Aboitiz Units Move to Strengthen Brand Positioning in Cebu

ABOITIZ Equity Ventures, Inc. (AEV), the publicly listed holding company of the Aboitiz Group, announced on Thursday the plans and projects that its business units will undertake to strengthen the group’s brand positioning in Metro Cebu.

The Aboitiz Group moved its corporate headquarters to Manila in 2013 but Cebu—where the company has its roots—continued to be home for some of its businesses such as power, construction, land, and banking and financial services.

“For 2017, the expected boost in the grid’s power supply and improvements in the market will require us to gear up our services and programs to attract more potential customers in our franchise areas,” said Jim Aboitiz, AboitizPower Corp. executive vice president and chief operating officer, Distribution Business Group.

Initiatives of AboitizPower’s wholly owned subsidiary in distribution, Visayan Electric Co. Inc. (Veco), include the creation of satellite offices in large communities for easier handling of customer requirements, the certification of its operations under ISO (International Standardization Organization) 9001 QMS (Quality Management System), the rollout of prepaid metering to allow for better budgeting and monitoring of electric bills, and the launch of a mobile application for easy access to service requests and billing inquiries.

Its underground distribution project from Osmeña Boulevard to P. Del Rosario Street will also continue in 2017.

Veco, the second largest distribution utility in the Philippines, serves the cities of Cebu, Mandaue, Talisay, Naga and four municipalities of the greater part of Metro Cebu.

Aboitiz Construction—under privately-held Aboitiz & Co., Inc.—also sees a busy year coming from its recent rebranding, a strategic move to leverage on the Aboitiz brand and to position the business as a full-service engineering and construction company. Until February this year, the company was known as Aboitiz Construction Group, Inc. (Metaphil).

In 2017, Aboitiz Construction will pursue new revenue sources by expanding its client base for maintenance work projects outside of the traditional mining and shipping industries.

Synergies with sister companies AboitizLand, Pilmico, and Republic Cement will also be strengthened.

AboitizLand expects to maintain its foothold in Cebu alongside its ongoing national expansion plan and the impending transfer of its headquarters from Cebu City to Taguig City. AboitizLand will be building the Foressa Mountain Town residential development in Balamban, as well as mixed-use Gatewalk Central (a joint-venture with Ayala Land) in Mandaue City and another mixed-use project in Liloan.

In banking, CitySavings is expected to sustain year-on-year growth of about 20 to 30 percent this year via maximized partnerships with outsourced financial services provider PETNET, focus on its Mindanao business areas and microfinance business plans, and further development of other products such as its Pensionado Loans.

Parallel to its parent UnionBank’s transformation toward digitization and superior customer experience, CitySavings will also carry out digital transformation initiatives to its online assets, such as enhancing its corporate website and further improvement of its “loan ranger” technology and LoansHub 2.0 system.

BY ABERON VOLTAIRE PALAÑA | The Manila Times | JUNE 10, 2017


AboitizLand Unveils Foressa Mountain Resort Town

ABOITIZLAND launched its first mountain resort town project in Cebu on Thursday, April 27, at Marco Polo Plaza in Cebu City.

Foressa Mountain Town is a 300-hectare mountain resort community to be built in Cansomoroy, Balamban, Cebu. The multi-billion project is a 90-minute drive away from Cebu City through the Transcentral Highway.

Foressa Mountain Resort is a first of its kind in Cebu, a nature community that ensures the property’s natural assets are preserved and left for future generations to enjoy,” AboitizLand CEO Andoni Aboitiz said.

AboitizLand aims to provide its homeowners the great outdoor experience by offering hiking, biking, spelunking, camping, and trail riding within the residential community.

Aboitiz said that a geohazard research was conducted to ensure that the houses will be built on areas that are not prone to landslides.

The development project will be in four phases; the first phase, composed of 51.5 hectares, is scheduled to start in the fourth quarter of 2017.

An initial 114 lots are available to the market with cuts ranging from a minimum of 300 square meters (sqm) to a maximum of 690 sqm.

Patrick Reyes, AboitizLand’s president and chief operating officer, said the first phase of the project is expected to be done around 2020, and the reservation fee is at P50,000.

