Mangoes, considered the national fruit of the Philippines, can be a source of various investment opportunities. With its flexible characteristics, producers can make use of perishable mangoes and transform them into derivatives such as puree, dried mangoes, candy, jam, wine, essence, canned, juice, nectar, pickled, flavorings, etc. The fruit and its processed products are also exported. In 2021, top export destinations were China United States, Korea and Japan. Europe also sees a rising demand for processed fruits.
The island of Cebu is endowed with land and climate suitable for the cultivation of multiple variety of mangos, including the world-famous Philippine Carabao Mango. In Q1 2022, Central Visayas ranked as the 7th major distributor, producing 1,019.6 metric tons. Currently, Cebu is home to five large processors and exporters, and various small-scale farmers and enterprises.
Seeing long-run potential for investments in the mango industry, the private sector advocates for strengthened financial and non-financial support from the government in order to assist both firms and farmers to take advantage of the opportunities in fruit processing sector.
To date, a number of institutions offer targeted loans for farmers, while the Department of Agriculture give technical assistance which are designed to teach and support firms in producing high quality products efficiently and effectively. Additional support services are offered by related government agencies to provide assistance and guidance to firms to who intend to pursue appropriate certification, permits and licenses to unlock their full potential in exporting processed fruit products.
One of the leading exporters of processed mango and other fruit products is Profood International Corporation. The Cebu-grown company works with a variety of fruits, including mangoes, guyabano, banana, pineapple, coconut, etc. and employs approximately 3,000 employees with an additional 2,000 employees during peak season to efficiently process food products. Included in its roster of products are dried fruits, preserves, purees, concentrates, and juices, and these are available all over the Philippines, and are exported to almost 50 countries including United States of America, Canada, Japan, European Union, and China.
Founded in 1980, Profood has remained committed to product excellence and has managed to expand its processes and establish three more product facilities across the country to improve its supply chain. Two of these facilities are all strategically located in Luzon and Mindanao to access and leverage on the variety and supply of fruits in Luzon and Mindanao and ensure continuous supply while retaining the freshness of the fruit as well as its natural flavor and extending its shelf life. The other facility is found in the nearby island of Panay, Iloilo City. Moreover, due to Profood’s extensive research and development efforts, the company is the only producer that offers various products using green mangoes as its main ingredient.
With the company’s network of plant facilities in Cebu, Iloilo, Davao and Bulacan as well as its headquarters located in Cebu, the company offers its customers a wide range of premium quality products. The company also attributes its growth and success to the close proximity of its headquarters and plants to an efficient network of seaports and international airport.
To date, the continued demand for process fruits, has allowed the company to expand its operations in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. This will further expand the company’s product line as well as boost the company’s presence in the global market. Moving forward, the company yearns to ensure sustained supply of quality produce to deliver world class processed fruit products.
Situated along the Cacao Belt, Cebu is endowed with land and climate suitable for growing cacao trees. As a high-value crop, cacao offers a lot of opportunity for investors. Cacao is not only known to be a good inter-crop for coconut and banana (with only 2-week harvest interval), it also has a unique characteristic of having a short gestation period of only 18 months.
Several intermediate products can be derived from cacao beans such as cocoa nibs, cocoa liquor (tablea), cocoa cake, cocoa butter, cocoa powder, and chocolate confectionary blocks. Moreover, cocoa is regarded to have an uptrend global demand for two reasons. First, cocoa is the ultimate ingredient for chocolate production and offers no substitute. Second, is the increasing popularity of cocoa for pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries. In terms of numbers, global demand for cocoa is expected to increase by almost 3% from 4.959 million tonnes during 2020/21 to 5.086 million tonnes for 2021/22.1
In the 4th quarter of 2021, Central Visayas was able to produce a total 37.07 metric tons of cacao. Due to the endless global demand for cacao, Cebu is fast becoming a home to small-scale cacao producers scattered around Cebu. Some of these areas include the municipalities and cities of Pinamunggahan, Toledo, Tuburan, Carcar, and various mountain barangays in Cebu City. To optimize the potential of the cacao industry in Cebu, the Philippine Inno-Ventures Agriculture Cooperative (PIVAC) is pushing for the propagation and planting of cacao in various farm lands across Cebu through cultivation of seedlings and knowledge sharing at the grassroot level.
