Toward New Towns in the Philippines

  • Romeo Ocampo


Growing interest in new towns has not been matched by local research on planning and development. We have therefore conducted surveys and case studies focused on selected large community projects in Metro Manila.

From the information that we have gathered so far, it would appear that many local governments in Metro Manila are not well prepared to plan for or regulate urban growth, including residential projects within their jurisdictions.

For their own part, a few of the private firms engaged in real estate development seem capable of designing and constructing projects that meet at least some of the major features of new towns such as large individual size. However, whether separated or jointly supported by private and government agencies, large projects are not necessarily free of serious handicaps, such as having to assemble sufficiently large sites.

Aside from inhibiting good planning and development practices, such handicaps tend to increase costs and prices in residential projects. Private projects thus tend to cater to people who can afford such prices, while "cheap" government-subsidized projects are addressed to poorer people.

The deeper ramifications and wider implications of these tentative impressions will be probed further in the final stages and year of this investigation.