Why do they say all roads lead to Davao? Is it because of the upswing of Davao condominiums, and commercial and business establishments? Does it have something to do with its famous tourist spots that always have repeat visitors? Or is it only for the sole reason that this is the official residence of President-Elect Rodrigo R. Duterte?
Let us have a brief History 101 first. The phrase ‘all roads lead to Davao’ is from the proverb ‘all roads lead to Rome.’ Do all roads actually lead to Rome? Indeed. As stated by Buzzle, “the ancient Romans built an amazing network of roads everywhere they went, such that roads from every city eventually led back to Rome.” However, this article will focus in the economic standpoint of the phrase ‘all roads lead to Davao.’
Here are the five economic indicators why all roads lead to Davao:
Davao City is one of the highly urbanized cities in the Philippines with a total population of 1,449,296 as of May 1, 2010, based on Philippine Statistics Authority’s (PSA) record. It got the 4th spot and the only populous city outside NCR.
In order to keep up with the large number of people, the real estate sector is thriving as well. It is important to note that birth rate doesn’t only contribute to the city’s population growth but also the continued local migration. Lea C. Walker, a licensed broker in the city, said in BusinessWorld “the real estate industry in Davao City has boomed in the last six years.” It was also the top investment in the Davao Region during the first three quarters of 2015, according to DTI (Department of Trade and Industry) Region 11.
In an article on BusinessWorld, “major Philippine property firms, including Ayala Land, Inc. Filinvest Land, Inc., Megaworld Corp., Robinsons Land Corp., and Vista Land and Lifescapes, Inc. have existing or on-going projects in the city.” As proof, Megaworld’s Suntrust Properties, Inc. has sales worth P1 billion for its One Lakeshore Drive condominium project in Davao City from January to May 2016.
How are they going to deal with the traffic in a city of 1.4 million people? The local government already thought of ways as told by BusinessWorld. They’re planning to develop a Light Rail Transit (LRT) system, Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and Highly Prioritized Bus System (HPBS).
Among the three, the most ambitious project is the LRT system. This was proposed by Korean Engineering Construction Co. Ltd. (KEC). It will cover 28.4 kilometers between the southern side of the city and the airport in the north. The estimated cost of the project is more or less P30 billion. Last January 2016, the city council still awaits approval from the next administration. Well, it seems the future of Davao LRT is rosy because of the result of the last elections.
The significant change in the tourism sector was felt after the victory of the Mayor turned President Rodrigo R. Duterte. Tourism Davao Regional Director Roberto P. Alabado III said on BusinessWorld the “tourism stakeholders are now challenged to improve services and products. Tour operators are now exploring new products… more tour packages can be offered in Davao del Sur, Davao del Norte, Davao Oriental, and Compostela Valley.”
Davao City is the home of Eden Nature Park, D’ Bone Collector Museum, People’s Park, Museo Dabawenyo and the tallest peak in the country, the Mount Apo. Each earned a ‘Certificate of Excellence’ in TripAdvisor.
A Prime Outsourcing Hub
The authorities have already spoken. Davao City can compete against Metro Manila of being a Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO) destination. Why? It is one of the five New Wave Cities in the country. The New Wave Cities program is thru the initiative of DOST-ICT Office and the IT-Business Process Association of the Philippines (iBPAP). Its aim is to develop globally preferred outsourcing destinations outside Metro Manila. In addition, according to Sun.Star, Davao City went up by 3 notches from 69th to 66th based on Tholon’s Top 100 BPO destinations in the world in a January 29, 2016 report.
In a study entitled “Davao, Philippines: Making Waves as the Next Prime Spot for Outsourcing” by Open Access BPO, the city provides the following services: voice-based processes; animation services; data processing; back office solutions; finance and accounting; application development for IT; and transcription services.
The growth of the BPO sector in Davao does not only contribute millions of revenues but it also increases employment opportunities as well. Ivan C. Cortez, the OIC of Davao City Investment Promotions Centre (DCIPC), tells Sun.Star that 34,000 jobs were created by the end of 2015 due to the multimillion investments from the BPO industry. Furthermore, because of more creation of jobs across all industries with some 4,880 issued permits to new business establishments in the city, the market for the housing and condominium projects in Davao City also expanded, as explained by Sun.Star.
To sum it up, all roads lead to Davao because of the rise of new condominiums; the influx of job seekers as the BPO sector grows; the soon-to-be improved transportation system and the incessant arrival of tourists. Aside from the peace and order the city takes pride in, the boost on its economy is a clear indication that it would attract more local migrants in the future.
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