PIVAC, alongside with the government agencies such as the DTI, DA, DOST, DENR, and local government units are forming a convergence of plans and programs to bridge the gap between the existing demand and supply of cacao to maximize the potential of cacao as a high-value crop. This convergence and collaboration with relevant agencies are designed to ensure that the farmers are empowered with the right set of skills and equipment to produce high quality cacao beans. To date, PIVAC farmers are starting to cultivate their land for cacao production and intend to supply the local cocoa producers in Cebu, and eventually leverage on the strategic location of Cebu and trade across all regions and even reach the foreign market as well. In the long run, the network of cacao producers in Cebu intend to maximize its economies of scale and explore the opportunity of investing in post-harvest facilities roasting and grinding facilities.
Overall, the collective goal of PIVAC farmers is to create a sustainable supply chain of cacao production and deliver high quality cocoa products, made in Cebu. Likewise the group aspires to be recognized as one of the leading export products of Cebu. As of today, due to the rising number of cacao farms, Cebu’s thriving cocoa products are also starting to gain global popularity.
Investors can take advantage of the island’s rich aquatic resources as well as its geographic strength whose proximity lies close to various provinces for other raw materials. Processed seafood and fisheries can be exported to other countries, leveraging on Cebu’s conducive export-business environment with ease of doing business and existing efficient network of ports and cold storages. Aside from partaking in export business, producers of processed seafoods and fisheries can also take advantage of the local demand and engage in achieving food security and a resilient food supply chain.
In 2021, fisheries production in the whole of Central Visayas was valued at Php 12.1 billion with approximately 147,000 metric tons. This production value records a 0.2 percent increase from the 12.08 billion pesos in 2020.
Moving forward, the CIDCC intends to closely work with relevant agencies to promote investment opportunities in fisheries and seafood processing businesses.
Mr. Nelson Bascones established Central Seafoods, Inc.(CSI) in 1999. The company, based in Cordova, serves as a processor and exporter of frozen marine products and pasteurized canned crab meat. To diversify their products, CSI had established its own network of raw material buying stations, enabling the company to leverage on specialized local marine products. Annually, the combined production capacity of CSI’s network is 1,200 metric tons. Aside from proximity to other provinces, Cebu’s efficient port system also facilitated CSI’s success in delivering premium high quality frozen marine products.
Moreover, Mr. Bascones praised Cebu’s ease of doing business in terms of securing proper permits and licenses, which further aids efficient business operations for CSI to deliver its products to multiple countries while maintaining optimum freshness and quality. To date, CSI is mainly exporting to United States, and is also embarking on serving new markets in Taiwan, South Korea, and Hong Kong due to diversified products and increasing market demand.
Cebu seats in the center of the Philippines, serving as a melting pot of cultural exchange and dialogue from Luzon and Mindanao region. Due to its extensive history and culture, Cebuanos are known to be adept and creative in various forms and expressions of art. This is very evident in the growing number of creative entertainment studios in Cebu, including game development and animation studios. Emerging talents are further strengthened through professional skills training organized by a partnership between Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry and relevant institutions like Game Development Association of the Philippines (GDAP), and Animation Council of the Philippines (ACPI). To cultivate more collaboration and opportunities among the rich pool of creatives talent in Cebu, the Cebu Creatives Hub is being constructed. The hub is a real estate development built and designed to serve as a playground for creatives to steer and actively support and promote the growing ecosystem creatives entertainment industry in Cebu. In recent years, Cebu City has been recognized as a Creative City by United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). This attests to the exceptional talent and creativity of the Cebuanos in various medium of arts including, music, theatre film, animation, games, original content, and comics, among ot
Due to its broad-spectrum, the Creatives Entertainment industries is considered to be the new frontier for IP based products and services outsourcing all geared towards to maximizing the potentials of exporting creative contents consumed globally. Its ecosystem presents multiple opportunities for both niche and collaborative markets. Ongoing players are keen and committed to collectively pursue efforts to make Cebu a premiere choice for outsourcing services under the Creative Entertainment Industry.
