Duterte boosts business influx to Davao City

Davao City. (Bernardo Agulo image)

DAVAO City continues to attract more investors particularly real estate developers based on the influx of business executives, tourists, and inquiries on business opportunities in the city.

Prime Philippines, a Manila-based consulting company, said President Rodrigo Duterte remains to be the drawing power to the growing attention Davao City is getting.

This includes the interest of foreign investors who are looking for better options. This development is validated by several consulting companies already set up offices here to help investors in the real estate industry look for opportunities and help them analyze the local setting.

In its report, Prime Philippines said the attention on the city has continued to be heightened although it also faced temporary setbacks a few weeks after the declaration of Martial Law in May.

Prime cited the visit last year of a foreign delegation brought by the British Chamber of Commerce-Philippines.

Then British Ambassador Asif Ahmad led the group of about 50 executives from 30 companies.

In that visit, Chris Nelson, president of the chamber, said that most of those executives who joined have started initiating possible joint venture initiatives with their local counterparts.

“We want to take advantage of the better economic opportunities that the country is experiencing,” he said. Since then, members of the group have been visiting the city and participating in business events.

The increasing number of locators from outside the city and the expansion of foreign companies prompted the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (DCCCII) to step up to the challenge by expanding their businesses.

“We need to seize the opportunities as even outsiders have come to the city to invest,” said DCCCII president Ronald Go said as he took note of the growth not only of the city’s economy but the country’s in general when government economists reported a 6.9 percent rise in gross domestic product in the third quarter.

This figure was higher than analysts were expecting. Go urged local investors to either come up with new business ideas or expand their businesses . He said they must “not wait for others to leave us behind, (so) let us move faster,” in reference to outsiders who have been eager to put in their investment packages.

But even before the call was made, homegrown companies had already been on the prowl to pounce on every opportunity that they could see.

This has been true particularly in the real estate industry. Local firms are not just investing by developing their land-banked properties, but have been ahead of outsiders because they were able to foretell the industry growth.

Go cited Damosa Land Inc., a significant part of the Floirendo group which has been diversifying lately by developing a high-end subdivision and putting up its six-building condominium project.

Ricardo Lagdameo, grandson of company founder Don Antonio O. Lagdameo, said the company has been heavily implementing new projects not only because of the good economic fundamentals of the country but also because it wanted to show support to the President.

Lagdameo added that being a homegrown company, Damosa Land also needs to show that its projects are at par with the best.

“Other companies may eventually leave, but we will continue to be part of the city. And our name is our main marketing tool, so we need to be good in what we do,” he said.

Right now, he added, the company will continue to find ways for opportunities in the city as its way of supporting the leadership of President Duterte.

“He is our President, so we should also lead in ensuring that his leadership will result in better lives of all Filipinos,” he added. p: wjg