Monday, April 20, 2020

Gentrification: When Old Neighborhood is Redeveloped Into A New Neighborhood

Photo by Marfil Graganza Aquino from Pexels

With the influx of migrant workers from mainland China working with locally based Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGOs) companies located in Metro Manila and elsewhere in the major cities of the Philippines. A number of locals are being displaced and being uprooted out of their from their homes and old community where they have grown or lived over the years to accommodate new developments in place with old neighborhoods being torn down and redeveloped into new posh neighborhoods complete with business / commercial establishments and others catering only to those that can afford the luxury and lifestyle of the modern high society.

What is Gentrification?

Gentrification is a process of changing the character of a neighborhood through the influx of more affluent residents and businesses. This is a common and controversial topic nowadays with is happening around communities in Metro Manila. Politics, lack of urban planning and graft & corruption in recent times stirred problems in the NCR. In the world alone, housing rents have risen tremendously at three folds. An example of this is Amsterdam in the Netherlands and the city of London in United Kingdom with prices skyrocketing because of the tourism and international investors coming from the Far East. Local residents of London or Amsterdam are moving out of these cities and living a few kilometers away from suburban areas close to the capital or another city with lesser cost of living but accessible to their work / employment and businesses.

Principle of Change Happening Now

Neighborhood Life Cycle can happen over time, an example of this is in the City of Manila, through the leadership and management of the newly elected Mayor Francisco Domagoso (Isko Moreno) on his drive of reviving Manila which has been lagging behind in the past decade and recently experienced tremendous changes over the past decades from his previous predecessors had lots of blunders from mismanagement, corruption in rank and file of the local government employees, high criminality rate and a lot more.  

With some residential areas being built into commercial areas due to big changes like in the usage of the properties and reclassification of use by local government units through their zoning policies that can happen if the area or segment of the city / municipality is progressing. An example of this is in the University belt area particularly in University of Santo Tomas -Manila campus. The roads near the campus from Espana Boulevard and Laon-laan Street are full of residential condominiums targeting potential markets for college-bound students. With close proximity to these universities and colleges which sits perfectly on their location. They were previously old residential homes built in the 1950s and were utilized as boarding houses in past few decades to residential condominiums housing college students or former vacant lots used as parking and repair bay of provincial buses that are now developed into high-rise residential condominiums.

Where is the Property Market Going?

With the economy going upwards because of scarcity in land terms of residential development with condominium units as the option however, prices of a studio type condominiums start at P 3.0 million and up (may vary depending on location and age of the condominium building). Construction cost per square meters have risen over with standard of PhP 150,000 per square meter on a residential condominiums. 

Final Thoughts

Things are inevitable with happenings around the metropolis of removing informal settlers, people getting displaced and uprooted from their old homes who have owned and lived in an area that is very familiar to them surrounding with neighbors they have known for a very long time have moved out of the metropolis and settled in the nearby provinces close to Metro Manila. An example of this is Cavite in CALABARZON (Southern Tagalog) area has progressed and become a settlement of most Metro Manila residents who moved out of the metropolis to the nearby province has nowadays become a trend for those who cannot afford the housing in Metro Manila that led to rising cost of housing that can happen on one person's life. However, the government should give the urban poor, displaced and disenfranchised a place to have a permanent settlement with livelihood or very close to business processing zones that can provide them employment for them to have and experience a dignified life.


Residential Market Analysis and Highest and Best Use - Tosh, Dan; Miller, George
Metro Manila through the gentrification lens: Disparities in urban planning and displacement risks
Manila’s metropolitan landscape of gentrification: Global urban development, accumulation by dispossession & neoliberal warfare against informality
Reshaping Metro Manila: Gentrification, Displacement, and the Challenge Facing the Urban Capital

About the Writer

CRB Benedict Baluyut is a professional real estate broker, real estate appraiser and associate of C. F. Baluyut Realty. He is currently the Vice President for External Affairs, Real Estate Brokers Association of the Philippines, Inc. (REBAP) - Pampanga Chapter. You can get in touch with him at