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ECONOMY

Quezon City may be called one of the largest service economies in the Philippines, if the indicator is the number of service-oriented establishments here.   It is known as a media center, being the site of the main broadcast station of the Philippines’ biggest networks.  It is also gaining a reputation as a health and wellness hub, because of the large number of hospitals and wellness centers in the metropolis.

 

Retail is a prime business activity in Quezon City.  The city is a pioneer in commercial center development, as it hosts the first integrated shopping and recreational center in the country, and the third biggest shopping mall in the world.  The city has a consumer population of 3.04 million.  With 40% of the population being less than 20 years of age, the city is a prime market for youth-oriented products and services and marketing strategies.

 

Quezon City is also a favored site of information technology companies, and hosts the headquarters of such IT giants as IBM and HP.  It has the second highest concentration of information technology parks in the Philippines.  Most are business process outsourcing companies delivering a wide range of offshore and nearshore solutions adapted for overseas organizations, and software development companies.

 

Retail activity

Spending time in shopping malls is a favorite activity of Quezon City residents.  Typically, residents stroll, dine, shop, and do various recreational activities inside these malls.  Malls even include clinics, beauty and various fitness facilities, along with various business and other personal services.  The city is a pioneer in commercial center development, as it hosts the first integrated shopping and recreational center in the Philippines, which is the Araneta Center. 

 

Quezon City’s shopping complexes and supermarkets can be found in many parts of the city, but are particularly high in concentration in the Cubao area, North Avenue-EDSA area and in the Lagro-Novaliches area.

 

The expansive SM City at North Avenue corner EDSA has more than 1,100 shops, including 400 dining establishments.  The mall attracts a daily foot traffic of over 500,000 people during weekends and more than 300,000 visitors on weekdays.  SM City is the largest mall in the Philippines, and claims to be the world’s third biggest in terms of leasable area (460,000 square meters).   The world’s biggest is South China Mall in Dongguan, China, with 660,000 square meters of gross leasable area, and the second is Jin Yuan (Golden Resources Shopping Mall) in Beijing, China with 560,000 square meters of gross leasable area (according to the website of forbes.com, based on studies made by Eastern Connecticut State University).    The SM group alone has at least 5 large shopping malls, and 6 smaller shopping (mostly supermarket) operations in Quezon City.

 

Very proximate to SM City is the 20-hectare expanse of Trinoma, which houses 550 shops and is directly connected to the metro rail transit (MRT) station.  The mall itself sits on top of the MRT depot.  Trinoma has a gross leasable area of 195,000 square meters.  Estimated foot traffic is about 180,000 to 200,000 daily. 

 

Araneta Center in Cubao is a complex of shopping facilities.  In one portion is SM Mall in Cubao that is directly connected through a retail bridgeway to Ali Mall.  SM Cubao has a total retail floor area of 102,354 square meters, integrating a supermarket, department store, appliance center, specialty pet shop, hardware, drug store, specialty pet store and banking services, along with several food outlets.   Ali Mall houses 100 shops, restaurants and cinemas, with a total retail floor area of 64,500 square meters.  

 

On another end of Araneta Center, connected to the MRT Depot is Gateway Mall.  Shoppers have a choice of over 300 shops, restaurants and cinemas.  It has a total retail area of 95,000 square meters.  Gateway Mall is the recipient of the merit award in the 2006 International Design and Development Awards sponsored by the International Council of Shopping Centers, for its innovations in mall design and amenities.  It is connected to Gateway Tower, which is a 30-floor facility offering 80,000 square meters of prime office space.   Gateway Mall is also directly connected to the Araneta Coliseum, an iconic indoor, sports and entertainment arena with a seating capacity of 16,500 people.  The coliseum has a dome diameter of 108 meters, making it the largest of its kind in Southeast Asia.

 

In between and right across the coliseum is Shopwise Supermarket, with its complex of restaurants and convenience stores.  Farmer’s Market is located right on EDSA, beside the Cubao Shopping Complex and adjacent to the Cubao MRT station.  It is one of the cleanest and largest markets for fresh produce in the country.  It also houses the Center for Culinary Arts and a restaurant area.