Aside from its conducive environment, investors can leverage on its large consumer base featuring a mix of both western and eastern influences and highly consume digital creative contents. Likewise, Artists and creatives are always a step away from inspiration and relaxation due to is the island’s vibrant culture and extensive network and connectivity to nature, facilitating a conducive environment to connect and create with various creatives and artists locally and globally.
Emottoons is an animation studio in Cebu who creates customized and original animations. Its humble beginnings started by providing animation students an environment to thrive as creative talents through immersion programs. To date, Emottons and its founder, Philmore "Emot" Amodia, remains committed in training budding artists in its studios, from zero knowledge to harnessing and nurturing their talents to maximize their full potential.
Emottoons provides in 2D Cartoon Animation to various clientele spanning from short animation, animated music videos, to commercials and marketing videos. Among its portfolio of successful projects is History Animated. History Animated is one of its original animation series created to retell the tale of historical accounts through animated cartoons. The entire series can be watched through its official YouTube account, History Animated. In 2022, Emottoons was recognized by the South East Asia Business Awards as the Best 2D cartoon Animation Studio in Central Visayasl indeed this serves a testament of Emottoons dedication to serve as o ene of the driving forces in harnessing and providing creative talents across Central Visayas.
The Philippines establishes a strong presence in the Information Technology and Business Process Management (IT-BPM) sector, attributable to the highly- skilled labor force the country has to offer. Initially, the Philippines is known for voice-based services, as Filipinos take pride on language proficiency, speech articulation, and confidence. However, thru time and skills development, Filipinos have strived to excel in the field of non-voice and complex services. The Department of Trade and Industry reports a growing number of businesses providing healthcare information management, human resources management, business intelligence, and offshore financial consulting in the Philippines.
The Philippine economy also regards the IT-BPM sector as one of the country’s economic pillars, exhibiting employment generation and steering investments in various industries such as real estate, trade, telecommunications, and transportation. The strength of the IT-BPM sector inspires and influences the government to facilitate a conducive investor environment for those who intend to enter and engage in the field. Foreign investors may avail incentive programs through the Philippine Board of Investments (BOI) or through the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA).
In 2001, IT-BPM companies started to locate in Cebu City. Among the companies who pioneered and first started to operate in Cebu City are Lexmark R & D and Lexmark Shared Services, Lear’s Philippine Engineering and Technology Center, NEC, Qualfonn, Dash Engineering, Inc., AZPIRED, NCR’s R & D, Mercedes-Benz Shared Services, Wipro, Bombardier, Author Solutions, Ameeratel, Alliance Software and FPT Software. Other big outsourcing players from Metro Manila have also expanded their businesses in Cebu including Concentrix (formerly Convergys), Teleperformance, Accenture, Teletech, ePerformax, JPMorgan and Chase, IBM, Optum, Conduent, QBE, Manulife, Results, Telstra, EXL, etc. To date, Cebu City continues to capture new players in the outsourcing industry like Fujitsu, Dover Business Solutions, and Kuehne + Nagel. Added most recently is the first contact service site of another prestigious company, AMAZON in the Philippines.
