equipped with amenities like club house, swimming pool, sports facilities and parks and playgrounds.

Romero in her briefing said it also has concrete roads and excellent drainage system with perimeter fence and 24-hour guarded gates. Supply of water and power is excellent tapping both the Davao City Water District and Davao Light and Power Company, Inc. processing plants and others businesses.

She said they have designed seven model houses of either bungalow type and two-floor housing units for the buyers to choose from depending on their need.

“We do not impose on them and it’s always the buyer’s choice considering that our aim is to build a community where families could experience the vibrant and rich scenery of the place,” she said.

She said their company has been proactive in all its design features to give homeowners an ideal living environment.

Romero said the Chula Vista is intended for the middle income group who has the capacity to acquire property estimated to cost at close to two million pesos for the house and lot package.

With their initial offering she said about 40 percent of the site already has confirmed reservations of mix buyers and a good number of them are overseas Filipino workers.

“We also noticed that 80 percent of those who placed inquiries with us are Pag-IBIG Fund members who are interested to acquire property through the government financial institutions,” she said.

Pag-IBIG Fund offers among others house and lot package with a much lower interest rates based on the following bracket, over P1 million to P1.25 million at 9.5 percent interest rate, over P1.25 million to P2 million at 10.5 percent and over P2 million to P3 million at 11.5 percent.

Maximum amortization period of 30 years for a package of P1 million carries a monthly amortization of P7,689.13, P1.25 million at P10,510, P2 million, P18,294.79 and P3 million at P29,708.

Romero said they noticed that more Pag-IBIG Fund members are interested especially with the lowering of interest rates of real estate loan with the Fund.

Meanwhile Romero said they also partner with private banks like Banco de Oro and they intend to team up with Metrobank and Union Bank.

Chula Vista Residences is developed by HLC Group which is backed by over 25 years of experience and numerous successful housing projects and real property developments in Davao City, Tagum City, Panabo City, Digos City, Butuan City, Sto. Tomas, Davao del Norte.

Like the other developers, HLC also caters to buyers from out-of-town cities and provinces within Mindanao.

She said home buyers would prefer their locations nearer to their place of work and these are also the market that they cater. Transportation cost is also a big portion of the day to day expense of the workers that is why they want to cut on travel from home to work.

As this developed she said their company is working on a low cost housing project within a 40 hectares property at the northern portion of the city in Malagamot, Panacan, Davao City.

The HLC Group is optimistic of the real property business this year that matches with the government planners’ projection that in Davao City real estate will still be the driving businesses in the economy this year. (PDB)


RP Supermarkets group notes high consumer confidence

July 28, 2010

The Philippine Association of Supermarkets, Inc. (PASI) noted high consumer confidence in the country that is brought about by positive indicators of the economy.

PASI president Carlos V. Cabochan said under the leadership of President Benigno Aquino III, consumer confidence is up and shoppers are going back to the stores.

Cabochan said there is high confidence among consumers, the housing and commercial building constructions is also high as well as with car sales and shoppers are back into the stores.

“Given this, we look forward to an extended six years honeymoon period with the new leadership,” he said.

 However, the large retail and wholesale players have continued to expand their operations through outlets across geographical locations. Local independent retailers and wholesalers are beginning to feel the heat as chains penetrate regional locations.

And this has disrupted equilibrium in markets as sales activity with shift from one player to another and from one geographical location to another.

Manufacturers/suppliers have not been spared from this disruption as their volumes of sales are not constant across channels.

With this environment, they need to get new ideas and techniques from experts for the supermarket owners to respond in a changing retail and wholesale business environment and to strengthen their competitive positions.

Cabochan said the entry of big players is affecting the small ones and PASI will continue to assist the small ones on how to survive this big challenge.

PASI’s membership nationwide consists of 35 big companies, over 200 supermarkets and over 400 convenience stores.

He said they continue to look for a better collaboration between retailers and manufacturers to bring down costs and working together they become more efficient as well as maintain the prices.

 Meanwhile, Cabochan cited the Davao scenario where retailers here enjoy healthy competition because supermarkets become wholesalers for sari-sari stores owners.

 “The prices for both groceries and sari-sari stores are almost the same as they were able to maintain lower prices,” he said. Cabochan was here during the recently held PASI National Conference held at the Marco Polo Davao.(PNA) LDV/DDB/lvp


Real estate developers start green campaign in Davao City

July 27, 2010

 Developers of building structures and subdivisions in Davao City embark on the Davao Green campaign in support to the environment protection program of the government.

Carlos Vargas of the Chamber of Real Estate and Builders’ Association (CREBA) and coordinator of the Davao Green Campaign said their advocacy will focus on three concerns namely green development, green energy and green technology.

He admitted that developers in this city have yet to incorporate the Green Building and Green Architecture even as they have sought the help of the Davao City government to work on projects that would showcase their green campaign.

Vargas said they are thinking of setting up an area in Barangay Mintal here where they will showcase homes and locations that would follow everything related to their green campaign.

Green building, he said, is a bit expensive but this would turn out cost effective in the future.

“There are buyers of homes already looking at this concept and in fact some are interested and willing to follow environment friendly designs,” he said.

Green building, also known as green construction or sustainable building, as defined by Wikipedia is the practice of creating structures and using processes that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building’s life-cycle from sitting of design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation and deconstruction.