 

The Lagro-Novaliches shopping scene is dominated by two of the country’s biggest developers, SM Prime Holdings and Robinsons Land which have developed two shopping malls close to each other in the northern part of Quezon City.  SM City Fairview, a large shopping mall is located at Quirino Highway, Regalado Avenue, Novaliches, Quezon City, Metro Manila.   It has a land area of 200,000 square meters, and a total gross floor area of approximately 182,000 square meters.   Robinsons Nova Market (formerly Robinsons Place Novaliches) is just across. One of the stations of the proposed MRT-7 will be constructed and connected to these malls.  Robinsons is spread over 8.7 hectares and a total gross floor area of approximately 60,000 square meters.   The mall has over 100 shops and dining establishments.  The area also contains the Fairview Centermall and Puregold Supermarket catering to residents of the subdivisions nearby. 

 

Along Commonwealth Avenue is the Ever Gotesco Commonwealth mall which services people along the Commonwealth/Diliman and Batasan areas. Nearby is the Shopwise Center.  At the Tandang Sora area are Puregold Supermarket in the southbound lane and Berkeley Square in the northbound lane. The U.P. - Ayala Technohub hosts amusement centers and restaurants, while a smaller mall, the Citimall, serves the Philcoa area near the UP Campus and caters mostly to commuters.

 

Also very popular is the 216,000 square meter sprawl of Robinson’s Galleria at EDSA corner Ortigas Avenue, Quezon City.  This is a 5-level shopping mall with more than 400 shops, dining outlets, entertainment facilities and service centers, including the biggest Toys R Us outlet in the Philippines.    Robinsons has other malls in the highly populated Novaliches and in the modern Eastwood City.

 

Business services, media and entertainment

Almost all parts of the city have easy access to banks and automatic teller machines.  Electronic banking is a common service provided by the large banks.  The city has 38 branches of universal banks, 168 branches of commercial and savings banks, 198 savings and loan associations and 495 credit cooperatives. 

 

For business support, 648 establishments render accounting services, 765 provide advertising services, 64 provide business management services, while 620 are consultancy firms.  Architectural services are provided by 323 firms.  About 542 different firms will help you organize live events and/or concerts.

 

Eleven broadcast companies transmit from stations in Quezon City.  One major media player is ABS-CBN Corporation which is engaged in television and radio broadcasting. Its subsidiaries and associates are engaged in cable and direct-to-home (DTH) television distribution and telecommunications services overseas, movie production, audio recording and distribution, video/audio post production, and film distribution. The Company is organized into three business activities: broadcasting, cable and satellite, and other businesses. Cable and satellite business primarily develops and produces programs for cable television, including delivery of television programming outside the Philippines through its DTH satellite service, cable television channels and blocked time on television stations. Other businesses include movie production, consumer products and services. 

 

Another media conglomerate is GMA Network, Inc. which is engaged in television and radio broadcasting, the production of programs for domestic and international audiences, and other related businesses. The company is also engaged in providing new media services. The majority of its revenues are derived from advertising revenues related to television broadcasting. The company's very high frequency (VHF) network has 47 wholly owned television stations, 13 ultra high frequency (UHF) stations, and one affiliate station that broadcast the programs of GMA Network. Its television programming includes fantasy programs, dramas, soap operas, talk shows, reality programs, variety shows, musicals and children's shows. The company broadcasts throughout the Philippines, its signal reaching approximately 96.7% of the urban television households.

 

A renewed industry player is Associated Broadcasting Company (TV5), a television network in the Philippines, with main broadcast facilities and transmitter located at 762 Quirino Highway, San Bartolome, Novaliches, Quezon City.  It is owned by MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., which is a fully-owned subsidiary of the telecommunications company, Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company.  It operates its main TV stations DWET-TV, DWNB-TV and DWDZ-TV (digital) and radio stations,106.7 Dream FM and 92.3 News FM.

 

24-Hour Metro Centers

Quezon City has a number of mixed-use, 24-hour communities, with businesses, residential condominiums, restaurants, and malls in integrated developments.  Common features of these areas are public access to wireless fidelity services, integrated commercial centers, 24-hour restaurant services, 24/7business operations, and very pedestrian-friendly environments.  These areas include:

 

  • Eastwood City, which is  a 16-hectare state-of-the-art, masterplanned, residential, business, commercial and entertainment city development of a private corporation in Bagumbayan, Quezon City.   Its main feature is an urban economic zone for information technology (IT)-driven companies.   It is the first cyberpark accredited by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority.  Locators include customer contact centers, electronic publishers, e-commerce systems managers, other systems managers and integrators, multimedia service providers, internet access and data transport service providers, and web developers. 

 

Aside from the rise in number of employees, Eastwood City Cyberpark also posted improvements in exports of Offshoring & Outsourcing (O&O) locators reaching US$348.31 million, as well as in salaries from PEZA-registered companies at Php 6.72 billion.  Non-business process outsourcing establishments in Eastwood have provided jobs to more than 30,000.

