The Mandaue advantageBy Fernando Fajardo
Cebu Daily News
Located in the middle-eastern coastal region of Cebu, Mandaue City has the advantage of being closest, among the local government units in Cebu, to both the International Airport in Lapu-Lapu City in Mactan Island and the International Seaport in Cebu City at the edge of the city’s southern boundary. The city is also the main gateway to Cebu’s northern half, following the old highway that cuts through the heart of Mandaue going to Consolacion or the new Cansaga Bridge that leads to the much improved Tayud Provincial Road that ends in Liloan town.
The third smallest among the local government units in Cebu, Mandaue City has a total area of about 30 square kilometers. The 2010 Philippines Statistical Yearbook places the total area of the city at 25.2 sq. km. while the City Government places it at 34.9 sq. km.
But who cares if it’s 35, 30 or 35 square kilometers? The fact is that except for the rolling hills in the three barangays located in the northwestern part of Mandaue, most of the city’s land is flat and fitted for almost all types of economic activity; with the rolling hills also turning out to be one of the best locations for new housing projects.
Twenty seven barangays comprise the territorial domain of Mandaue City. In terms of land area, the largest is barangay Banilad with 281.6 hectares while in terms of population the biggest is barangay Pakna-an with 22,957 in 2010.
In the 1903 census, Mandaue City’s 11,000 residents were equivalent only to 23.9 percent of the total population of Cebu City and 84.6 percent of Lapu-Lapu City. The city did not grow as fast as the two cities did before the last world war. This changed after the war, especially when it started industrializing after becoming a city in the 1960s.
In the 2010 census, Mandaue City’s population already reached a total of 331,320. This was equivalent to 94.6 percent of Lapu-Lapu City, 38.2 percent of Cebu City or 13.7 percent of Metro Cebu. The latter, the extended version of Metro Cebu, consists of all the towns and cities from Danao City in the north to Carcar City in the south, including Lapu-Lapu City and Cordova town in Mactan Island.
Once a sleepy town located at the outskirts of Cebu City’s northern boundary, the City of Mandaue is now bustling with activities from its numerous small and medium and a good number of large industries engaged in food processing, beer making and bottling, and production of foam products, packaging materials, batteries, chemicals, metalwork and many related finished and intermediate goods.
In the past, much of the city was planted with sugar, coconut and other crops but this gradually diminished beginning in the 70s or after Mandaue became a city.
Lacking the much needed land and natural resources that can be exploited to provide jobs and income for its fast growing population, and after seeing Cebu City develop into a trade and services center, the officials of the new city then decided to focus on making Mandaue an industrial enclave of Cebu. This was done through business friendly policies which included lower business taxes to make it more profitable for new industries to locate in the city.
As a result of industrialization, Mandaue City now boasts the highest concentration of employed workers in industry in Cebu, about 50 percent. Only one percent or less works in agriculture while the rest are in services.
In 2011, the total revenue of the city reached P987.5 million. This was 48.6 percent larger than the P664.6 million it collected four years earlier in 2007. This represented a 10.4-percent annual increase in four years.
In 2011, the city registered a total of 10,537 business establishments, consisting of 1,755 new applicants and 8,782 renewals. The total was 26.4 percent higher than the number registered in 2007, representing a 6.0-percent annual increase in four years. Rapid growth in number of business establishments registered implies rapid economic growth.
Planning to invest? Mandaue City will be happy to receive you with its business friendly environment.
Why Mandaue City? Because today you can already find there all types of skilled and semi-skilled workers and services that you need, including raw materials. The clustering of almost all types of industries and service activities in the city made this possible. Clustering allows the city to attract almost all types of workers and almost all types of service and industrial activities that support one another’s needs. Clustering makes doing business in Mandaue City easier and more profitable.
Where to invest in Mandaue City? For a start, one can go to the city’s newly completed 180-hectare reclamation project. Bannered by the province-owned Cebu International Convention Center and the multi-storey Cebu Doctor’s University, this is where the action is in Cebu today.
More from this Column:
- Journey through Cebu, 1907
- Next year’s growth forecast
- 9 points to consider in promoting Cebu
- How to get more tourists from Europe
- The Mandaue advantage