This practice expands and complements the classical building design concerns of economy, utility, durability and comfort.

Vargas said they already submitted a proposal to the city government for the mass transportation that will play to the different working areas here from their respective communities.

In this way, he said the number of vehicles will be reduced thus pollutions from cars may be reduced. He said they are eyeing a space in the downtown area where they could build a medium rise building for low cost occupancy with an estimated cost of P500,000 per unit.

He said locating residential units within the area of work would also be cost effective. The downtown area project is a consortium of the CREBA, he said adding this could be a start as well as support to their green campaign here. He said they are in constant talks with other CREBA associations in our cities of the country for them to get ideas and techniques on how to efficiently implement the green campaign as well as sustain their advocacy. (PNA) LDV/PDB/lvp


SM to open two more malls in Mindanao next year

July 26, 2010

SM will open its second mall in Davao City and one in General Santos City next year, according to Glenn D. Ang, SM Supermalls vice president for operations.Ang said with the coming in of two malls in the island, Mindanao will have four SM malls by 2011.

He said by the third quarter of 2011 these malls will start to operate and will be bringing in to Davao City the first hypermarket in the island.

He said General Santos City mall will have the same concept with the rest of the malls.

SM has an existing mall at Ecoland, Matina in Davao City and in Cagayan de Oro City.

Meanwhile, Ang said their existing 37 malls will have an addition of five this year, making the total number 42 by end of 2010.

He said every year, five new ones are added and more areas are in the plan.

Ang also said they want to establish call centers in the near future. “It is management direction to have a business process outsource (BPO) in every mall,” he said.

Likewise, Ang said their succeeding malls will adopt the Green Building scheme and one will be up by July of 2012.

Although he did not give details, he said this will follow green architectural designs, green landscape and environment-friendly facilities.

But he said their malls system-wide are now environment friendly as they adopt the use of less energy types of lamps and waterless urinals and the re-use of water for their cooling facilities.

“SM has a strong advocacy for the protection of the environment,” he said.

Ang also said part of their expansion program is the opening of SaveMore Stores and by end of 2011, this type of store will number about 200 nationwide.

Ang was in Davao City for the formal opening of the 11th Global Pinoy Center (GPC) at SM City here. The center at SM City Iloilo was also launched on the same day.(PNA)
LAP/PDB/lvp


SMI education program for IPs, employees continues

July 25, 2010

The education program of Sagittarius Mining, Inc. (SMI) in Tampakan, South Cotabato continues to help not only tribal groups as it also undertakes education program for its employees in order for them to better understand the local culture, specifically that of the Blaans.

At the 2009 Sustainability Report of the Tampakan Project it showed that the company’s Cultural Induction Program (CIP) consists of three modules that aim to provide staff and contractors an insight on how to relate with the B’laans.

The participants are contractors and employees from SMI’s various departments. The first module is an introduction to Blaan culture, through an extensive discussion of the Blaans’ history, belief systems, worldviews, customs and traditions.

 The second module gives tips on practices that should be observed when in a Blaan village, and dealing with Blaans in an office setting. The third underscores cultural commonalities with other dominant Philippine ethno-linguistic groups by encouraging the participants to understand and respect cultural differences, he said.

SMI operates a mining site in Tampakan town where its area covers three barangays, namely, Danlag, Tablo and Pulang Bato where deposits of copper is estimated at 2.4 billion metric tons containing 13.5 million metric tons of copper and 15.8 million ounces of gold.

The report also stated that SMI continues to demonstrate its commitment to social responsibility by contributing to the social, economic and institutional development of communities by forging meaningful partnerships with stakeholders.

In its website, it showed, among others, their support to the host community where in its report in 2008, it implemented the Tampakan Social Improvement Program (SIP) after an extensive stakeholder consultation process.

The SIP identifies and defines the projects that best respond to the key social challenges and opportunities in the host and neighboring communities. By focusing on education, health, skills training and enterprise development, it aims to help communities establish sustainable economies that can survive long after its operations end.

Particularly for the Tampakan Project, the SMI granted free elementary, high school and college education in the Tampakan communities benefitting some 5,700 students.

Meanwhile, SMI stressed that with their approach to sustainable development (SD), it will continually improve on performance, ensure the efficient use of resources and maintain a safe and healthy workplace as it create value for their stakeholders in order to contribute to a sustainable environment.

Acosta emphasizes that in achieving SD it must be safe, environmentally and socially responsible way between the people, the communities, government and other stakeholders.

The leaders of Blaan tribes in Tampakan town in South Cotabato continue to partner with SMI on projects that benefit the youth through scholarship program.

Danleg tribal chieftain Dalena Samling said their scholarship program is not only for the elementary and secondary levels but also college education. Samling said school ages belonging to their tribe are now in school.

“I am grateful of this opportunity kay sa akong panahon wala ko nakaeskwela (during my time I didn’t have the chance to go to school),” she said.

Her group comprises of 2,000 indigenous people (IPs) of the Blaan tribes who are residents of Barangay Danlag.

Sbangken tribal chieftain Tonio Binuhay, meanwhile said school age children of his tribe who are also B’laan of 1,800 are also beneficiaries of the program. He said of their college scholars, four already finished college education. He said this education program when sustained will help improve their quality of lives. The groups of Binuhay are residents of Barangay Tablo. (PNA) DCT/PDB/lvp