Search for best developers and designers now open

In Photo: Cyndy Tan Jarabata (from left), president, Tajara Leisure & Hospitality Group Inc.; and Terry Blackburn, founder and managing director of PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards

IT is a fact that the country’s underdeveloped infrastructure facilities pose a big challenge to the development and expansion of the property sector. Nevertheless, the private sector must roll with the punches so to speak and get the most with the existing setup.

“The private sector needs to optimize. Let’s work with what we actually have,” said Cyndy Tan Jarabata, president of the Tajara Leisure and Hospitality Group Inc. in a news briefing held recently at the launch of the sixth PropertyGuru Philippines Property Awards 2018 in Makati City.

Jarabata acknowledged it is a challenge to work within the current scenario but there is no choice for developers but to be innovative, become more efficient to become more competitive.

In the current situation, Jarabata said the private sector is aware that the government cannot do it alone and the private sector has to do its share in upgrading the country’s archaic infrastructure network.

Nonetheless, there are pockets of improvements in the horizon just like the construction of the Naia Expressway. “Before, it took me almost two hours to get off the airport. But now, I am out in 20 minutes,” said Terry Blackburn, managing director PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards.

Jarabata also emphasized the development of the country’s work force in the hospitality and services industry to ensure there will be efficient and quality service to the local and foreign tourists.

She said the government and private sector must act together to enable the country to sustain the growth in the tourism industry. “We really need to push the development of our infrastructure, like roads, airports and seaports, for development.”

Meanwhile, Blackburn said the Philippine property sector will continue to grow in the short term as investors continue to enter the country. He mentioned that the country has a strong potential in resort living as it has some of the most beautiful natural tourist spots in the world.

On the other hand, the independent panel of judges approved to make changes and further diversify the categories of the awards system to acknowledge the emerging market conditions.

For the awards’ sixth edition, recognition will be presented for Best Township Development and Best Township Design, where the judges will be looking for the project’s smart city principles, sustainable design and carbon-emission management system, among others, as the popularity of and demand for such integrated community developments in and outside the capital rises.

Adding to the two township categories, there will be accolades for Best Alternative Housing Development, to recognize owner-managed housing projects intended for transient workers, students and the elderly; Best Mid End Condo Development (Metro Manila); and Best Affordable Condo Development (Cebu).

“For more than half a decade, the annual Philippine Property Awards has recognized outstanding examples of world-class property development across the country. Every year, the number grows,” said new Chairman Dr. Jaime V. Cura of RGV Group of Cos. “We feel that we should recognize and encourage such innovations and sensitivity to market conditions to prove that the Philippine property market continues to be a standout in this part of the world.”

In the previous edition of the awards, the judging panel also introduced several categories reflecting the growth of the domestic market, such as Best BPO Office Development, Best Mixed Use Development and Best Universal Design Development. These categories remain for the 2018 edition after being well received by local developers.

Nominations are now open for the public until February 16, 2018. Eligible entries for the Developer, Development and Design completion categories will be accepted until 23 February, with the final shortlist of nominees announced on March 28, 2018.

Shortlisted nominees will be honored as winners or given highly commended distinction at the sixth annual gala dinner and awards ceremony of the PropertyGuru Philippines Property Awards, which is set on April 27, 2018, at the Fairmont Makati ballroom.