As the capital of the Philippines, Manila is the seat of government and serves as the country’s economic, administrative and social centre. More accurately referred to as Metro Manila or the National Capital Region, the city consists of several business sub-divisions, namely Makati, Ortigas, Bonifacio Global City and Quezon City. Manila is one of the most densely populated cities globally, with over 12.8 million residents living in the metropolis. Besides housing the country’s vital sea ports, Manila is also the hub for several industries such as textiles, chemical manufacturing and tobacco processing. The city clocked the highest regional GDP growth in 2017 at 12.1 percent.
Located in the Southeastern Mindanao region of Davao, Davao City serves as regional capital. Davao City houses over 1.4 million residents, the region’s largest population, as well as regional government offices. The city is surrounded by neighbouring provinces to the north, west and south, while the Davao Gulf bounds Davao’s eastern coastline. As such, Davao City is an important gateway to the Gulf, having established overland, air and shipping trade routes over the years. Davao Sasa Port, one of the region’s crucial government-operated sea port is located in Davao City. In 2017, the Davao region clocked a 10.9 percent GDP growth, higher than the national average of 6.7 percent. Davao’s rapid economic growth has contributed to rise in wages, primarily in Davao City, where average wages (S$895) are the highest in the region.
Located over 120 km north of Manila, New Clark City is a planned community in Central Luzon, aimed at de-congesting the Philippines’ densely populated capital. Currently under development, the city is estimated to cover a total area of 93 square km, and house up to 2 million residents. New Clark City is expected to become a confluence of industry and agriculture, a smart city with sustainability at its core. Led by the Bases Conversion and Development Authority, the development of New Clark City will lead to a pollution-free and disaster resilient city. Once developed, New Clark City is envisioned to be a destination where nature, lifestyle, business, education and industry converge into a global city.
With a population of close to 4 million, Cebu is located in the Philippines’ Central Visayas region, which comprises Cebu Island and over 150 smaller islands and islets. Cebu City, the port capital, is the country’s oldest city, and serves as an important centre of commerce, trade and education for the Visayas region. Cebu has a growing economy that is largely due to industry investments and an expanding service sector. The city has also seen a surge in tourism that has contributed to growth in the construction sector for hospitality, malls and real estate.