 

Companies like IBM, Citibank, eTelecare, Trend Micro, Canon, TOEI Animation and others are located at Eastwood.  Those who live and work in this community enjoy advanced high-bandwidth telecommunications system and fiber optic backbone.

 

This place also features 12 luxury condominium residences, with at   least two more under construction.  It is the first pet-friendly shopping and recreational community in the country.

 

  • Araneta Center is a 35-hectare property recently revitalized to include a new commercial and residential community complementing the area’s centerpiece, the Big Dome or the coliseum.  Within this area are large shopping malls and supermarkets, theaters, restaurants, drug stores, specialty showrooms, art galleries and offices.

 

The Araneta Center Cyber Park is an 8-hectare business area which consists of modern four to six storey office buildings.  Among its locators are:  Accenture, a major player in the business process outsourcing industry with over 100,000 employees worldwide; APAC Customer Services Inc., with a 2,000-seat call center operation;  and Advanced Contact Solutions, which located here its sixth contact center facility in the country.

 

Another information technology park in this area is Gateway Tower, a 32-level mixed-use building with five levels of commercial center, 22 levels of office areas, two levels penthouse and a helipad at the roof deck.   The total gross floor area is approximately 75,056 sq. m.

 

Free wireless fidelity service is offered in areas around the 35-hectare Araneta Center, making it possible for people to use their laptops, PDAs, or Dual-mode phones to access the Internet.   This area averages about a million transients a day. 

 

  • The UP–Ayala Land TechnoHub is the country’s first full-scale, campus-based science and technology park, which was developed jointly by the country’s premier university, University of the Philippines and property developer Ayala Land.   It occupies 20 hectares of the within the 37.5 hectare UP North Science and Technology Park.

 

It offers a campus-style development for information technology companies, inspired by the vision of Stanford’s Silicon Valley, which seeks to nurture a dynamic learning laboratory for academic and industry collaborative projects. 

 

The Hub features ten buildings surrounding a park of landscaped spaces and a man-made lagoon.  Each building is designed for 24-hour business operations, with floor plates of approximately 2,600 square meters, 100% back-up generators, centralized chilled water system, two elevators, and multiple telecom providers. They are also designed to be environmentally sustainable with features such as a district cooling system, a water recycling system, a storm-water management system. 

 

The place has a Tech Portal, which houses start-up companies, incubators, an information desk, conference and meeting rooms, and exhibit areas.  There is a support retail component featuring various dining places, a bookstore, coffee shops, and other service establishments to cater to the needs of its occupants.

 

An emerging metro center is the Quezon City Central Business District located in the city’s North and East Triangles and Veterans Memorial area.   This is a 250.6 hectare masterplanned development which a World Bank study has confirmed to be “the center of gravity of all commercial activities in the coming years.”

 

Designed to be a vibrant and environment-friendly CBD that actively contributes to national and metropolitan development and, at the same time, serves as a model urban environment, the CBD will position itself as the priority location within Quezon City for businesses in the city’s main clusters, health and wellness and information technology, with strong support facilities (financial services, institutional and educational activities, commercial and retail, culture and entertainment, hotel and residential facilities).  It will eventually attract also the main national or regional offices of large financial and commercial companies.

 

The CBD will have the prerequisites of a world-class CBD:  walkable, vibrant night and day, quiet neighborhoods with easy access to retail and urban services, building designs that preserve human scale, public areas that have good aesthetic design, lively commercial centers and transport-oriented developments.

 

It will have mixed-use development oriented towards transit facilities.  This minimizes travel to work, avoids congestion experienced in other CBDs, creates greater opportunities for social contact, urban vitality and safer places, achieves better energy efficiency and efficient use of spaces and buildings, and increases efficiency of urban facilities.

 

The CBD will have unique modern and futuristic urban architecture, with an underlying Filipino theme.  Existing vantage points to the Quezon Memorial Circle and the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife will be preserved.  New ones will be established.

 

Approximately 64% of the total land area will be allocated to mixed-use residential, commercial, institutional and transit-oriented development; 22% will be allocated to roads, and 14% to parks and open spaces.

 

Information Technology industry

Of the country’s 208 Information Technology (IT) Parks registered with the Philippine Export Zone Authority, more than 110 are in Metro Manila.  Thirty-four of these are located in Quezon City.  These occupy an aggregate of 129.05 hectares.