In 2016, AboitizLand also announced its plans to develop a total of 83.2 hectares of land in Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, and towns of San Juan and Lipa in Batangas.

by Nicko Tubo | April 27, 2017 | SunStar Philippines

Foressa Mountain Town – A lifetime of Outdoor Pleasures in Balamban

AT the heart of the pearl of the Orient seas lies the island of Cebu, the Queen City of the South. Known for its white sand beaches and rich heritage and culture, it is no wonder Cebu landed fifth on Condé Nast’s Best Islands in the World.

Aside from its beaches however, other treasures of Cebu are waiting to be discovered in the vast highlands of the island, where mountains, gently sloping hills and rivers serve as gateways to various eco adventures. One such nearby town to escape the city from is the Municipality of Balamban.

This once sleepy community is only an hour and a half from the city through the picturesque Transcentral Highway, a scenic road trip offering cool weather, fresh air, lush landscapes and bird’s eye views of neighboring areas and islands. Popularly known as the “Ship Building Capital of the Philippines,” the town at present has a growing eco-tourism side to it waiting to be explored. One can climb Mt. Manunggal and visit the Magsaysay Shrine, savor the famous Balamban liempo, swim at the Cambuhawe Springs, zip line or rappel at any one of the mountain resorts in the area, camp out and reconnect with nature or trek to the Gaas waterfalls.

Soon to rise at the heart of it all is Foressa Mountain Town, a community masterplanned by AboitizLand that will redefine outdoor living. Set within 300 hectares of natural terrain, it will be a place to recharge, renew and refresh the spirit of discovery in its residents. With this development in the works, Balamban is set to be the next star of Cebu where one can experience a lifetime of outdoor pleasures right at his own backyard. PR

March 18, 2017 | Sun Star Cebu

AboitizLand Unveils Foressa

AFTER industrial parks, the Aboitiz group is investing in another multi-billion-peso project, a residential one in the town of Balamban.

AboitizLand, the property arm of the group, introduced last Thursday Foressa Mountain Town, a 300-hectare mountain resort project in Cansamoroy, Balamban.

Andoni Aboitiz, AboitizLand chief executive officer (CEO), said the company is initially investing P300 million to P400 million for the first of four phases of Foressa, consisting of 114 lot cuts in a 51.5-hectare land.

The lot cuts range from 300 square meters (sq.m) to 700 sq.m. The first phase, which sells lots only, is due for completion by 2020.

The next phases are eyed to be a mixed-use development, with AboitizLand envisioning to incorporate hotels, schools, and some commercial spaces in the area.

The property is accessible through the Transcentral Highway, a 90-minute drive. It is seven kilometers away from Balamban proper and 45 kilometers away from Cebu City.

Despite the distance, Aboitiz said he is confident about the Foressa project, positioning it as a second home or vacation residence for families. “

The next step for Balamban is residential…We don’t want to compete with the beach concept. We feel that Cebuanos are ready for a mountain resort (where) lands are still reasonable,” said Aboitiz in a press conference on Thursday.

In Cebu, AboitizLand has developed 23 communities in more than 612 hectares of land, residential, commercial and industrial combined.

Last year, the company expanded to Luzon, with plans to develop a total of 83.2 hectares of land in different areas, specifically in San Juan and Lipa, Batangas in South Luzon, and Nueva Ecija and Tarlac in North Luzon.

By JEANDIE O. GALOLO | April 28, 2017 | Sun Star Cebu

Cebu Real Estate Developers Going West

Cebu real estate developers are looking west at Balamban town, the shipbuilding capital of the Philippines, as they see more opportunities for growth with the town which is considering shifting its focus on other economic drivers that will usher in more expansions in the coming years.

The town, which is 63.9 km west of Cebu City, is the country’s shipbuilding capital for being an industry pioneer, as it is home to internationally recognized shipbuilders such as Austal Philippines Pty. Ltd. and Tsuneishi Heavy Industries (Cebu) Inc.

However, Balamban, which has benefited from the industry-related businesses of the shipbuilding industry in the last decade, is considering shifting its focus on other economic drivers because of the town’s space constraints.

“Shipbuilding in the town is limited at present because of constraints in space. Companies can no longer expand. In fact, Tsuneishi has expanded to Negros (Oriental) because of this limitation,” said Roy Soledad, head of the Cebu Provincial Investment Promotions Office.

