Minglanilla: 100 hectares more land for investors
The reclamation project is the southern town’s solution to land shortage as it rides on Metro Cebu’s property boom
How can a southern Cebu town , which has a shortage of available lands for real estate, continue to ride the economic wave that has been spawned by Metro Cebu’s thriving property market — a trend that is expected to continue driving the economies of Cebu province’s towns in the years to come?
For Minglanilla, a town 15 kilometers from Cebu City, the solution is a reclamation project, which can add another 100 hectares to the town’s land area of 6,560 hectares.
But until the project will be completed in this southern town which is between two thriving southern cities as it borders Talisay City in the north and the City of Naga in the south, real estate investments will have to be only for a certain target market.
Roy Soledad, head of the Cebu Investment Promotions Office (CIPO), said the town welcomes investments in real estate, although they no longer encourage projects for the low-to-medium income segment.
“They are still open to housing, but more on the higher-end market,” Soledad told Cebu Daily News in a phone interview.
One of these property developments is Cebu-based developer SterlingLand Residences and Development Inc., which recently broke ground for its 25-hectare mountain resort community in Barangay Tubod called Minglanilla Highlands last April.
Phase one will include the construction of around 330 of the planned 1,140 units which includes townhouses, duplex, and single-detached units as well as a lifestyle hub where major institutional amenities like a religious shrine, wedding chapel, and a clubhouse will be located.
The price range for each unit will be P3 million and above, all being two-storey structures with four bedrooms and one- to two-car parks, located uphill or downhill, depending on the buyer’s preference.
Soledad said that Minglanilla, according to its economic profile, has a total land area of 6,560 hectares, approximately 385 hectares of which are for commercial or industries purposes while the rest are for agricultural use.
He said that most of the undeveloped parcels of land are in the town’s upland areas since the low-lying areas are almost fully utilized for residential developments.
The good thing about the town, however, is that it is set to take on a 100-hectare reclamation project to offset this limitation, said Soledad.
“Adding 100 hectares is already good,” Soledad said.
This project is a public-private partnership venture between the municipality, Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA), and Ming-Mori Development, Corp. (MMDC), a consortium of Cebuano businessmen.
The reclamation project will host an industrial park for light manufacturing industries, some mixed-developments for commercial complexes, and business centers, all of which were seen to employ at least 75,000 workers once operational.
“This will be an industrial estate, catering to light industries and addressing the shortage in the Mactan Export Processing Zone (MEPZ) since they lack space there.
There has also been a clamor from foreign locators to move in,” said Jose Soberano III, chairman and president of MMDC.
The municipal government of Minglanilla sought the group of Soberano to lead the way for the project and that the private consortium has been working on it in the last four years.
Soberano said that at present, they are only waiting for the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to issue an Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) for the undertaking.
He said they will then be ready for the bidding for the contractor, among others — a process which he described will not take more than six months.
The project is also expected to ease traffic along the national highway in southern Cebu since it will include the construction of an alternative coastal road.
Filomena Cañedo, president of the Minglanilla Cebu Business Chamber (MCBC), said this project is also expected to bring in investors, provide better employment opportunities, and improve quality of life of residents.
“This will allow constituents to find competitive and fitting employment opportunities just within the locality. There will be less time travelling to and from work, allowing them to have more time with the family,” she said.
Minglanilla Mayor Elanito Peña said he anticipates greater economic gains once this big-ticket infrastructure project becomes operational.
The mayor said the local economy is booming, as shown by the traffic congestion in the town, which he described as slowly catching up with that in highly urbanized cities in the province.
He said Minglanilla hosts several businesses across different sectors including food mills, soft drink companies, bag manufacturers, and makers of shell crafts.
A first-income class municipality, Minglanilla earned P353 million in revenue in 2015, the mayor said.
According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 132,135.
Soledad, for his part, said he only sees brighter prospects for the southern Cebu town.
Being bordered by Talisay City in the north and Naga City in the south is a favorable condition for the town as it can easily catch economic spillovers from adjacent cities.
But Soledad warned that if Minglanilla would not catch up with the two cities in terms of development, Naga and Talisay could absorb its economy.
Aside from light industries, the town also prioritizes investments in banking and financial services, health and education, as well as eco-tourism.
In terms of planning, Soledad said Minglanilla is doing well, as it has already drafted its investment and incentives code as well as updated its Comprehensive Land Use Plan, two documents that will support investment promotion in the town.
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