Philippine Real Estate News – July 2016

real estate news 28pr

hello everyone,

here’s some select articles about Philippine Real Estate and our economy from various newspaper correspondents that matters for your reference.

from Philippine Business World Online correspondent, Melissa Luz T. Lopez :

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Economic managers warn against over-reliance on BPO industry

THE NEW government’s economic managers warned against being too reliant on the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry, as advances in technology could take the place of workers, thereby reducing the segment’s contribution to the economy.

“We should not be too reliant on BPO. It might change — not immediately, but in the future,” Budget Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno said during a briefing on Wednesday.

BPO is helping maintain the current account at a surplus, alongside overseas worker remittances and tourism.

Economists expect BPO receipts to exceed those of remittances in the next few years. In a report released in March, Moody’s Analytics called the Philippines the “call center capital of the world,” with BPOs leading the strong growth in the country’s service sector.

However, members of the inter-agency Development Budget Coordination Committee said they are keeping a close watch on developments in artificial intelligence research abroad, which may do away with the need for call centers.

“You might get some time in the not so distant future, in five to seven years, where a robot can answer your question,” Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said.

“There are certain developments happening quite quickly abroad. We have to plan and not just rely on current technology.”

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia said a shift in BPO services with the advent of new technology may affect some aspects of the domestic industry, but expects outsourcing to remain robust.

“In the short term, (artificial intelligence) is likely to curtail some jobs but over the longer run… it’s going to demand even more manpower in different areas,” Mr. Pernia said.

“I think outsourcing will continue to grow because it’s more efficient to outsource security guards, janitors, electricians. It applies to government offices as well.”

In March 2015, Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines Chairman Danilo Sebastian L. Reyes said the sector likely posted 16% growth in 2014 to between $18.1 billion and $18.4 billion in total revenue.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Deputy Governor Diwa C. Guinigundo said authorities still expect the BPO industry to remain “a very important driver” of economic growth, with the central bank expecting a 15% increase in BPO receipts this year.

from correspondent, Hugh Clement :

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Good News: Doctors Announce HIV/AIDS Cure!

A Study using a man-made, blood-forming stem cells has shown a promising effect in animal experiments in suppressing HIV.But now a support from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) has funded the said study using bioengineered stem cells to treat HIV patients.


And the first recipient to be cured of HIV is Timothy after a bone marrow transplant treated his leukemia. He is popularly known as the ‘Berlin Patient.’

Spanish medical professionals believe that they can treat the virus by using the blood transplant process from the umbilical cords of the patient with a genetic resistance to HIV, and this proved that the procedure was successful with one patient.

Another man from Barcelona, 37, who had the same case with HIV Virus in 2009, was also cured of the condition after receiving blood transplant.

Barcelona doctors did their initial attempt using the technique used to Timothy Brown, an HIV patient who developed leukemia before receiving the experimental treatment in Berlin.
He was given bone marrow from a donor who carried the resistance mutation from HIV. after the treatment, the virus disappeared.

The CCR5 Delta 35 mutation affects a protein in the white blood cells in the body and provides an estimated one percent of the human population with high resistance to infection from HIV.

“We suggested a transplant of blood from an umbilical cord but from someone who had the mutation because we knew from ‘the Berlin patient’ that as well as [ending] the cancer, we could also eradicate HIV,” Rafael Duarte, the director of the Haematopoietic Transplant Programme at the Catalan Oncology Institute in Barcelona, told The Local.

But it’s not yet down, because the process of curing HIV referred to by the professionals is calld Stem Cell Transplant.
To begin with, getting a Stem Cell Transplant is much more dangerous than living with HIV.

To successfully complete an SCT you have to completely destroy the stem cells in your bone marrow using intense conditioning resulting in:

1. Low/No white blood cells – [no ability to fight off infection, meaning even something as small as flu could end your life]

2. Low Platelets – [heavy risk of uncontrollable bleeding- a nosebleed would most likely to end your life)

3. Low hemoglobin – [you will need many, many blood transfusions]

4. Graft vs Host disease – [which can cause really poor quality of life or end your life]

5. A long time spent in hospital – [weeks to months, if not a year plus].

See the full research here: Doctors Announce HIV / AIDS Cure

from correspondent, And Rea :

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BIR Chief Dulay Warns Corrupt Officials To Resign Or Face Ouster

New BIR chief Cesar Dulay warns corrupt officials to resign.

