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Davao City, Philippines

Davao City’s remote districts are now open for business

June 25, 2019 - Tuesday 11:06 AM by Lovely Carillo

Article Banner Image FIERCE. The Philippine Eagle stands proud as an iconic symbol of Davao City. The Philippine Eagle Breeding Center in Malagos, Baguio District continue to attract locals and foreign visitors alike. LOVELY CARILLO


This was announced by Davao City Investment Promotion Center (DCIPC) chief Lemuel Ortonio made this offer during the recently-concluded 5th Davao Investment Conference (ICON) held at SMX Convention Center.

And to encourage local and foreign businesses to locate in other growth areas, the city is also offering longer fiscal incentives for investments placed outside the city's Central Business District (CBD).

“In supporting the city’s thrust to spread development outside the Central Business District, the city also offers longer fiscal incentives if the investments are located in our preferred district areas,” Ortonio said. 

The five areas identified by DCIPC as other alternative investment destinations are Baguio, Calinan, Marilog, and Paquibato districts.

Davao City has vast land resources measuring 244,000 hectares which constitutes around eight percent of the entire Southern Mindanao Region. It is divided into three districts namely District 1 where the city proper is located, District 2 where Paquibato is located, and District 3 where Baguio, Calinan and Marilog are located.

TOURIST HAVEN. Marilog District’s highway is no longer a lonely road now that various establishments, from restaurants to inns and resorts have located in the area. LOVELY CARILLO

“We are offering longer incentives outside the city because we want to spread economic development beyond our CBD,” he said. These locations have vast areas consisting of 66,242 hectares in Paquibato,

19,023 hectares in Baguio,, 23,236 hectares in Calinan and 63,800 hectares in Marilog.

Ortonio said that for the past years, the Davao City Investment Incentives Board has offered business tax exemptions for three years business and real estate tax exemption for two years.

The tax holidays are for new, expansion and diversification projects as long as it falls within the 10 preferred investment areas.

The preferred investment areas are agri-business, tourism, and recreational facilities, light manufacturing and assembly, property development, health and wellness including educational and sports facilities, environmental protection or green projects, information and communications technology, generation of new sources of energy, transportation and infrastructure, and public-private partnership projects.

Baguio District

Baguio District is mostly agricultural (13,153.70 hectares) and is home to various plantations that produce cacao, banana and pineapple; the Philippine Eagle Breeding Center and the Malagos Garden Resort. Up to 930 hectares form part of the Mt. Apo Natural Park which makes it a strategic area for agribusiness and tourism investments. Potential projects will, however, be required to preserve the watershed areas and have the permission of the Indigenous Peoples living in the area.

Marilog District

This area is touted to be the next tourism, culture and agriculture hub of the city. It is nestled 4,000 feet above sea level making the area’s scenic location perfect for tourism investments. The city government is eyeing the area as the location for the IP Village which is much like the IP VIllage at the Magsaysay Park, but on a grander scale. It is also known as the city’s vegetable basket which makes it the perfect area for agribusiness investments including a farmers’ trading center, farm and agro-industrial cable system, and abaca processing center. The area is also ideal for retirement facilities and eco-adventure parks.

LETTUCE MOUNTAIN. If you’re craving lettuce, from Romaine to Iceberg, then Marilog District is the perfect place to be. LOVELY CARILLO

Calinan District

This is the city’s agriculture hub with 69 percent of its total land area dedicated to agriculture. Export firm Sumifru has established its cavendish banana plantation in the area. It is also an ideal area for investments that nurture culture as well as retirement villages.

Paquibato District

Of the four outlying districts where the city intends to spread investments to promote growth, it is Paquibato District which has security concerns due to armed conflict. It is also the area where the city government and the other national government agencies are focusing much of their attention in terms of the delivery of basic services, peace building efforts and livelihood programs through the Paquibato Economic Advancement through Crop Expansion (PEACE INC.). PEACE, INC. aims to address poverty in the district through inclusive growth.

Ortonio assured investors that the city continues to promote a business-friendly environment for both domestic and foreign businesses. The strength of the city as a business destination is a result of the strong partnership between the city government and the private sector, he added.

“We are proud of the strong collaboration between the local government and the private sector which is evident with the conduct of the Davao ICON in the past five years,” he said.

Ortonio urged the representatives of the various local and foreign chambers including the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Mindanao, American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Canadian Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines and the British Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, to consider these areas for their future investments even as he assured them of the safety and security in the city.

He acknowledged that peace and security are essential to ensure economic and social growth as well as business continuity and longevity in the city.

“Davao city has been consistently recognized as one of the safest cities in the world and we are very proud of that,” he said. 

Ortonio said the monthly crime rate in the city has drastically reduced to 2.5 per 100,000 population, “which is considerably low for a highly urbanized city like Davao City.”

He said, “safety is important not only to our residents but also to our visitors.” 

Ortonio attributed the city’s peace and order situation to the Safety and Security Response Cluster composed of the Central 911, Public Safety and Security Command Center (PSSCC), Task Force Davao (TFD) and the Davao City Police Office (DCPO).