In Cebu, investors and locators in IT-BPM sector can take advantage of multiple factors. First, Cebu is equipped with a talent pool who are fast learners, resourceful, and digitally adept. The IT-BPM sector in Cebu is lauded for the strong collaboration and cooperation among the academe, the private sector, including the Cebu IT/BPM Organization (CIB.O) and the public sector in order harness talent and ensure that the incoming talent pool are equipped with the necessary skills needed to push for the continued growth in the IT-BPM sector. Second, the entire island Cebu also provides an active ecosystem of support infrastructures including energy, and telecommunications facilities to ensure seamless internet connectivity and delivery of services. In addition, Cebu is endowed with an intensive network of local ports connect Cebu to other nearby provinces and islands, as well as efficient domestic and international airport, allowing investors to tap the talents from other regions. Likewise, talents from other regions can access employment and educational opportunities all throughout Cebu. Third, due to its natural resources Cebu boasts an environment conducive for striking the balance between work and leisure, Metro Cebu houses multiple commercial areas for work, while the rest of Cebu is composed of various tourism destination clusters offering unique adventure and experiences. Fourth, investors may leverage on locating and availing investment incentives in the existing facilities/ zones dedicated for businesses and corporations in the IT-BPM sector. Complementary to this is the ongoing effort of improving ease of doing business across all cities and municipalities in Cebu. Lastly, the cost of doing business in Cebu is cost competitive. In the 1st Quarter 2022 report of Jones Lang LaSalle, office rents contracted significantly, offering an attractive average of Php 640 per sqm per month to supply the existing market demand.
In the long run, the IT-BPM sector in Cebu intends to pursue strengthening its human capital to partake in the opportunity of exporting services to these four major digital trends such as big data and analytics, internet-of-things, automation and artificial intelligence and cloud computing. Moreover, during the Transformation Summit in 2022, Mayor Rama pushes for further digitalization of government services and businesses “We envision Cebu to be green, orderly, safe, globally competitive, disaster resilient, and culturally enriched and us being a catholic city we should not lose sight of continuously spiritually filled psychologically sound and physically always active.”
Tsuneishi Technical Services (Phils.), Inc. – Ship Designing from Grassroots to PrestigeAside from business outsourcing processes and shared facilities, Cebu takes pride on its network of capable engineers and designers providing technical support in shipbuilding. Tsuneishi Technical Services (Phils.), Inc. is a tech-enabled company with an ISO 9001-2015 certification and is registered under the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), specifically in West Cebu Industrial Park – Special Economic Zone in Balamban, Cebu. Initially, TTSP was established to provide technical support, and detail designs for ships built within the Tsuneishi Group, covering, Tsuneishi Heavy Industries (THI) in Balamban, Cebu and the other shipyards in Hiroshima, Japan and Zhejiang, China. To date, TTSP has expanded its reach and is now able to provide engineering services outsourced from various countries across Asia and Europe specializing from Engineering designs, 3D scanning, Retrofitting and Reverse Engineering, 3D Modeling, and Library Catalogue Making.
With designs rendered in multi-CAD platforms, particularly employing state-of-the art designing tools to cater the varied customer needs, TTSP had been delivering projects of more than 350 ships in its portfolio mostly but not limited to design of bulk carriers, container carriers, tankers, and pure car and truck carriers. Currently, these main products comply with EEDI (Energy Efficiency Design Index) phase 3 regulations targeting better fuel efficiency and at the same time contributing to environmental sustainability.
On its 30th year now, TTSP, had its share of humble beginnings. From a small design office in Cebu City with a modest, eight pioneer Design Engineers using manual design equipment, it gradually grew its manpower over the years and is now a home to over 500-man workforce of design engineers, draftsmen, administrative support staff, Japanese advisers, and administrators. TTSP has also transferred its design office location four times to accommodate additional personnel and upgraded infrastructure and technology. The current strategic location of the design center allowed the ship designers and the ship builders in constant collaboration during the production process, thereby, shortening waiting time, hastening order deliveries, and catching up with demands.