An IT Park is an area, classified as a special economic zone, that has been developed into a complex, capable of providing infrastructure and other support facilities required by information technology (IT) enterprises, including amenities required by professionals and workers involved in IT enterprises.

Generally, these parks also have the following amenities and features:

  • High-speed fiber-optic telecommunication backbone and high-speed international gateway facility or wide-area network, or any high-speed data telecommunications system that may become available in the future
  • Clean and uninterrupted power supply
  • Computer security and building monitoring and maintenance system
  • May provide for IT business and technology incubation centers.

The PEZA requires that IT Parks established in Metro Manila area must have an available business area of at least 5,000 square meters. The following PEZA-registrable activities may be situated in an IT park:

  • Software development for business, e-commerce, education, and entertainment
  • Content development for multimedia or internet purposes
  • Hardware design, prototype production, and other related activities
  • Knowledge and computer-based support activities (e.g., software support, data encoding and conversion, internet facilitation, systems integration, project implementation, IT consultancy, call center)
  • Research and development services.
  • Research and development services

Quezon City has the second highest concentration of IT Parks in the Philippines.  The largest are the Eastwood City Cyber Park, spread over 13.29 hectares in District 3 and the UP-Ayala Technohub, spread over 38.06 hectares in District 4.   There are more than a 100 companies located in these parks. 

 

 

Typically, most are business process outsourcing companies delivering a wide range of offshore and nearshore solutions adapted for overseas organizations, including  customer care support, medical and legal transcription, accounts receivable management, financial services, human resource management, information data bases for science and technology, engineering services, architectural design services, as well as network management and hosting services.

 

A high concentration of Quezon City’s IT Parks is found in District 4, attracted by the presence of the largest broadcast companies there and by the emergence of the Quezon City Central Business District (QC-CBD) at the North and East Triangle.  The QC-CBD developments have encouraged the rise of the UP-Ayala Technohub which is very proximate to this area and which is co-hosted by the largest Philippine university (which is located in Quezon City) , the Eton Centris Cyberpods right at the CBD and the development of the nearby SMNE IT Center at North Avenue.

 

The Business Process Association of the Philippines (BPAP) has cited Quezon City as the “Model Local Government for Outsourcing Locations” (in its BPAP Annual Report for 2009 Next Wave Cities).  The BPAP cites the following as reasons why BPO-IT companies should choose Quezon City as their location for business:

  • The city’s high concentration of IT Parks (29 and still growing);
  • High residential population (2,960,627, with an employable population of 1.672 million);
  • It is the second largest (next to Manila) producer of tertiary school graduates among all Philippine cities (about 20,00 graduate from college annually, with 21,435 graduated in school year 2009/2010);
  • It is host to over 40,000 IT employees.

 

Large locators have also cited the city’s large expanse, surrounded by highly populated residential communities.  This makes employee recruitment easier and the office spread lessens vulnerability of employees to piracy.   Moreover, the presence of many amenities easily allows a 24-hour, live-work-and-play environment around or within the IT Parks.

 

Internet service providers (ISP) registered with the National Telecommunications Office in Quezon City are 241 firms with 3.6 million subscribers.  The firms provide services to clients beyond Quezon City.

 

The city has around 128 customer contact center operations managing outbound and inbound calls. Outbound calls include advisories, sales verification, customer services, surveys, technical help, as well as complaints handling.   More than 4,600 enterprises are in various types of computer services.

 

Other information technology companies in Quezon City offer shared corporate backroom operations, especially for financial services such as accounting and bookkeeping, account maintenance, accounts receivable collection, accounts payable administration, payroll processing, asset management, financial analysis and auditing, management consulting, inventory control and purchasing, expense and revenue reporting, financial reporting, tax reporting, and other finance-related services such as financial leasing, credit card administration, factoring and stock brokering; as well as for logistics management, and cargo shipment management. 

 

Other IT companies provide medical transcription services for overseas clients: medical reports, discharge summaries, operative reports, therapy/rehabilitation notes, chart notes, and hospital and clinic reports using software and equipment from the U.S.

 

Broad Health Services

Based on the records of the Center for Health Development of the Department of Health, Quezon City has 66 hospitals, with a combined bed capacity of 8,566.   Sixteen of these are government, with a bed capacity of 5,073 while 43 are privately owned, with a bed capacity of 3,493.  This means a hospital bed to population ratio of 1:341.

