Cagayan de Oro is a highly-urbanized city in Northern Mindanao that is bustling with city life, and with a booming economy. The city received multiple awards in the past years, and continuous to receive citations and awards every now and then. In fact, the recent one was just a few weeks ago when Cagayan de Oro was cited as the leading city in the Philippines for Automation of Business Process and Licensing System (BPLS). Such citation was based on a survey by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). The award was given sometime 4th week of June 2016 at Intercontinental Hotel, Manila and received by its incumbent and re-elected city mayor Oscar Moreno.
CDO as One of the Most Competitive Cities in the Philippines
Last April 2016, the City of Golden Friendship was also named as one of the top 10 most competitive cities by the National Competitive Council of the Philippines or NCC. CDO was ranked 6th place. Although a downgrade from 2nd place the previous year, nevertheless, this is already a feat for a city booming with infrastructure, attractive tourism, progressive commerce, efficient system, and profitable trade.
In the last quarter of 2015, the Commission of Audit released the 2014 Annual Financial Report showing Cag. De Oro in the list of top ten richest cities in the Philippines based on equity. Obviously, number one on the list is Makati City with P34.46 billion in equity, followed by Quezon City at P31.92 and Pasig City at P20.04B. Most from Luzon, and only two cities in Mindanao made it on the list with Cagayan de Oro at 10th place with P4.67B in equity.
Cagayan de Oro Economy
Economy wise, Cagayan heavily relies on commerce, tourism, trade, and industry. Investments from both local and international sources keep on coming in and have already reached 7.4 billion in the 1st semester of 2012 with a net income of P2.041B by year’s end. The BPO sector is set to boost the city’s economy with Teleperformance expanding its offices to CDO at Centrio Mall within the year, further strengthening the BPO industry in the city; and there is still enough room for growth for other BPOs to follow suit aside from the already existing ones like Concentrix and Arriba Telecontact.
In February 2015 issue of Entrepreneur Magazine, Cagayan de Oro was featured as one of the ‘Three Surprising Cities and Boom Towns that are best for business.’ Such citation was based from a study conducted by a reputable and multiple-awarded real estate firm. The study showed that the city has an efficient business registration system with processing time as fast as 51.84 minutes as a result of the five-step business processing time for permits, licensing, and registration initiated by the local government. As of 2011, CDO already has 17,973 business establishments.
Population and Employment of Cagayan
Cagayan has a population of 602,000 based on a 2010 census, and apparently at this time the population has already grown with increasing migration from nearby provinces, especially from students yearning to complete college degree from reputable universities in Cagayan de Oro City. Further to that, the coming of BPO and influx of investments created employment that continuously attract more jobseekers to migrate to CDO. It is estimated that around 6,900 new jobs are created annually on an average. It’s not surprising that the employment rate of Cagayan is high at 94.4%; higher than the national average, and higher than the employment rate of Manila.
City Fiesta of Cag. De Oro
Every year, the City of Golden Friendship celebrates the Kagayha-an Festival, celebrated every 28the day of August, which is also declared as a local holiday. The other local holiday is June 15, celebrating its Charter Day. The city fiesta is an event to look forward to by every Kagay-anon and tourists alike because of the colorful and festive activities. Parades, fairs, shows, and the Ms. Cagayan beauty pageant usually grace the events every year. In fact, its annual beauty pageant already produced not only a Ms. Philippines, but also brought back the Ms. Universe crown to the Philippines after several decades. Pia Wurtzbach started from the Ms. Cagayan beauty pageant.
Cagayan de Oro Real Estate
One of the key drivers of the robust economy is the booming real estate of Cagayan de Oro, especially with the presence of major developers like Ayala Land Inc. When Avida Land Corp first introduced condominium lifestyle to the Cagay-anons way back in November 2011 when it launched Centrio Tower, the launch was a huge success with close to 50% sold during launching. Within 18 months, Centrio Tower was eventually sold out and Avida is now on its second project, Aspira Tower, which is located along Ramon Chavez Street. This only shows the residents flexibility to condo lifestyle. At present, other developers have also launched mid-rise and high-rise condo projects within the city, making the condominium market competitive.
Inventories for house and lot properties have also increased with the launch of several subdivisions from different developers including Bella Vita and Amaia, the socialized and economic housing brands of Ayala Land Inc. respectively. Real estate developments are ongoing in both uptown and downtown areas of CDO, and the skyline of the city is now filled with construction cranes from ongoing developments.
Other Economic Indicators
Education in Cagayan
Aside from real estate of Cagayan de Oro, its education system is also competitive having four universities like Xavier University Ateneo de Cagayan, Liceo University, Capitol University, and the Mindanao University of Science and Technology. Recently, Ateneo de Cagayan was cited as one of only four top universities in the Philippines that made it to the top 350 universities in Asia based on the QS University Ranking: Asia 2016.
Transport in CDO
In terms of accessibility and transport, CDO is strategically located with access to land, sea, and air. Air travel is via the newly-built Laguindingan Airport situated at Laguindingan of Misamis Oriental, roughly mid-way between Cagayan and Iligan cities. It is also accessible by sea via the port of Cagayan de Oro in Macabalan for passengers and cargo. After completion of the P250M rehab project, the port of CDO is now considered as the biggest in Mindanao for both local and international trade that can handle approximately 1.4M metric tons of cargoes for the Q1 of 2016, increasing its volume by about 9.7% over the same period the previous year. At this rate, it should end 2016 with about 5.6M metric tons. This is the 3rd in the country next to Manila North Harbor and MICT, respectively.
Commercial centers are likewise booming with major players like Ayala Malls, SM, SaveMore, Limketkai, and Gaisano Malls. SM is now one its second mall along CM Recto and Osmena streets. On the other hand, Ayala is now a mixed use development with Seda Hotel, upcoming BPO, and upcoming condominium with Centrio Tower scheduled for turnover anytime this year. Other commercials are coming within the year, as well, such as S & R (scheduled to be launched end of July), and City Malls.
The City of Golden Friendship, Cagayan de Oro, continuous to grow in all economic aspects; from business, commercial, and industrial, to tourism. All these are indicators of a booming real estate, making it one of the best cities in the Philippines to invest in. Aside from investment, Cagayan is also blessed with natural attractions, making it one of the top Philippine destinations for both local and international visitors. With the influx of tourists coming in, no doubt its real estate industry will greatly benefit from its thriving tourism, and this is on top of its economic boom.