Despite the pandemic, TTSP, is catching up in a slow but steady pace to recovery. TTSP remains positive towards the recovery of the shipbuilding industry as mass vaccination and rekindling of global economic activities gain momentum. TTSP, remains committed and boldly adheres in its vision, “Designing Beyond Borders, becoming a globally-preferred technical service provider of timely, cost-effective and high-quality engineering designs- onwards to a prestigious 2030.”
The Philippines Startups are emerging alongside the robust of IT-BPM sector in Cebu. These startups are notably disrupting existing business processes and models, mainly buoyed by the unrivaled entrepreneurial spirit of the Cebuanos, coupled with their resiliency. establishes a strong presence in the Information Technology and Business Process Management (IT-BPM) sector, attributable to the highly- skilled labor force the country has to offer. Initially, the Philippines is known for voice-based services, as Filipinos take pride on language proficiency, speech articulation, and confidence. However, thru time and skills development, Filipinos have strived to excel in the field of non-voice and complex services. The Department of Trade and Industry reports a growing number of businesses providing healthcare information management, human resources management, business intelligence, and offshore financial consulting in the Philippines.
Startups in Cebu, although scattered, are well-supported by an ecosystem of various organizations including, universities, support organizations, including the Cebu Innovation Council, among others, Cebu City Government, and other government agencies, like DOST, DICT, and DTI. The aforementioned are all collectively making a conducive business environment for startups to exchange ideas with one another and to facilitate funding opportunities. In 2019, the Cebu Innovation Council, together with the Cebu City Department of Manpower Development and Placement, has established the Cebu Innovation Hub, a space designed and dedicated for startups, serving as coworking space and as an incubation center. To date, coworking spaces and incubation hubs can be seen across Metro Cebu, and startups needing to fabricate their products can utilize the facilities of DTI. To access funding opportunities, startups can tap Startup Grant Fund at the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development as well as the Philippine Startup Venture Fund Program among others.
Furthermore, the improving telecommunications network in Cebu, as well as the proximity of Cebu to other markets due to its network of efficient infrastructure, are all vital in facilitating seamless connectivity essential for the thriving environment for Cebuano startups. As of recent times, startups in Cebu are leveraging on the opportunities of providing value-added services to MSMEs to digitalize their business processes. Aside from accelerated digitalization, startups in Cebu can also take advantage of the rising opportunities brought about by the Cebu City’s initiative to propel digital innovation in its services.
In the long run, the private sector, together with the academe, are working together to cultivate a set of skilled human talent pool to further strengthen the sector. Ultimately, the startup ecosystem and its stakeholders will continue to actively collaborate and pursue sustainable growth.
The island of Cebu also goes by the moniker “Sunshine City”, partly because of its vibrant weather, but mostly because of its people. Cebuanos welcome each visitor, regardless of purpose, with a warm, happy, and gracious attitude.
Cebu also serves as a hub for business commerce, Due to its geographical location.
The entire narrow island province of Cebu is nestled in the heart of Central Visayas Region, surrounded by Negros island in the east, Leyte and Bohol islands on the west. Due to its geographic location, Cebu serves as a hub for business commerce. As such, Cebu features a network of transport infrastructures, air, land, and sea, to facilitate seamless movement and connectivity. The Mactan-Cebu International Airport is considered to be the second busiest airport in the Philippines, routing both domestic and international destinations. It is also surrounded by an intensive networks of local ports and international port serving as gateway for commerce and tourism opportunities. Recently added to its roster of roads and bridges is newly inaugurated Cebu-Cordova bridge, also known as the Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway. The bridge is considered to be the longest bridge in the Philippines, spanning 8.9 kilometers long and was designed to withstand any natural calamity.
Alongside business and commerce, Cebu is also , popular tourist spot for both local and foreign guests as it offers a plethora of tourism sites and activities. Cebu boasts 4 tourism facets. In 2022, the Travel+Leisure Magazine recognized Cebu’s tourism facets and ranked 16th on the list of 25 Best Islands in the World for 2022 by, with a score of 90.12.
