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Freeman Cebu Business

Cebu lacks infra to lure foreign retirees’ market

Ehda Dagooc - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - The lack of proper facilities and innovative initiatives are impeding Cebu from luring foreign retirees to consider Cebu as a retirement haven.

Philippine Allied Chamber of Real Estate Brokers and Licensed Salesmen, Inc (Philacre, Inc) president Anthony Gerard Leuterio said that there is a need for Cebu to complement the growing interest of retirees to stay in Cebu stressing that “the demand is very strong, but we don't have the proper and right facilities to offer."

At present, the easiest product for retirees to acquire is condominium, as this allows foreigners to own the property. But developers should establish a good affiliation deals with hospitals in order to provide the needed facilities of retirees, so they can live here.

Leuterio, who also owns one of the biggest real estate brokerages in the Philippines, said that with this obvious problem, his company has suggested to several developers here in Cebu to establish what he calls "concierge-medicine" service.

This concept he said will offer "on-call" doctors accredited by condominium developers if a resident will need emergency assistance, or medical related service.

With the absence of an integrated retirement village that are required to offer a hospital, and recreation and retail facilities, developers could start to provide this value-added feature so as not to lose the opportunity of attracting the wealthy retirees wanting to live in Cebu.

According to Leuterio Japanese retirees are now the fast emerging market for retirement living facilities in Cebu. The Hawaii-like environment, and with Filipinos' rich pool of medical and assisted living professionals, Philippines, particularly Cebu is the top choice for retirement destinations among Japanese.

Although there are developers in Cebu who started to invest in building residential projects designed for retirees, availability of internationally-accredited hospitals nearby is also one of the concerns.

Leuterio suggested that a "concierge-medicine" service should be introduced by developers immediately "before we lose them."

If this innovative concept shall be adopted by developers, Leuterio said this is first of its kind service to be offered in the Philippines, and this is expected to pull up Cebu's edge as retirement haven, not only for Japanese, but other nationalities.

An average pension of a Japanese retiree is between US$4,000 to US$5,000 a month. With cheaper cost of living here, compared to Japan, Leuterio said the Philippines, especially Cebu is one of the top retirement destinations among Japanese.

He said most of Japanese buyers want to buy a unit or two, not just rent a condominium, provided that proper amenities are in place. (FREEMAN)

 

ANTHONY GERARD LEUTERIO

CEBU

DEVELOPERS

JAPANESE

LEUTERIO

LEUTERIO JAPANESE

PHILACRE

PHILIPPINE ALLIED CHAMBER OF REAL ESTATE BROKERS AND LICENSED SALESMEN

RETIREES

RETIREMENT

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