Business As Usual

Pasig City: the second best business location in MM

Pasig is as equally known for the city as it is for the river. In fact, part of Pasig City’s P1 billion budget for infrastructure this year will go to the improvement of the riverbanks, which are lined with numerous factories.

"Part of our strategy to reduce river pollution and to better facilitate the rehabilitation of the river is to encourage more commercial businesses to locate in our city. We already have our share of industrial establishments," said Mayor Soledad Eusebio.

The 3,100-hectare city has a population of 600,000, which swells to close to a million during the working day because of employees who live in neighboring cities but report for work in Pasig.

Based on the city’s latest census, Pasig is host to18,000 business establishments, including big companies such as San Miguel Corp. and Jollibee Foods Corp. The number does not include locators in the Ortigas central business district, which has 80 multi-storey buildings that house an average of 90 establishments each or an estimated 7,200 offices.
No. 2 choice
"Next to Makati, we are the favorite location of business," said Eusebio.

For one, it is strategically located between the north and the south end of the National Capital Region, accessible in less than 30 minutes from Manila via Ortigas Ave., from Rizal via the Marcos Highway; from Makati via EDSA; from Taguig and Mandaluyong via C-5.

For another, the local government has put up a business one-stop shop called the Pasig City Business Center which provides assistance in obtaining clearances, permits, registration and requirements in putting up a business. Getting a business permit, for example, takes only 30 minutes.

The business center also conducts programs for entrepreneurial development and recommends work attitude training for the development of labor and manpower sector of the city; performs industry matching for in-sourcing and out-sourcing; and accredits and prepares a list of qualified establishments and individuals in their respective areas of service by order of competence.

"By improving government service, businessmen can have more time making money and less time dealing with bureaucracy," said Eusebio.
For the past three years, Pasig City’s revenues have steadily risen from 1.8 billion in 2000 to P2.1 billion in 2002, in large part because of an intensive tax collection scheme. "We stationed five collection groups around the city. The collector sends notices to companies in his jurisdiction to remind them of the tax season. Cash and/or promotion is given annually to the most efficient tax collector."

Tax revenues have also been high because taxpayers see where their money is going.

Ninety-five percent of all the roads leading to the city and through major thoroughfares are cemented, while the balance 5% are asphalted. The major roads are well lit and the ratio of policemen to population is one policemen for every 1,600 residents.

To increase police visibility and to speed up the response to emergency situations, the city’s police force is divided into five police community precincts, which work closely with barangay officials.

"Nobody has been kidnapped in my city," Eusebio said.
A measure of Pasig City’s popularity as a business location is the increasing traffic congestion in areas like Julia Vargas Ave., which intersects Meralco Ave. in Ortigas Center and EDSA and which is near the Philippine Stock Exchange.

"We will be constructing a flyover above Julia Vargas to decongest this area by about 35% to 40%," said Eusebio.

The city government is also negotiating with the Ortigas family to develop more properties into the commercial areas. Being eyed is the old Kapitolyo , which could be developed into a cyber park. Also being studied is an economic zone.

"Pasig has been home to big businesses for many years. We understand their needs," said Eusebio. – AAAngel

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