#MINDANAO: The changing skylines of Mindanao's cities

Published May 25, 2021, 10:10 AM

by John Tria

The last five years brought a lot of change to the skylines of Mindanao’s cities.

New condominiums and office buildings now dot their respective skylines, housing new investments, business process outsourcing companies and other outfits wishing to relocate some of their capacity outside of the NCR Plus into these new landscapes.

This, I believe is even made even more apparent as companies adapt to the new normal. Having alternative locations helps them adapt to changing conditions, especially for BPOs.

Likewise, a higher demand for property means more employees whose needs will need to be met, driving local demand for amenities and food supply.

Already, a new mall in the municipality of Tubod in Lanao del Norte heralds this drive. Back in the 80s and 90s even reaching this place was not as easy. Nowadays better roads link these towns. These developments spur demand and development all the way to the western part of Lanao del Norte and Misamis Occidental.

Likewise complementing these are new transport systems such as modern minibuses and jeepneys set to ply the streets of Cagayan de Oro and adjacent town and Iligan and landmark projects such as the High Priority Bus System (HPBS) of Davao City.

These upgraded transport systems level up the urban dwellers daily lives and make mobility safer and easier in the new normal. In a previous column I discussed the higher demand for work from home arrangements.

These urban developments will spur a higher level of Mindanao residents returning home to do their work from home rather than spend on rental costs in places such as Metro Manila and Metro Cebu. The economic multiplier the also contribute will strengthen local trade.

Transport developments such as these, and with upgraded intercity highways, make travel between cities and markets in Mindanao more seamless and safe. This builds resilience.

I am particularly interested in the Esperanza-Isulan,-Bagumbayan, Senator Ninoy Aquino (SNA) town-Kalamansig and Lebak road in Sultan Kudarat, since it can link the many upland coffee farmers there with markets. SNA is a top coffee producing town in SOCKSARGEN.

Fellow MB columnist Ana Mae Lamentillo outlines these developments in central Mindanao in her latest column:https://mb.com.ph/2021/05/14/10-build-build-build-projects-in-central-mindanao/

New biodiversity wonders

A new species of lizard in Zamboanga, follows the new species of plants in Davao Oriental.

(Read: https://mb.com.ph/2021/05/16/new-lizard-species-found-in-mindanao-named-after-filipino-scientist/)

This heralds heightened interest in biodoversity research especially for plants that could yield discoveries in possible treatments for diseases.

As i have written previously, the desire and mandate for research activities to use our natural resources in a responsible manner is something we should promote and not deny.

Having these resources and our capability to utilize them in a responsible manner will make our local economies resilient, as it adds value to local produce.

Philippines EU cooperation on climate and Mindanao

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III and European Union (EU) Ambassador Luc Véron have met virtually recently to discuss Philippines and the EU cooperation, which focused on climate change mitigation and peace building efforts in Mindanao. This is a timely meeting that can help build our resilience as an island.

Last week’s typhoon Crising that cut through Mindanao is a reminder that the island’s economy needs to be strong to face climate risks apart from other disruptions that come and go.

We will all need to continue to work together to build resilience for a peaceful and sustainably developed Mindanao in the face of many varied disruptions and to address these challenges. Our contribution to this process matters.

Please continue to stay safe and follow health protocols.