Dumaguete City named best place to retire in Philippines for 2018
Raffy T. Cabristante (The Freeman) - August 10, 2018 - 12:00am

DUMAGUETE CITY, Philippines — The Philippine Retirement Authority (PRA) has named Dumaguete City as the best place to retire in the Philippines for 2018.

 

PRA marketing head Mervin Magbuhat said Dumaguete is the first city in the Visayas to have been awarded the Best Retirement Area Deemed as Retiree-Friendly (RADAR), besting its neighbors Cebu and Bacolod cities.

Representatives from PRA came to Dumaguete on Wednesday to award the Best RADAR plaque of recognition to the Dumaguete City government, through Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo.

According to PRA data, Dumaguete scored an average of 87.48 percent, based on criteria set by the United Nations, International Living, World Health Organization, and other international organizations.

Some of the factors for judging include cost of living, friendliness of locals, climate, health care, and peace and order.

“Tiningnan po namin ang number of retirees na nandito and figures showed that it’s been growing up. A dominating number of our retirees from Negros Oriental are living in Dumaguete,” Magbuhat said, noting that out of the more than 300 retirees living in the province, 255 of them live in Dumaguete.

With this honor, Magbuhat said Dumagueteños can expect more investors and stakeholders involved in the retirement and tourism industries to flock to the city. An upsurge of foreign retirees is also expected in the next few years as the PRA will heavily promote Dumaguete as one the most recommended cities in the Philippines for retirees.

Magbuhat also noted that the honor will significantly benefit Dumaguete, as the Philippines is the most Googled country in the world when it comes to retirement, with Malaysia and Thailand coming close.

“We also interviewed some of retirees here and they said a lot of good things about Dumaguete,” the PRA official said.

This was the first time in six years that the PRA named a city in the Philippines as an ideal place to retire. In 2012, PRA gave the same honor to Makati City.

Dumaguete was previously given a similar recognition in 2014 after Forbes Magazine named the city as one of the Best Places in the World to Retire, along with George Town in Malaysia and Chiang Mai in Thailand.

Remollo, for his part, said that the main factor behind Dumaguete’s attractiveness to foreign retirees is its people, and with this honor, they need to prepare more.

“We need to prepare and make these retirees part of our community. The more we get recognitions like this, the more our city government, our city council should work hard,” Remollo said in his acceptance speech.

The mayor also noted the surge of tourists, particularly those from China, who are becoming more and more familiar with and are coming to Dumaguete City.

The PRA is a government agency under the Department of Tourism, which specializes in taking care of foreign retirees in the Philippines. Among its primary services is the issuance of the Special Resident Retiree’s Visa (SRRV).

As of June 2018, the Philippines has 56,432 foreign retirees, who are all SRRV holders.

PHILIPPINE RETIREMENT AUTHORITY
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