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Developers expand industrial space in Central Luzon amid improving infrastructure

Colliers International Philippines believes that industrial parks in the central Luzon have tremendous potential to become key hubs for manufacturing activities. The industrial spaces of Ayala Land and Filinvest, for instance, are located within their respective estates that are strategically located near infrastructure projects lined up by the government.

Colliers believes that the following infrastructure projects should have a positive impact on industrial activities in Northern and Central Luzon: 
• Clark Airport Expansion. The project aims to raise Clark Airport’s capacity from 4 million to 12 million passengers per year by 2020.
• Subic-Clark Cargo Railway which connects Subic Port and Clark International Airport. It seeks to maximize the currently underutilized Subic Port and decongest the overstretched Manila Port. We see the project boosting Central Luzon’s feasibility as an industrial hub and stature as a key alternative to Southern Luzon. The government aims to complete the railway by 2022.
• NLEX-SLEX Connector Road.  It aims to cut travel time between two major industrial hubs, Clark in Pampanga and Calamba in Laguna, from three hours to one hour and 40 minutes. This should benefit manufacturers with industrial facilities in both Central and Southern Luzon. The construction of the connector road should start before the end of 2018 and is scheduled to be completed in 2021.

Colliers believes that much of the new industrial supply in the near to medium term will probably be developed in Northern and Central Luzon. The bulk of the space is planned to cater to light to medium industries such as consumer goods and packaging materials. Among the national developers that are positioned to capture the thriving industrial opportunities in Pampanga and Tarlac are Ayala Land, Filinvest, and Double Dragon which will likely deliver a combined 165 hectares (17.7 million sq ft) of new industrial space from 2019 to 2021.

As a result, Central Luzon is attracting light manufacturing firms, including food and beverage (F&B) companies. Universal Robina Corp., one of the Philippines’ largest manufacturers of consumer goods, is investing PHP1 billion for a new manufacturing plant in Pampanga that is targeted to open in 2019. The facility will be used to manufacture soy beverages. Meanwhile, Gardenia Bakeries is building a PHP2 billion bread plant in Mabalacat, Pampanga. Once completed, the facility would be the company’s second largest in the country, after their facility in Laguna. 

Colliers encourages developers that maintain industrial space within their township projects in Pampanga and Tarlac to speed up the completion of necessary public works such as roads to capture the interest of manufacturers that are scouting for space outside the Cavite-Laguna-Batangas region. With more property developers heading North and Central Luzon, Colliers believes that firms with significant public infrastructure completed will likely have the first-mover advantage over other companies. 

Given the continuously increasing demand and lack of new industrial space, we encourage developers to explore partnering with local governments for the acquisition and eventual development of industrial space subject to the local governments’ land use plans and ordinances.


Philippine Daily Inquirer

The Philippine Star