The City of Taguig, a former fishing town, is the country’s next Big City.
It has recently been transformed into an upscale industrial, commercial, and residential center and is emerging as one of the richest local government units in the Philippines. The transition from a lowly fishing community into a model city could be attributed to the construction of the C-5 highway, the conversion of a large part of Fort Bonifacio–the Philippine Army’s headquarters–into the Bonifacio Global City that became the fastest growing commercial and financial hub of Metro Manila, and the presence of the Food Terminal, Inc., a business center that houses more than 300 companies that are engaged in different industries.
A Brief History of Taguig
The area of the present-day Taguig was a part of the pre-Spanish Kingdom of Tondo. Archeological findings showed that there were Chinese settlements in Taguig before the arrival of the Spaniards. When the Spaniards colonized the island of Luzon, Taguig was one of the early territories that were converted into Christianity.
In 1582 and 1583, Taguig was part of the encomienda of Tondo under Captain Vergara, the Alcalde Mayor. Taguig was established as a separate pueblo in 1857, part of the province of Manila.
Throughout the period of Spanish colonization, the people of Taguig had shown resistance to colonial rule. In 1587, the people of Taguig, under the leadership of Don Juan Basi attempted to overthrow the colonial rulers but failed.
When the Katipunan was formed, the people of Taguig joined the uprising. They also supported and joined the revolutionary government organized by General Emilio Aguinaldo. The Taguig revolutionaries also resisted American colonial rule by attacking and dislodging the American forces in the area but were eventually defeated.
When the Americans established their colonial rule over the Philippines, Taguig became an independent municipality by virtue of General Order No. 4, promulgated on March 4, 1900. Later, the Philippine Commission incorporated Taguig as part of the newly-created province of Rizal.
During the American period, the U.S. government acquired a 25.78 square-kilometer property from the municipality of Taguig. The military camp eventually became the headquarters of the Philippine Army and was renamed Fort Bonifacio in honor of the Father of the Philippine Revolution, Andres Bonifacio.
In 1975, Taguig was taken out of the province of Rizal and was made part of the National Capital Region. Taguig is now one of the seventeen cities and municipalities that make up Metro Manila. Taguig was converted into a city on December 8, 2004.
Bonifacio Global City/Ryomaandres
Taguig in the Twenty-first Century
The transformation of the sleepy fishing village of the old Taguig into the present-day upscale community is a showcase of efficient governance, wise utilization of resources, and creative urban planning. The following contributed greatly to Taguig’s status as a highly urbanized city:
Bonifacio Global City
The sale of a portion of Fort Bonifacio’s land area by the Base Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) resulted in the creation of an upscale and urbanized district in the city – the Bonifacio Global City.
BGC is now home to large corporations, both Filipino and multi-national, such as Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, Accenture, Deutsche Bank, Del Monte Philippines, Philippine National Oil Company, Lamborghini, Jaguar, Hyundai, BMW-Mini Cooper, SGS Global Trade, and JP Morgan Chase.
Residential condominiums now make up the skyline of Bonifacio Global City. The district is now home to upscale residences such as Serendra, Essensa, One McKinley Place, The Luxe Residences, Regent Parkway, and Pacific Plaza Towers. Bonifacio’s High Street is home to trendy clubs, bars, restaurants, and retail outlets which are frequented by both the local and expatriate residents.
St. Luke’s Medical Center, a world-class hospital, opened at the Bonifacio Global City in 2009. It is a 600-bed hospital that boasts of the country’s top medical practitioners and state-of-the-art medical equipment.
Embassies of many countries have moved to the Bonifacio Global City. The district is still in the process of growth as more and more buildings are under construction. The district’s master plan underwent an update to allow for an efficient traffic management.
Food Terminal Incorporated
FTI is a very large industrial complex of more than 300 companies.
In 2004, the national government created portions of the FTI complex into a Special Economic Zone under the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA). Companies operating within the Special Economic Zone are provided incentives such as:
- Four to eight years of Income Tax Holiday Exemption from Corporate Income Tax.
- Special 5% Tax on Gross Income after the Income Tax Holiday.
- Tax exempt status on imported capital equipment, raw materials, supplies, and equipment spare parts.
- Thirty percent of total sales domestic sales allowance.
- Export taxes, import and fees, and wharfage dues exemption.
- Foreign investors and their immediate family members will be granted permanent residence status.
- Employment of expatriate workers.
- Other incentives that may be granted by the PEZA Board.
Many prestigious international schools established their campuses in Taguig City, such as the International School of Manila, British School of Manila, Manila Japanese School, the Chinese International School of Manila, the Korean International School Philippines, and Enderun Colleges.
In addition to international schools, Taguig City is also home to the following prestigious schools: Global City Innovative College, Everest Academy Manila, Leaders International Christian School, MGC-New Life Christian Academy, and Victory Leadership Institute.
State universities such as the Polytechnic University of the Philippines and the Technological University of the Philippines have established their campuses in the city. The Technological Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) has its home in Taguig City. TESDA is a technical-vocational institute that aims to provide skills training to the Filipino youth.
The Taguig City University opened its doors to students in November 2006, first by offering night classes at the secondary schools in the city. Its own school building is slated to be constructed in Lower Bicutan. The city also operates the Taguig Science High School and the Taguig National High School.
SM Aura is the first SM Supermall to be constructed in the City of Taguig. It is owned and operated by the country’s primary mall developer – SM Prime Holdings. It competes with its neighbor mall, Market! Market!, which is owned by the rival Ayala Malls.
In line with Taguig’s and the Bonifacio Global City’s emphasis on being environmentally-friendly, SM Aura is constructing its multi-level green roof called SkyPark. In addition to being ecologically friendly, the SkyPark will be home to restaurants and bars, botanical and sculpture gardens, the Samsung Performance Hall that can seat 1,100 guests, and the Chapel of San Pedro Calungsod.
The SM Aura Mall will house the typical mall shops and food and beverage outlets as well as a supermarket, a convention center, and movie theaters.
The Next Big City
While the City of Makati is still regarded as the richest local government unit in the country and the center of finance and commerce, the City of Taguig is catching up fast. The greatest advantage of Taguig City over Makati City is its urban planning. Taguig City, especially the upscale Bonifacio Global City district, followed a master plan that took into consideration proper zoning, effective traffic management, and ecological balance.
Taguig City is indeed the next big city in the Philippines.
Header photo: H.Abanil
Pbulished at: http://manila.coconuts.co/