Newly-appointed Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Commissioner chief Cesar R. Dulay warned the corrupt officials in the agency to resign or face ouster.


The commissioner issued the warning during a flag-raising ceremony at the BIR’s main office in Quezon City. He also revealed his plans during his term and asked them to render “honest and efficient” service to taxpayers.

According to a Manila Bulletin report, Dulay asked the corrupt officials to resign now or they will face investigation or they will be ousted from the government agency.

However, he did not reveal if he already has the list of alleged grafters.

“Change is coming and join me in the journey to fight corruption,” he was quoted saying.

Dulay said that the harsh policy in the bureau is in line with President Rodrigo Duterte’s instructions to his subordinates to get rid of corruption in the government, especially in BIR which he earlier tagged as one of the most three corrupt agencies of the government.

President Duterte earlier dubbed BIR as one of the most corrupt government agency. He also threatened to shut down the office.

Meanwhile, Caesar Dulay signed three orders to suspend all tax probes of former Commissioner Kim Henares on his first day.

On Friday, he signed a memorandum to suspend the effectivity of all revenue issuances issued within June 1-30 until further notice.

from Business Mirror :

Green city concept illustration

‘Smart City’ projected to rise in Davao

For the longest time, sustained economic growth eluded Davao City, long touted as the biggest city in the world.

That should not be the case anymore if a big infrastructure project, seen to rival the Bonifacio Global City in Taguig, is completed in three years.

The Smart City should shine like a jewel in Davao City, the gateway to the country’s neighbors as Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam.

The joint-venture agreement (JVA) between the Davao City government and Mega Harbour Development Corp., headed by businessman Reghis M. Romero II, was signed on June 21 by Davao City Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte in his last official act as local chief executive.

The unsolicited proposal to undertake the P39-billion Davao Coastline and Port Development Project was submitted by Mega Harbour to the city government last year. It was subjected to a Swiss challenge in November. Under the Swiss challenge mechanism, Mega Harbour, as the original proponent of the project, was allowed to match a challenger’s bid.

The project covers 200 hectares from the existing Santa Ana Wharf to the Bucana area, where the Davao River flows out to the Davao Gulf.

Under the plan, Mega Harbour will begin with the reclamation of four islands, with the first to be developed as a modern port that will service all kinds of vessels.  With a berthing length of about 2.5 kilometers, the port will be the longest in the Davao region.

The second and third islands will be for mixed-use development, including commercial components. The city government will get 5 hectares for public offices in either of these two islands.

The first three islands will be interconnected and have a common access to the mainland. The fourth island will feature the residential component, including the relocation housing site for affected settlers in the project area.

Mega Harbour is already in the process of securing the necessary permits within a year to start the project.

The project was approved by the City Council on April 12. Under the JVA, the project will be completed at no cost to the city government.

This project will improve Davao’s landscape and make it a truly world-class city, with “green urbanism” as its underlying concept.

Residents affected by the project need not worry as they will be relocated in a medium-rise building to be constructed within the project area. Around 3,500 families are expected to be affected by the construction project.

Duterte had actually asked the project developer not to remove the families living near the proposed site from their communities. Mega Harbour will therefore consider building tenement housing for affected families that will still rise within their communities near the location of the reclamation project in Agdao and Ecoland areas.

The project developer has indicated that they will be doing geotagging of residents who will be affected to determine who can be hired for the construction of the project.

Mega Harbour will finance the Davao Coastline and Port Development project, which is expected to generate employment, create a new cityscape and make not only the city but also other parts of Mindanao highly competitive.

The upcoming Smart City project in Davao will definitely be a feather in the cap of the Duterte administration once it is completed. But certain quarters are already questioning the capability of Mega Harbour to undertake the project.

They should bring their gripes to President Duterte himself instead of through media if they really have a
valid complaint.

President Duterte has vowed to pursue inclusive economic growth through regional development.

This project will no doubt stand as a testament to his commitment to real change, and form part of his legacy to succeeding generations. Davao province residents are all for it.

from correspondent : Charles E. Buban :

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Creating an Ideal Community – Greenfield District

Forty-five years after it was founded, Greenfield Development Corp. (GDC) is shifting its focus to wellness and vitality of its residents.

One of the leading real estate companies in the Philippines, GDC believed it should move beyond delivering communities that reduce environmental impacts and improve social practices.

