Davao City eyed as Asian retirement hub

He said they are now poised to sell Davao City not just as a tourist destination but as a "haven for retirees."

Avisado, who just came out in a meeting with the Philippine Retirees, Inc., a group of private subdivision developers, said they have eyed an 80-hectare private property in Catigan, Toril, and Davao City as an initial phase of the project.

He said the property, dubbed as Villa de Mercedes, has complete amenities for retirees.

He said Davao is perfect for retirees because of the conducive predictable climate that is outside the typhoon belt. Avisado said humidity is also moderate, which is ideal for aging investors.

Avisado cited the city's proximate medical and hospital facilities, shopping and leisure destinations, diversity of tourist attractions like islands or highlands.

Avisado said Davao is being eyed to be packaged as "Paradise in the East" to attract not only overseas Filipinos but also expatriates.

He pointed out that if Davao becomes a destination for just one percent of the world's retirees, it would already be good enough to boost the economy.

As of 2006, Avisado said the Philippines lags behind Malaysia and Thailand in attracting retirees. Davao, in particular, has so far attracted only 3,000 retirees.

He said that even with just 10,000 retirees investing their money in Davao would already amount to something.

But Avisado noted that the foreigners’ concern for safety and security in the city may dampen Davao’s campaign.

He said the city is beefing up its 911 emergency and medical system, fire fighting capacity, and the overall security in the city.

He added they are also linking up with subdivision and real property developers to prepare the city in its bid to be a retirement hub. Avisado admitted that the developers' group has eyed other Philippine destinations, but Davao is the only one eyed for Mindanao. (Walter I. Balane / MindaNews)