By Arra B. Francia
“LIVABLE COMMUNITY” isn’t exactly what comes to mind when you see the congested spaces in Metro Manila. With land becoming scarcer and real estate prices rising every year, developers would have to set up in other areas if they want to continue building livable spaces for their customers.
For RGV Group of Companies Vice-Chairman Jaime A. Cura, it is the government’s promise to improve infrastructure across the country that’s helping real estate industry players think outside Metro Manila.
Mr. Cura, who headed the board of judges for this year’s PropertyGuru Philippines Property Awards, said property developers are now more decisive to expand in the provinces following the government’s infrastructure program.
“A certain observation is that the aggressive goal of the government to ‘build, build, build,’ in order to make up for the lack and backwardness of the basic infrastructure of our country, has been a vigorous push to the property industry. Developers have become bolder and more decisive about entering out of the highly congested and polluted cities,” Mr. Cura said in a speech during the awards night at Fairmont Makati last week.
He noted that the term livable community — often used as a marketing slogan by industry players — would be nothing but “empty and deceptive promises” unless they find a way to actually build more space for their customers.
“(The infrastructure program will) give developers a fresh start, and the opportunity to show the lessons gained from operating within a less than ideal planning development or the total lack of it,” Mr. Cura said.
Another observation from one of the awarding body’s judges is the effort of companies to develop green and sustainable buildings.
“At least now a lot of the developers are being more conscious about putting in more green into the development so we have not just rainwater collection, not just making sure that they are LEED certified but most of them are actually, that recognition among developers is now top of mind,” Pronove Tai International Chief Executive Office Monique Cornelio-Pronove said in an interview.
LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a certification given by the United States Green Building Council that proves a building has focused on five key elements, namely energy efficiency, indoor environmental quality, materials selection, sustainable site development, and water savings.
Ms. Cornelio-Pronove said this puts Philippine developers in step with Asian competitors, since green development is something that the Asian market has been seeing in previous years.
Winners at the 6th annual PropertyGuru Philippines Property Awards:
• Best Developer: Megaworld Corp.
• Best boutique developer: Arthaland Corp.
• Special Recognition in CSR: Empire East
• Special recognition in sustainable development: Arthaland Corp.
• Best luxury condo development (Metro Manila): Trump Tower at Century City by Century Properties Group, Inc.
• Best high end condo development (Metro Manila): Portico by Alveo Land
• Best mid end condo development (Metro Manila): The Residences at Commonwealth by Century by Century Properties Group, Inc.
• Best Affordable Condo Development (Metro Manila): Suntrust Shanata by Suntrust Properties, Inc. of Megaworld Corp.
• Best luxury condo development (Cebu): The Residences at the Sheraton Cebu Mactan Resort by AppleOne Mactan, Inc.
• Best high end condo development (Cebu): Grand Residences Cebu by Grand Land, Inc.
• Best affordable condo development (Cebu): Amani Grand Mactan, Cebu by Grand Land, Inc.
• Best housing development (Cebu): Casa Mira South by Cebu Landmasters, Inc.
• Best condo development (resort): Canyon de Boracay Premiere by Canyon Estates, Inc. / G2 Global, Inc.
• Best township development: Iloilo Business Park by Megaworld Corp.
• Best office development (Metro Manila): The Podium West Tower by SM Keppel Land, Inc.
• Best office development (Cebu): Cebu Exchange by Cebu Lavana Land Corp.
• Best BPO office development: Unioil Tower by Exquadra, Inc.
• Best retail development: The Podium by SM Keppel Land, Inc.
• Best hotel development: Twin Lakes Hotel by Global-Estate Resorts, Inc. by Megaworld Corp.
• Best hotel development (Cebu): Dusit Princess- Grand Tower Cebu by Grand Land, Inc.
• Best mixed use development: The Podium complex by SM Keppel Land, Inc.
• Best luxury condo architectural design: The Imperium at Capitol Commons by Ortigas and Company
• Best condo architectural design: Verano Greenhills by Grand Taipan
• Best Condo interior design: The Residences at the Sheraton Cebu Mactan Resort by AppleOne Mactan, Inc.
• Best township architectural design: Uptown Bonifacio by Megaworld Corp.
• Best office architectural design: The Podium West Tower by SM Keppel Land, Inc.
• Best retail architectural design: The Podium by SM Keppel Land, Inc.
• Best Landscape architectural design: The Podium Complex by SM Keppel Land, Inc.
• Best Universal design development: The Podium Complex by SM Keppel Land, Inc.
• Best Green Development: The Podium Complex by SM Keppel Land, Inc.
• Special recognition for Public Facility: Terminal 2 of the Mactan Cebu International Airport by GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corp.
• Best Condo Development (Philippines): The Residences at the Sheraton Cebu Mactan Resort by AppleOne Mactan, Inc.
• Philippine Real Estate Personality of the Year: Jose Roberto Antonio, founder and CEO, Revolution Precrafted