The first two facets embody Cebu’s natural resources., namely the highlands and the coastal destinations. In the southern part of Cebu tourists can explore Osmeña Peak the highest peak standing at 1,013 meters above sea level. Close to Osmeña Peak is Cebu’s Vegetable Basket, known for its landscape filled with high value crops and vegetables. Up north tourists seeking for adventure and thrilling activities can visit the various eco-tourism adventure parks in Balamban offering various camping and extreme outdoor activities such as ziplining, trekking and many more. Close to the metropolitan areas of Cebu City, Mandaue, and Lapu-lapu is the highlands area along the Cebu Transcentral Highway. The mountainous highway is now tucked with quaint cafes and restaurants, and is a home to a cluster of tourism destinations offering various camping activities as well. Among the popular destination is Tops Lookouts offering a breathtaking coastal view of the highly urbanized metropolitan Cebu, while maintaining a serene calm atmosphere. Another highland destination is Sirao Flower Farm. This features flower gardens filled with enchanting variety of flowers, also known as Mini Netherlands. Due to the pandemic, highland destinations are now gaining more popularity as visitors yearn to escape the city to reconnect with nature, and enjoy the open air breeze.
In terms of coastal destinations, the coast line and the beach destinations of the southern, northern, and nearby islands of Cebu are a popular choice among tourists as well. The coastal areas along the highly urbanized cities of Cebu are also enriched with entertainment parks, malls, and restaurants. Nearby island of Mactan offers a variety of resorts, spa and hotels and water parks, including international chains of 5-star hotel and spa resorts such as Shangri-la, Movenpick and Dusit Thani among others. The southern part of Cebu offers various beach destinations including Moalboal known for scuba diving spots, Pescadores Island for whitetip reef sharks, and Oslob for whale sharks. Another popular coastal destination is Camotes Islands, a group of islands located in the eastern part of Cebu. The northern part of the Cebu province likewise houses various beaches and the islands of Malapascua and Bantayan. Malapascua Island is popular for its abundance of thresher sharks while Bantayan Island offers various beaches and eco-tourism sites.
The third facet celebrates the rich heritage and culture of Cebuanos. Cebu is considered the oldest city in the Philippines. Tourists can travel back in time and witness the historic past of the entire island through its rich significant historical landmarks, featuring Spanish, American, and Japanese heritage, these includes the famous Magellan’s Cross, Mactan Shrine, Basilica Minore De Sto. Nino, Plaza Independencia, Fort San Pedro, Cebu Museo Sugbo, and Cebu Heritage Monument,.
Magellan’s Cross The cross was planted by the Portuguese and Spanish explorers headed by Ferdinand Magellan in 1521 to mark the baptism of the first Filipinos who converted to Roman Catholic, Rajah Humabon and his wife, and native warriors.
Mactan Shrine commemorates the Battle of Mactan in 1521 between Ferdinand Magellan and local chieftain Lapu-Lapu. The shrine houses two monuments, a 20 meters tall bronze statue of Lapu-Lapu, and a stone obelisk dedicated to Ferdinand Magellan, marking the first circumnavigation of the earth.
Basilica Minore De Sto. Nino also known as The Minor Basilica of the Holy Child was inaugurated on April 28 1565, serving as the oldest Roman Catholic church established in the Philippines.
Plaza Independencia serves as a symbol of independence of freedom from all the conquerors. During the Spanish era it has served as military training ground and parade ground. The grounds also and commemorates the heroism of every Filipino who fought in World War II through the Veteran’s Memorial monument.
Fort San Pedro served as the as military defense structure during the Spanish colonization. Having built in 1738, it is recognized as the oldest triangular bastion fort in the country. During the 19th century, the fort was attacked and overtaken by Filipino revolutionaries. However during the American colonization, the fort was turned into a barracks, and a prison during the Japanese era. Today, Fort San Pedro serves as a historical park, and houses painting, real cannanons ,a nd old photographs.