“It was also during this period when we asked ourselves what’s next? How could we take this green, sustainable building movement to the next level? How could we apply it to Greenfield District, one of our most important properties and also where we first ventured into real estate?” said lawyer Duane AX Santos, EVP and general manager of GDC.

Noting how the market these days are increasingly focusing on healthier, more active lifestyles and thus, constantly on the lookout for properties that could empower them to better manage their own healthcare, GDC decided to create a city within a city where residents and tenants not only live, work and play but also contribute actively to their health and well-being.

“What we did this time is to gather the best names in the wellness industry and put them in one community—Greenfield District in Mandaluyong City,” said Santos.

Evolving focus

He added that elsewhere in the world a number of real estate developers and healthcare are simultaneously evolving with focus on the individual and a renewed understanding of health and wellness. “As residents and workers become more aware of their health, we decided that their urban environment should continue to grow in ways that promote not only walkability, healthy food choices and green space for recreation and respite but also ones that would serve as a catalyst for urban renewal and healthy living,” explained Santos.

These healthcare points range from stand-alone, non-emergency care centers that provide a spectrum of opportunities to manage illnesses and wellness like the Health First flagship branch located at the second and third levels of Soho Central.

“Here, Greenfield District residents and workers will be offered premium outpatient services such as doctor consultation, annual physical exam, executive checkup, ambulatory surgical service, laboratory and diagnostic tests, physical therapy and rehabilitation. HealthFirst in Greenfield District is also set to open a dialysis center as well as a women’s health center on the second level.

Those needing a reliable and effective personalized solutions to their illnesses or health condition may now visit Greenfield District’s BioBalance Institute located at the third level of the Soho Central. BioBalance offers several tests (nutrients and metabolic; gastrointestinal; allergy profiles; toxic elements profile) using the client’s urine as well as blood and from the results, provide a customized food and vitamin supplementation protocol that the client could conveniently take every day.

 Best medicine

Fitness is the best medicine from stress and bad mood and Greenfield District is proud to have the anchor branch of Gold’s Gym at Soho Central. Covering more than 900 square meters complements the other one—Gold’s Gym Athletics—also located within Greenfield District (on Sheridan Street). The first of its kind in the country, Gold’s Gym Athletics is focused on sports and group fitness activities as it houses a basketball court and footsal area as well as offers popular and sought-after fitness regimens such as TRX, zumba and body jam.

Regarded as the biggest in the country, Greenfield District’s Trampoline Park on Mayflower Street is the ultimate stress buster for busy professionals and residents living in high stress environment.

This giant warehouse features over 70 differently designed trampolines allowing a group to play aerial dodgeball, volleyball, slam dunk basketball as well as conduct free-style jumps and flips (Crazy Foam Pit Fun), parkour lessons (a method of physical training that develops one’s ability to overcome obstacle primarily in urban environment) with professional instructors, fitness and aero dance with professional instructors.

 Climbing experience

Climb Central Manila located at The Portal on Mayflower Street in Greenfield District is for the more adventurous as it offers state-of-the-art facility that brings the climbing experience closer to enthusiasts of all ages. With its parent company located in Singapore, Climb Central Manila is the first to focus on nouveau climbers as it features unique safety systems  (belaySAFE and Auto Belay) that allow climbers as young as 5 to quickly experience this sport.

The 413-sqm facility is air-conditioned and offers clean, comfortable, climbable walls ranging from 9-12 meters high.

“Indeed, so much has changed in this 15-hectare property previously known as the iconic Edsa Central. Forty years later, the new residential high-rise buildings that rose here already features fiber-optic technology that provides not only high-speed internet access to residential and commercial units but also a range of technological developments from remote-controlled entry and climate control to built-in web servers and video-conferencing capabilities,” said Santos.

With the presence of these various health- and wellness-oriented establishments within Greenfield District, Santos said GDC will continue to innovate to offer lifestyles that are notches higher than what the market has been accustomed to.


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Thank you.

Robert G. Sarmiento Properties
Professional Affiliation :
Philippine Association of Real Estate Brokers
Member, City of Taguig Real Estate Board
Real Estate Broker’s Association of the Philippines
President, Greenhills Chapter 2008, 2009
Philippine Association of Real Estate Brokers
San Juan Mandaluyong Chapter 1998, 1999
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