 

Three hospitals in Quezon City have international health certifications, including the Joint Commission International (JCI) – accredited St. Luke’s Medical Center.   St. Luke's has also attained international ISO 9001 Certification for its Institute of Radiology. It has over 600 in-patient beds and 1,700 affiliated medical consultants.   It is also allied with the US’ Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

 

The National Kidney Transplant Institute (NKTI) is the first government hospital to be ISO 9001:2000 certified by Technical Universal Verifiable (TUV) Product Service.  It is a leading kidney transplant center of the country.  It is internationally known for advanced patient care in renal disease, dialysis and organ transplants (kidney, liver, pancreas, stem cell and bone marrow).  The facility has also long been performing double transplant operations for pancreas and kidney, long before other transplant centers in Asia have been able to do so.

   

Doctors in both St. Luke’s and NKTI use ‘regenerative medicine,’ which is defined “innovative medical therapies that involve the engineering of living cells, tissues and organs for the purpose of preserving and enhancing organ function to prevent disease and maintain wellness, and to restore or replace organ function lost or impaired due to disease, injury or aging…”  Current applications for regenerative medicine in these hospitals include immune cell regeneration for cancer treatment and for various types of organ regeneration (examples, for burn patients, those with retinal or corneal diseases, liver cirrhosis and hepatitis).

 

The World Citi Medical Center is the Philippines’ first medical hotel.  It combines hospital interiors with the ambience of hotel lodging.  It is ISO 9001-2000 certified. The hospital is also certified by the Integrated Management System, complying with the stringent requirements of both Environmental (ISO 14001:2004) and Occupational Health and Safety (ISO 18001:1999) Standards. World Citi Med is also working towards the Joint Commision International Accreditation.

 

Eight hospitals in the city accept international insurance, namely:

  • Capitol Medical Center
  • Ann Francis Mother and Child Hospital
  • Fairview General Hospital
  • St. Luke’s Medical Center
  • World Citi Medical Center
  • National Kidney Institute
  • Veterans Memorial Medical Center
  • United Doctors’ Medical Center

 

Other well-known hospitals in the city are:

  • Philippine Heart Center for Asia, a tertiary government hospital known as the “chief authority for cardiac care” in the Philippines.  It is also regarded as one of the busiest Congenital Heart Surgery Centers in the Asia-Pacific region.

 

  • Lung Center of the Philippines, which is a leading center for specialized care in respiratory and other lung diseases.  It offers physical therapy for people with musculo-skeletal disorders and for post-stroke patients.

 

  • East Avenue Medical Center is a premium training and education center that is a full-service  hospital under the Department of Health.  It has a Trauma and Eye Center, Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Acute Stroke Unit, Gastroenterology Clinic, among its many specialized care units.

 

  • Capitol Medical Center is a private tertiary hospital with a 300- bed capacity.   It provides medical care for 10 specialties and has 11 operating theaters. It is a home to the Philippines first successful kidney transplant in the Philippines in 1970 and acquired the first Digital Infrared Thermograph Imaging in the country.  The first Laparoscopic Nephrectomy was also performed by CMC surgeons in 2003. 

 

The Philippines’ Department of Health has operationalized a program to encourage hospitals to upgrade their facilities and services towards international standards.  It has put in place an ISO-based accreditation system called Gintong Sigla, which is a seal of excellence that also requires JCI accreditation.  St. Luke’s Medical Center already has a Gintong Sigla accreditation.  Included in the first phase of this program are such Quezon City hospitals as Capitol Medical Center, East Avenue Medical Center, Lung Center of the Philippines, National Kidney and Transplant Institute, Philippine Heart Center, and the Philippine Children’s Medical Center.

 

Quezon City’s internationally known hospitals enable it to share in the growth of the health and wellness market.  The main driver for foreign patients is the cost-effectiveness of medical procedures and facilities that are of international standards.  Foreign tourists also find comfort in the city’s highly trained, English-speaking and Western-educated medical personnel.

 

Major Hospitals in Quezon City

Hospital

District

Number of Beds

Government

Lung Center of the Philippines

4

210

National Kidney and Transplant Institute

4

300

Philippine Heart Center for Asia

4

283

East Avenue Medical Center

4

650

Phil. Children’s Medical Hospital

4

200

Private

St. Luke's Medical Center

3

650

U.E.R.M Memorial Medical Center

3

307

World Citi Medical Center

3

276

Capitol Medical Center

1

300

FEU Nicanor Reyes Medical Foundation Center

2

300

City-owned and managed

Quezon City General Medical Center

1

250

Novaliches District Hospital

2

60

 

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