200 hectares for in­vestors

Con­so­la­cion town eyes more growth with more land to of­fer de­vel­op­ers

Cebu Daily News - - FRONT PAGE - By Vic­tor An­thony V. Silva RE­PORTER

What makes Con­so­la­cion, a north­ern Cebu town, at­trac­tive to in­vestors? Its area and strate­gic lo­ca­tion. “Con­so­la­cion, be­ing a neigh­bor of Man­daue and close to Cebu (City), is a ‘nat­u­ral ex­pan­sion site’ for pos­si­ble in­vestors,” said Roy Soledad, head of the Cebu In­vest­ment Pro­mo­tions Of­fice (CIPO), in an in­ter­view with CEBU DAILY NEWS.

Con­so­la­cion is a first in­come-class mu­nic­i­pal­ity lo­cated some 19 kilo­me­ters north of Cebu City and is bor­dered on the north by Liloan and Man­daue City on the south.

Soledad also said he still sees a lot of room for growth in this north­ern town.

He cited two fac­tors: the town has plenty of un­used spa­ces left and the land prices are still not as ex­pen­sive as those in the cities of Cebu or Man­daue.

Based on CIPO data, the town still has 200 hectares left of its 4,000hectare land area that can be used for in­dus­trial pur­poses.

One of these up­com­ing projects that is ex­pected to spur more eco­nomic growth in the town is the new multi­bil­lion peso in­ter­na­tional con­tainer port project in Barangay Tayud.

Pop­u­la­tion, hous­ing

The town’s pop­u­la­tion has also grown more than three times since 1990, from 41,270 dur­ing that time to 131,528 as of 2015, data from the Philip­pine Statis­tics Au­thor­ity (PSA) showed.

Even with the pres­ence of sev­eral medium-sized man­u­fac­tur­ing firms, the town has been geared to­wards the de­vel­op­ment and op­er­a­tion of hous­ing fa­cil­i­ties to cater to the town’s grow­ing pop­u­la­tion.

Sub­di­vi­sions still dom­i­nate the prop­erty mar­ket in Con­so­la­cion, among which are Red­wood, Grand Ter­race, Vista de Bahia, Vir­tacci and con­do­minium com­plex Aspen Heights.

“Con­so­la­cion is a re­ally nice place for res­i­den­tial and in­dus­trial in­vest­ments. The zon­ing is quite well done. There are res­i­den­tial ar­eas, com­mer­cial ar­eas and in­dus­trial ar­eas,” said Max­imo Ri­co­her­moso, chair­man and pres­i­dent of MCPI Corp., a 30-year-old sea­weed-pro­cess­ing com­pany based in the town.

Growth area

Ri­co­her­mos said he ex­pects Con­so­la­cion to re­main a growth area es­pe­cially for the res­i­den­tial mar­ket and for com­mer­cial ac­tiv­i­ties.

CIPO chief Soledad pointed out that the town’s prox­im­ity to ma­jor cities will con­tinue to drive in­dus­trial and com­mer­cial in­vest­ments in the lo­cal­ity.

Res­i­den­tial ac­tiv­i­ties, par­tic­u­larly sub­di­vi­sion ex­pan­sions, will con­tinue to be present as de­vel­op­ers keep up with the town’s pop­u­la­tion growth.

“Many of those work­ing in the city look for places that are peace­ful or those that have the feel of a ru­ral en­vi­ron­ment at the end of the day,” Soledad added.

He also pointed out that al­most all sup­port ser­vices are avail­able in all of the town’s 21 barangays, in­clud­ing ba­sic util­i­ties such as wa­ter, elec­tric­ity and communication.

See­ing growth

Ri­co­her­moso saw Con­so­la­cion’s growth first­hand, hav­ing built an of­fice and a sea­weed-pro­cess­ing plant in Con­so­la­cion’s Barangay Tug­bon­gan in 1987.

He said the road was made of dirt then, but the site was good enough to build a man­u­fac­tur­ing plant on.

“Even our road was made of dirt then, but it was quite iso­lated. The place was peace­ful so we de­cided to set up shop here,” he told CEBU DAILY NEWS.

The com­pany ac­quired a 10-hectare prop­erty in Barangay Tug­bon­gan at a very cheap price, said Ri­co­her­moso.

In the 1990s, the dirt road was fi­nally paved dur­ing the term of for­mer Cebu sixth district Rep. Nerissa-Soon Ruiz.

To­day, MCPI is one of the coun­try’s largest pro­duc­ers of car­rageenan, a red sea­weed ex­tract widely used in the food in­dus­try for its gelling, thick­en­ing, and sta­bi­liz­ing prop­er­ties.

Ri­co­her­moso said the com­pany has grown by up to five times in terms of pro­duc­tion vol­ume and em­ploy­ment since it be­gan op­er­a­tions in Con­so­la­cion 30 years ago.

MCPI was only among the many man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pa­nies lo­cated in the town, a bulk of which was com­prised of fur­ni­ture mak­ers and ex­porters.

The growth of com­mer­cial ac­tiv­ity in the town has been ev­i­dent in the last five years, with the open­ing of SM City Con­so­la­cion and Ci­tyMall.

Men­dero ex­pan­sion

Among those who took ad­van­tage of these de­vel­op­ments was the Men­dero fam­ily, own­ers of the Pa­ga­dian City Med­i­cal Cen­ter in Zam­boanga del Sur.

The Men­dero Med­i­cal Cen­ter (MMC), lo­cated in Barangay Pi­togo, Con­so­la­cion, was opened to the pub­lic in 2014 in a bid to ex­pand the fam­ily-run hospi­tal busi­ness.

Dr. Sa­muel Men­dero III, MMC med­i­cal di­rec­tor, said they thought the town was a good area be­cause the town had been grow­ing steadily and that they heard that SM was also build­ing a mall in Con­so­la­cion.

“We also wanted for peo­ple from Con­so­la­cion or the north to no longer go to Cebu City for health­care,” he said.

The fa­cil­ity started out as a 75-bed ter­tiary care hospi­tal in Fe­bru­ary 2014 and has grown to 155 beds to­day. It also re­cently opened its dial­y­sis cen­ter and now has a blood bank as well.

Men­dero said they plan to con­tinue im­prov­ing the fa­cil­ity and its sys­tems in or­der to make pro­cesses more ef­fi­cient.

He said they are also plan­ning to open an­other hospi­tal some­where on Mac­tan Is­land in the long term.

“Con­so­la­cion is re­ally grow­ing be­cause de­vel­op­ment is go­ing to­ward the north and south since the city is very sat­u­rated al­ready. We’ve been hear­ing a lot of talks of in­vestors who are try­ing to put their money in the town,” said Men­dero.


SM set up a mall in Con­so­la­cion town in 2012, spurring more growth in this north­ern Cebu town.


Dr. Sa­muel Men­dero III, (left), cur­rent med­i­cal di­rec­tor of Men­dero Med­i­cal Cen­ter in Con­so­la­cion town, shares how the fam­ily de­cided to ex­pand the fam­ily-run hospi­tal busi­ness in the town.

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