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Property boom boosts Albay’s disaster risk reduction program

Source: Jocelyn Montemayor |

DARAGA, Albay. — Property development projects have sprouted around the Bicol International Airport now under construction, which could usher in a real estate boom in the airport vicinity and Legazpi City in the next few years, with prices leaping up ten-fold from their original P50 per square meter value.

Development in the area, known as the Guicadale (Guinobatan, Camalig, Daraga and Legazpi City) Economic Platform, is astounding. Jaucian Village, a large residential subdivision in Daraga, reported take up with locators leaping by 74 percent; Bicol College, one of Albay’s growing educational institutions, is set to establish its new campus in Anislag.

The Guicadale area is strategically situated on the highlands straddling the towns of Guinobatan, Camalig, Daraga and Legazpi City, which surround the Bicol International Airport site and away from the dangers of Mayon Volcano eruption and flash floods spawned by strong typhoons.

Albay Gov. Joey Salceda said these developments “are most welcome as they enable the province to build safer areas for habitation and business away from the Mayon Volcano lahar zone and flash flood-prone areas.”

“Without private sector participation, the government will spend at least P14 billion for the Mayon refugees’ relocation to safer areas. There is also the added benefit of the spatial integration of the markets and economies of Sorsogon and Albay. The bigger the domestic market, the bigger the economies of scale for production and distribution which will make the situation more attractive to investors,” Salceda said.

The Bicol International Airport construction has been allocated a P3.07-billion outlay in 2011 by the national government. Private investors in the Guicadale Economic Platform now help integrate Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) into public investment programs, Salceda said.

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