Cebu Museo Sugbo is known today as the Cebu Provincial Museum. The structure was designed by Domingo de Escondrillas in 1869 to serve as a prison for the whole Visayas region. During the American period it has served as a stable for horses, and was eventually used as a prison for the whole island of Cebu. In the Japanese era, was likewise used as a prison for the guerillas. Today the structure houses a museum featuring 4 various galleries ,
Cebu Heritage Monument features a series of sculptures made by the local artist Eduardo Castrillo. The monument is made of various materials including concrete, bronze, brass and steel and illustrates the symbolic events, places, and personalities of Cebu. The illustrated scenes include the conversion of Rajah Humabon’s to Christianity, a procession of Santo Niño, a Roman Catholic mass to the historic battle between the native chieftain Lapu-Lapu and Ferdinand Magellan in April 21, 1521. In terms of places, the monument shows the Basilica del Santo Niño, the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, the Saint John the Baptist Church, the Magellan’s Cross, and a Spanish Galleon. Lastly, images of notable personalities include President Sergio Osmena Sr. and Cebuano martyr St. Pedro Calungsod.
More so, visitors can feel the friendliness, and the strength in character of Cebuanos through its festive events and culinary offerings. The Sinulog-Santo Niño Festival is an annual cultural and religious festival commemorated on the third Sunday of January in Cebu City. Aside from religious rites and procession, Sinulog is famous for its grand street parade, often times followed by street parties and concerts. In recent years, Sinulog Festival is even concluded with a a pyro-musical show complemented with a magnificent display of fireworks at night. In terms of food offerings, Cebu is most famous for its Cebu Lechon, a roasted suckling pig, and was dubbed by the late culinary expert Anthony Bourdain as the best pork ever. Cebu is also known for its fresh mangoes and are exported globally as dried mangoes. Other specialties of Cebu includes danggit, lechon manok, and extensive offering fresh seafoods.
Truly, Cebu showcases the balance between the captivating natural sites across the whole of Cebu and the vibrant urban areas of Metropolitan Cebu, providing a conducive environment for everyone to thrive and achieve work-life balance.
Moving forward, private stakeholders (business chambers, hoteliers, tour operators, transport operators, and ancillary service providers) and the local, provincial, regional and national government are all united and committed in making Cebu the leading tourism hub in the southern part of the Philippines.
All in all, private stakeholders, together with the public sector, are pursuing programs and projects geared toward making Cebu as a top destination for a safe, comfortable, and memorable travel.
Cebu lies at the heart of the Philippine archipelago. It is also the beating heart of the Philippines’ creative industries Through ingenuity, craftsmanship, and hard work, the industries span from the legacy businesses of furniture, fashion, art & crafts to the emerging industries of multimedia art and IT.
Long designated a design capital, Cebu became more internationally recognized when it received several distinctions, such as:
One of the main pillars of Cebu’s creative industries is the Furniture Design & Manufacturing Industry, an industry which is proudly showcased and celebrated around the world. Their creations are constantly featured in various international design and art shows and exhibits, as well as storming the pages of design and architectural books and international magazines. They are known to be flexible, agile, and in creating customer-specific lifestyle furniture and furnishing items. Most of the design and furniture houses export to major markets such as the United States, Europe, United Kingdom and expanding to China, Singapore, and the Middle East, gracing various places including lifestyle stores, luxury homes, hotels, resort and spas, and institutional spaces.
