• ‘Law-and-order platform to benefit property business’


    The law-and-order platform of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte could benefit real estate businesses as seen from the good business climate in Davao City, according to the head of a property development firm.

    In a briefing on Thursday, Vista Land president and chief executive officer Manuel Paolo Villar told reporters that the firm has always been optimistic about doing business in Davao.

    “In fairness to us, we have always been very optimistic about Davao City. Business in Davao is very good,” Villar said “It’s been growing very fast. We have several housing projects there.”

    Villar noted that the firm has been building housing projects in Davao City for 21 years already. At present, the firm has 7 housing projects in the city. Among cities outside Metro Manila, Davao City is one of the fastest growing cities for Vista Land, Villar said.

    “It’s either above or significantly above the average growth of the cities outside of Metro Manila,” Villar said.

    Villar expressed his optimism for not just Davao City, but for the Mindanao region as a whole.

    “We believe in Mindanao’s prospects, always have. But, of course, with the election of Duterte, it will have even bigger effects on prospects in Mindanao,” Villar said.

    The CEO described Duterte as “pro-business as long as you follow the law,” and opined that, “He will surprise people.”

    “I think it will be very good for businesses if he can improve law and order,” Villar said
    “We don’t have doubts [about Duterte]but if other people had doubts, I think they would change their minds.”

    In a separate interview, Colliers International director of research and advisory Julius Guevara expressed his optimism for the Duterte Adminstration.

    “Generally optimistic, he has a very good platform against crime. So that would really help the stature of our country. His drive in improving government services would really improve government services. Generally positive,” Guevara said.

    However, Guevara noted that the property sector is in a ‘wait-and-see’ period until Duterte issues a clear economic platform.

    I think right now, it will still be a wait and see period or until Duterte issues a clearer
    economic platform—what his economic policies will be,” Guevara said.

    Villar said that people should pay more attention to what Duterte has done rather than his words.

    “I definitely think if you look at his track record, you look at his actions—this is a man of action that has a good heart. He has good intentions. You just have to look at what he’s done rather than the words because you know words get misinterpreted,” Villar said.

    He added, “People follow the law in Davao. There is something to be said about that.”

    When asked if he thinks Duterte could bring the kind of administration he has in Davao to a larger arena, specifically the rest of the country, Villar had this to say, “I think with some political wheels, he can bring that to the rest of the country.”


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