Yearender: 2013, still rosy for biz sector

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Monday, December 30, 2013


AMID the crises that hit the entire nation this year, there are some good things that worth highlighting that keep the balance between good and bad which made 2013 for the business community rather exciting.

Here's a rundown of events in tourism, real estate, business process outsourcing, and agriculture which made a big impact, whether good or bad, to the business community as the year 2013 closes.

Tourism

Big events in Davao City were a boon to the local tourism sector as they drew in more visitors that benefit the hospitality business here. Among the big events were the Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, Events/ Exhibitions Conference (Micecon) 2013 and the 22nd Mindanao Business Conference (Minbizcon).

In a way, the holding of such big events did great help in promoting the city as a prime destination for Mice in the country, with the opening of SMX Convention Center Davao in 2012 that can hold a total of 5,000 visitors.

However, it's an almost perfect year for the tourism industry in Davao City, except that organizers of Ad Congress did not push through with the event this year, which the city earned the hosting right in late 2012.

Agriculture

Agriculture in Davao Region is well on its way to recovery from the aftermath of Typhoon Pablo in 2012. Still reeling in from impact of the typhoon to the agricultural crops, farmers have been receiving some assistance from the Department of Agriculture (DA) 11 for the rehabilitation of the destroyed farmlands.

Another was the study about the biological measure developed by a research team of Philippine Coconut Authority - Davao Research Team (PCA-DRC) that won in a national competition as the best research paper. The insects called parasitoid Tetratichus are said to be the answer to the long-standing problem of the coco farmers on pest infestation.

Currently, there are a total of 52 laboratories nationwide that are mass-producing the Tetratichus, which distribute the insects to farmers for free. Each hectare needs at least 200 insects.

PCA-DRC Scientist 1 for the crop protection division Vivencio C. Gallego said a total of 1,053,921 Tetrastichus insects have been released so far in Central Visayas, Davao Region, and Soccsksargen.

IT-BPO

The investment boom in the IT-BPO industry for 2012 continued in 2013, with the opening of two more multinational companies that generate a thousand of opportunities for the Dabawenyos.

Teleperformance and IBex Global Solutions are the two new additions to the city's fast-growing IT-BPO industry.

Telepeformance occupied some 11,000-square meter office space at the SM Annex of SM City Davao, with a total seating capacity of 2,000, while the IBex Global is at the SM Lanang Premier, with an office space spanning 3,600 square meters. The company initially hired 500 agents, but it plans to hire more than a thousand in the coming months.

Another major victory to the city's IT-BPO was when a group of IT geeks from Davao bagged the honor to represent the country in Silicon Valley for the AngelHack Global after they won in the AngelHack Manila last June 8 to 9, 2013. They were Rolly Rulete, Marvin Consuegra, Raymund Delfin, and Jay Albano. They were joined by Mio Miguel Galang who hailed from Pampanga. All five of them showed their technical chops in developing application that took the judges by storm.

Real Estate

More land developers went great lengths in expanding housing projects in the city, and thus the sustained growth for the industry in 2013. Few among them were the Filinvest Land Inc. (FLI) and the 8990 Housing Development Corporation (HDC).

FLI, in partnership with CVA & Sons Inc. launched its new condominium project, 8 Spatial, in an 3.8 hectare prime property on Julian Rodriguez Sr. Avenue (Ma-a Road), Davao City.

8990 HDC, meanwhile, recently launched its 54-hectare third mass housing project in the city. Deca Homes Subdivision Indangan will be comprised of 3,427 bungalow and loft type units when completed. The entire project will be completed in three year's time.

The groundbreaking of the city's tallest edifice also took place this year. Land developer FTC Group of Companies started the ground work for the 33-storey mixed-use condominium, Aeon Towers.

Better years ahead

The business environment in Davao City experienced a great year for 2013 and can expect better in the years to come.

It is no surprise that this year Davao City ranked first in the regional competitiveness index (RCI) for Region 11.

This was based on a survey conducted from April 2013 to May 2013 among four participant cities and 10 municipalities by the University of Mindanao Davao Research and Publication Center. They were commissioned by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) 11 to do the RCI.

With an index range set from -10 to 10, Davao City scored 7.71 over 14 participants in the region.

The RCI indicates that Davao city is the most competitive city in the region making it attractive to investors. The city also scored the highest in economic efficiency with 7.5, following its high rate in capital foundation, employment rate, and strong business community.

The robust economic growth of the city can also be gleaned after Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (DCCCII) was named as this year's most outstanding city chamber of commerce in Mindanao and the Philippines.

In support to the city's business environment, Davao is being eyed to have a sustainable urban transport system in the next few years.

In a study on Davao Sustainable Urban Transport Project: Comprehensive Public Transport Reform for Davao City Forum on September 30, 2013 at the Marco Polo Hotel, Geoff Key of Halcrow said that they are encouraging the use of highly-prioritized bus service for the next five to 10 years in Davao City.

Davao City Councilor Leonardo Avila III is also pushing for a second study on the sustainable urban transport plan to look into its social impacts and financial aspects.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on December 31, 2013.

Business

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