Aside from shipbuilding, businesses such as ship repair, aluminum vessel fabrication, and industrial gas production also thrive in the town.

Soledad said he would be expecting shipbuilding companies to maintain their pace, but he would no longer see further expansion in the area.

Land developers

However, he said that there is huge potential in real estate developments in the town as more developers see the benefits of investing in Balamban.

“The local government is much open to land developers interested in putting up subdivisions, other housing projects, and even retirement homes,” he added.

He explained that Balamban is a combination of flat, hilly, and mountainous areas so it has a lot to offer to tourists and retirees.

Foressa Balamban Project

Among the biggest real estate projects to watch out for in Balamban is AboitizLand’s Foressa Mountain Town, a “multi-billion-peso” project soon to be realized on a 300-hectare expanse in Barangay Cansomoroy.

“We’re very much involved in the development of Balamban, with the shipyard and industrial zone. That has clearly opened up the west coast to opportunities and economic activity,” said Andoni Aboitiz, AboitizLand chief executive officer, at the launch of Foressa Cebu recently.

Aboitiz said the property was purchased 20 years ago with the vision that Balamban would take the step toward embracing residential development.

He added that when the Transcentral Highway was built, everything changed for the town and the rest of Midwest Cebu.

The 33-kilometer Transcentral Highway is an alternative mountain route connecting Cebu City to Balamban town in the west and was opened in the early 1990s. This highway makes Foressa Cebu property just a 90-minute drive from Cebu City.

“We felt that Cebu was ready for a mountain town. We felt that Cebuanos were ready for that as a second home. It’s a very unique location, very accessible, and land (prices are) still quite reasonable,” said Aboitiz.

Development of the horizontal residential community, Foressa Mountain Town, which is set in rolling terrain and flat areas, will be in four phases.

The first phase, which is made up of 51.5 hectares, is set to start in the fourth quarter of 2017.

An initial 114 lots are available to the market with cuts ranging from a minimum of 300 square meters to a maximum of 690 square meters with turnover targeted in 2020.

Aboitiz said phase one alone is estimated to cost P300 million to P400 million.

The Foressa Cebu targets young families as well as close-to-retiree and the retiree market.

Other property projects

Other real estate projects in the town are the completed three-hectare San Josemaria Village by Cebu Landmasters, Inc. and the Amongsagana retirement village project by Singapore-based developer Syntech Properties, Inc.

Amongsagana, which means “our abundance,” is a premier-class residential subdivision for active retirees set to rise on 32 hectares of rolling terrain situated at an average altitude of 200 meters above sea level on Mandayao Hills.

Soledad, for his part, said prospective developers may also target foreign executives, managers, and contractors working for the town’s shipbuilding industry.

While prices of land in Balamban are not that high compared to places closer to Cebu City, alienable and disposable land in the town only stands at 55 percent.

Based on data from the CIPO, Balamban has a total land area of 33,700 hectares, 44 percent of which is classified as timberland while the remaining 55 percent is alienable and disposable.

In terms of use, 3,427 hectares have been allocated for agricultural purposes while 5,328 hectares have been set aside for urban development, which includes areas for housing and commercial establishments, among others.

“In terms of land area for development, it is already very limited. But they can always find areas where they can build small projects. Developments that require small spaces are still very suitable,” Soledad said.

Soledad also said Balamban’s accessibility in the west, north and south of Cebu would make it an ideal area to capture markets from all over.

Besides real estate development, Soledad said the town is also looking at agro-tourism and is opening its doors to investors interested in abaca, cut flowers such as those in Barangay Busay in Cebu City, and cacao, which got a boost from Cebu chocolate queen Raquel Choa’s chocolate business.

He said the municipal government is also open to investors of medical facilities, training centers for industry-related skills, and commercial centers such as malls and fast food restaurants.

Other than these, Balamban also relies on agriculture, fishing, local manufacturing, as well as small, medium, and large enterprises.

Balamban is considered to be among the most active local government units in Cebu in terms of investment promotion, Soledad said.

He said the municipal government already has an existing investment and incentives code as well as an economic investment and incentives center, the creation of which is specified in the code.

“Balamban is very accommodating and supportive to investors. They can contact the local government or just walk in the office and they will be provided with support,” said Soledad.

By: Victor Anthony V. Silva | Cebu Daily News | April 28, 2017

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