AboitizLand Industrial Parks Represent Mid to Long-Term Hope for Returning Urban Migrants
One of the crucial lessons emerging from the pandemic is how congestion in Philippine megacities has profoundly impacted crisis response. As the government gradually eases quarantine restrictions, there is a clamor for better ways of living, working, and moving around. Areas outside traditional urban centers are deemed vital to medium- and long–term recovery plans.
Real estate developer AboitizLand is ready to help the country get back on its feet with the national government’s Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-Asa Program. The initiative offers hope for a better future through policies that promote equitable distribution of resources throughout the country, and particularly by encouraging Filipinos to return to their home provinces and assisting them in this transition with support and incentives.
AboitizLand’s industrial zones in Batangas and Cebu have been proven as catalysts for countryside development in terms of jobs generation from the expansion of strategic economic sectors in those regions. No longer stand-alone manufacturing sites like in the past, the industrial parks of AboitizLand, accredited with the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), continue to be developed into townships with added complementary elements.
Well-Established Industrial Zones
Persuading urban migrants to move to the suburbs represents a major challenge given that jobs, housing, and other services need to be well-established in these areas. The demand for an integrated township like LIMA Estate in Lipa-Malvar, Batangas is now more apparent than ever before.
Since acquiring LIMA in 2014, AboitizLand has transformed it into a 700-hectare mixed-use estate, with the anchor LIMA Technology Center hosting 111 locators. Its manufacturing and warehousing operations generate more than 50,000 jobs in export-driven production industries such as automobile, motorcycle, printers, plastic moldings, and LCD projectors.
It is complemented by a commercial area — The Outlets at Lipa and LIMA Exchange — with 100 retail stores and restaurants, a 138-room 4-Star Hotel and a transportation hub. The expected increase in demand for housing is also accounted for with the ongoing construction of the first of its residential enclaves, The Villages at Lipa.
LIMA offers commercial lots in its PEZA- accredited commercial district, which will soon house commercial and BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) buildings, further enhancing job-generation prospects for Batangas.
Partnering to Rebuild Hope
The massive scale of the Balik Probinsya Program entails collaborative measures. An example of a successful partnership between government and business is Mactan Economic Zone II (MEZ II). AboitizLand, as the real estate arm of the Aboitiz Group of Companies, has worked on a number of nation-building projects that transformed the VisMin region, partnering with Mactan Cebu International Airport and PEZA to highlight Cebu in the global export market. The 63-hectare MEZ II in Lapu-Lapu City hosts 49 multinational companies belonging in light to medium industries that include precision instruments, medical equipment, communication and electronics, automotive supplies, apparel and furniture. The industrial zone currently employs 14,000 skilled workers.
Within MEZ II is the five-story iMEZ, a commercial corporate building that complements the retail and recreational lifestyle elements of the Pueblo Verde shopping complex, which has over 70 retail stores, services and restaurants, as well as a transit hub.
Commitment to Long–Term Development
AboitizLand’s track record of committing to long–term land value development is demonstrated in the West Cebu Industrial Park (WCIP) in Balamban. The industrial zone is a joint venture between Aboitiz and Japan’s Tsuneishi Holdings since 1992. The project turned the coastal town into a first-class municipality now regarded as the shipbuilding capital of the Philippines. A 540-hectare mixed-use development, it is ideal for medium to heavy industries, particularly fitted for ship-building and allied activities. It is currently host to 11 industrial and 8 commercial locators, employing 14,000 employees. WCIP is now poised to usher in the next era of industrialization with its continuing expansion to include a commercial center, a dorm, port services and other facilities over the next five years.
With government and businesses envisioning on the horizon a pivot back to large-scale operations, industrial-commercial districts in the provinces are regarded as a sensible choice not just for investors but also for the working population in the major urban centers. Whereas before, overcrowded cities beckoned to jobseekers, the industrialization and innovation that continue to take place in these new-generation economic zones offer fresh possibilities to those resettling back home, that their needs can be sustainably met as communities recover to a better new normal.