Robinsons at Abreeza

Davao City will have a full-service Robinsons Department Store located at Abreeza, the Ayala Center project here of Ayala Land and the Floriendo Group.

Clavel Tongco, Senior Division Head of Ayala Malls based in Cebu City told me that Robinsons Department Store would be the anchor department store at the Ayala Center Davao at Bajada.

She said Robinsons would build its own department store connected to the Abreeza Mall.

Robinsons recently opened a Cyber Center along JP Laurel but with limited space for stores and restaurants. The entire second level of the center is devoted to BPO business locators.

Tongco said the Ayala Center Davao is expected to open in mid 2011 with development cost topping P2.4 billion.

The Davao City Investment Incentive Board recently granted its application for local tax holidays.

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City grants incentives to 3 big projects

The Davao City Investment Incentive Board led by Vice Mayor Sara Duterte granted yesterday the application of three projects for local government incentives.

The projects are all property development, namely:

Abreeza, the Ayala Mall in Davao, a joint venture between Ayala Land and the Floirendo Group, and with a project cost of P2.4 billion;

Santiago Villas of Kisan Lu Realty, Inc. with a project cost of P253 million; and

Deca Homes Resort and Residences of 8890 Housing Development Corporation with a project of P586 million.

They were granted exemption from payment of local taxes, building permits fees and other charges for three years and property taxes for two years.

Projects processed by the local Investment Incentive Board for this year have already reached P4.1 billion, way above its goal.

Halal food processing

Mindanao can kiss its hope for a Brunei-funded halal food processing venture here goodbye. This after our ASEAN neighbor has decided to develop a new deep water port with export processing facilities for halal food.

Brunei has just awarded the development of Pulau Muara Besar, an island off the coast of the eastern tip of the oil-rich sultanate, to companies from Singapore and the Philippines.

The plans of the Department of Agriculture to attract funds from Brunei for the development of halal food processing plants in Mindanao have therefore been overtaken by Brunei’s own development initiative.

The DA has offered Mindanao as the site for a regional halal food processing facility which could supply halal food to Muslims in southeast Asia as well as to the Middle East.

I also wrote a letter two years ago to Brunei offering Davao City as possible site for the halal food processing center.

This would no longer be possible with the development of Pulau Muara Besar, a 995-hectare island in Brunei Bay, into a new container port with export processing zone for halal food and other manufacturing facilities. Brunei is undertaking this project to help diversify its industrial growth and lessen its dependence on oil and gas.

The project would be developed by the Surbana Consortium from Singapore and its port operations to be managed by the International Container Terminal Services, Inc. of the Philippines. Both won in the international tender or bidding.

The Manila-based ICTSI operates 16 international ports in 11 countries.

Continuing trend

After the successful construction of two mid-rise condominium units near SM Davao by the Consunji Group and the groundbreaking of Filinvest’s similar project in the area at Ecoland, the trend of mid-rise condo projects in Davao is growing.

Consunji is constructing several mid-rise units at its property just at the back of City Hall in downtown Davao.

The other day, the Davao City Investment Incentive Board, where I sit, approved the application of Linmarr Towers for its six-storey Building A condo in Bo. Obrero. The P167 million project of the Bangayan Group involves the construction of 110 units of studios and two and three bedroom units. Two other buildings are also planned at its 1.1 hectare property along Porras St.

At the Ayala Center project at the Floriendo property at Bajada, mid-rise condos are also in the planning board.

Because of its vast lands, Davaoenos like to live in sprawling bungalow or two-storey type houses where they maintain front and backyard gardens. Now, there is increasing interests in condo living where occupants prefer to be near their offices, shopping areas, medical facilitities or schools for their kids.

The market of these condo units are split three ways – locals, overseas Filipino workers, and foreigners.

Halal food ecozone

I sent this letter to the Sultan of Brunei last year:

February 22, 2007
His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah,
the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam.
Warmest Greetings of Peace!
Re attached News Item on Brunei’s plan for a Halal Food Processing Plant:
Allow us to offer Davao City as the site for this investment.
Davao City is the largest city in southern Philippines and acts as the de facto center of the BIMP-EAGA. The Asia Institute of Management (AIM) has named it as the most competitive metropolitan city in the country.
It has excellent supply for halal meat products. The city has a Halal Food Council. The city is free from hoof-and-mouth disease and free from bird flu virus.
It has excellent labor force in the food processing industry manifested by the presence of big food processors with ISO standards.
It has air and sea links with its neighbors in the BIMP-EAGA region.
Moreover, the city government offers fiscal and non-fiscal incentives on top of the tax holidays provided by the national government through the Board of Investments. Part of our non-fiscal incentives is to help potential investors look for suitable sites, local suppliers, local managerial and labor force, process various government regulatory permits, among others.
Should you wish to come to see what our city can offer, feel free to contact us. We shall be most happy to assist you.
Thank you very much.
Councilor Peter Tiu Lavina
Chair, City Council Committee on Trade, Commerce & Industry
Room 3, SP Bldg., Davao City

I cced Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap.

I am glad that his office is pursuing the plan for the halal food processing center here in Davao.

5:56 a.m.

One down, 2 shouldn’t go

Hedcor has decided to scrap one of three hydro power plants it intends to build in Marilog District due to delays in the project.

Rene Ronquillo, president of the Aboitiz “cleanergy” firm was quoted by the Philippine Star saying its board has decided to scrap the Suawan plant, part of the 34.5 megawatt Tamugan-Panigan-Suawan hydropower project estimated to cost P7 billion. The Suawan plant has a capacity of 7 mw.

The reason for the delay is the opposition of the local water utility, Davao City Water District. The delay is already two years. For us lay people, the dispute is easily resolvable as it pertains mainly on elevation, where water would be tapped by either Hedcor or DCWD, and not on a fundamental issue on the use or misuse of water resources. Technical solutions can certainly fix the problem and both parties have plenty of good engineers.

Further delays in the plans to build the hydro electric facilities to meet local energy shortage by 2010 might altogether scrap the two remaining plants. God forbid.

If the water utility continues to dilly dally, as I have shown in Septage the post below, here’s what I see in the future. Two years down the road, the water district will have to fend off two public anger – poor water service and the dreaded brownouts. Yup, I would squarely put the blame on DCWD if the city suffer from power shortages starting in 2010.

Related posts – Water wars

5:52 a.m.

Robinsons Davao

The on-going construction of the Robinsons Davao beside the Davao City Water District along JP Laurel is on schedule. It is set to open during the first quarter next year in time for the Araw ng Dabaw festivities.

These I was told by Robinsons Land executives who visited me last week, Henry Yap GM of the Office Building Division and VP for the Design & Planning Department, Danilo Camat, Property Manager of Robinsons Cagayan de Oro and Ramil Roy Sumander, their man in Davao.

The Davao mall will feature its anchor Robinsons Supermarket and Handyman do-it-yourself hardware, spaces for coffee shops, restaurants and other stores. At its second level, 5,000 square meters is designated as IT center for BPO locators. Their application for accreditation with the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) is now with the City Council. It is in the agenda today (see previous post).

The Davao City Investment Incentive Board, where I sit as a member, earlier approved its request for grant of fiscal and non-fiscal incentives.

Its entry here is much anticipated similar to the opening of other major mall and retail giants in the country. It is exepected to help generate jobs and contribute to the dynamism of the local economy.

Visit this skyscrapercity thread monitoring the progress of the mall construction.

6:21 a.m.