The resiliency and strength of the furniture industry are testaments of the generational skills and craftsmanship of the Cebuanos. Inspiration is strongly drawn from its rich history and diverse cultural exchanges. The main materials utilized are wood, rattan, and plastic weaving. These are often enhanced with various indigenous materials like coconut, bamboo, buri, piña fiber, fossil stone, abaca, weavings (raffia, saguran, seagrass) , and shells (capiz, mother of pearl, pen shell, kabebe). Cebuano craftsmen are also knowledgeable and capable of various techniques and processes, such as veneer marquetry and wood inlays, fabric, leather and parchment wrapped furniture, cast stone and fiber, synthetic fiber weaving, lamination of different indigenous materials, upholstery and cushions, different finishing techniques such as stained, glazed or polished with distressing, crackle, ceruse and gilding applications, metal furniture components such as brass and stainless steel. With such, Cebuano creatives take pride on their legacy and their mastery of techniques and knowledge passed from generations, intertwined from a century of shared experiences and cultural exchange among the network of design houses and craftsmen.
In leveraging strategic location, Cebu remains to be a center of collaboration among furniture makers, not only for exchange of ideas but also for sourcing sustainable indigenous materials. This is facilitated by Cebu’s extensive network of local and international seaports and airport. This offers endless opportunities for the entire creative design industry to transport their products domestically as well as export their products globally. In fact, some of the home accessories manufacturers export their products to big American chains including Walmart and Target, and high end furniture retailers such as Restoration Hardware, Williams-Sonoma, and Crate and Barrel, to name a few. More importantly, this also provides a conducive environment for foreign-owned furniture companies to build factories in Cebu where they can leverage on the talent, capability and mastery of the Cebuanos in creative design. To date, successful locators include Vasacraft, Swiss Sense, Dedon, and SAWO, among others.
To ensure that the industry can leverage existing and emerging opportunities, the Cebu Furniture Industries Foundation (CFIF) serves as the primary business support organization for furniture makers across the Visayan region. The foundation serves as the collective voice of industry players as it facilitates forum and other avenues to discuss and resolve industry related issues. The foundation also actively engages its members to various design expo and trade shows to promote the industry. Aside from assisting in the development and promotion of the industry, CFIF also provides capacity building activities to strengthen and sustain skills and craftsmanship. To date, CFIF is currently in touch with TESDA to develop curriculums designed to respond to existing needs of the industry to foster and harness more creative talent in the future. Lastly, to forge stronger business acumen and relations, CFIF will soon launch its marketing program catering to both producers and suppliers.
Today, Cebu’s creative design industry thrives in collaboration and celebrates the convergence of mixed media and creative outlets. This will create and promote the industry through a holistic approach of combining allied creative industries jointly delivering world-class products across the globe, and sustaining the global footprint of Cebu’s creative design industry.
The Manufacturing industry in Cebu serves as one of the frontrunners of economic strength. The industry is composed of various sectors including semiconductors, apparel and clothing, food processing, industrial equipment, power and industrial cables, electronic products, packaging products and solutions, along with other products.
Leveraging on the strategic location of Cebu, most manufacturing entities are export oriented. Aside from being in the center of the Philippines, the ecosystem of support infrastructure in Cebu has facilitated export-oriented entities to thrive and to efficiently conduct business domestically and globally.
Moreover, local and foreign locators in Cebu have acknowledged the presence and vital role of collaboration between local government and local business organizations in providing networking opportunities and favorable policies for conducting ease of doing business. Likewise, Cebu and its nearby regions offer a pool of capable workforce needed to accelerate and transform to continually grow the manufacturing industry. This is made possible through constant collaboration among industry leaders and learning institutions offering programs designed to produce future-oriented workforce as well as to upskill and reskill existing workforce.
The updated 2021 Philippine Development Plan has expressed the intentions of the Philippine manufacturing sector to focus on the production of merchandise goods that will favor necessities such as food, beverages, medicine, pharmaceutical and other chemical products, and other essential and complementary goods. As of September 2022, the Value of Production Index (VaPI) continued to report a two-digit year-on year increment of 10 percent.
For monthly updates on the country’s overall manufacturing sector, please visit the Monthly Integrated Survey of Selected Industries (Insert link: https://psa.gov.ph/manufacturing/missi-table)