Banker says Davao better for business than Makati

Castaño cited five reasons why this city is a better business destination: its “excellent” peace and order situation, clean, environment,  vast potential for business opportunities and growth, its wide array of business choices, and its hospitable populace.

In Davao, he said, one doesn't have to worry much about pickpockets. Also, the presence of many checkpoints in the city is a good sign for business, he said.

On environment, Castaño narrated that the “no smoking” policy of the city is one indicator of its clean and healthy environment. He also pointed to the proximity of the city to nature – both sea and mountain resources – and its location away from typhoons.

The city, he said, has “vast potential” for business opportunities and growth "unlike in Manila where opportunities for business and growth are fewer.”

"Here you can choose to go to agriculture, industry or tourism, unlike in Makati," he added.

Davao, he said, has the infrastructure that Metro Manila could offer such as an "excellent" telephone system and "world-class" airport and seaports.

He cited the vibrancy of local culture and the hospitable people of Davao City as an advantage over Makati and other cities.

Castaño noted the increase of deposits to commercial banks in the city from P34 billion in 2004 to P40 billion last year.

He downplayed negative images of Davao as perceptions and urged the public to look at the reality instead.

The opening of a new branch each of two international banks, Hongkong-based HSBC and Taiwanese bank China Trust in Davao City in the last quarter this year is the best confirmation of Davao's advantage, he said.

The Davao City Investment Promotions Center, in the city's website, announced 10 good reasons to invest in the city, among them linkages and accessibility; perfect weather; efficient public utilities; and its being a regional financial, educational center of southern Philippines.

DCIPC also said Davao City is the most peaceful city in Southeast Asia with a monthly crime index of 0.8 cases per 10,000 persons per month.

The competitive cost of doing business in the city, its pool of best professionals and laborers, its being the fruit basket of the country, investor-friendly policies and a responsive and forward-looking local government is projected as the other good reasons to choose the city for investment.