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Modern economic estates: A blueprint for healthier Filipino communities in the future


June 30, 2023

Aboitiz InfraCapital Lima Estate

Modern economic zones, such as the economic estates developed by Aboitiz InfraCapital, have emerged as transformative hubs that are driving economic growth and innovation in the Philippines. These dynamic master-planned communities not only contribute to the country’s development but also have the potential to serve as blueprints for healthier Filipino communities in the future. By integrating sustainable practices, promoting clean energy sources, ensuring water security, and fostering inclusivity, these economic zones can pave the way for thriving communities that prioritize the well-being of their locators and residents. Let us explore the different ways in which modern economic zones can lead the way to this goal.

People-Centric Infrastructure and Environmental Stewardship

One key aspect of creating healthier communities is the development of sustainable, people-centric infrastructure. In the Philippines, where most urban areas have historically dealt with poorly maintained infrastructure, this entails the inclusion of pedestrian and bike-friendly roads within these zones. By designing walkways and cycling paths, economic zone operators can encourage people to engage in physical activities, promoting a healthier lifestyle. The provision of safe and accessible spaces for walking and cycling not only reduces carbon emissions but also improves public health by combating sedentary lifestyles that may affect workers and residents within such estates. 

Additionally, the introduction of e-vehicles within economic zones can significantly contribute to reducing pollution. By promoting the adoption of electric vehicles, these estates can help improve air quality and mitigate the adverse effects of vehicular emissions on human health. Encouraging the use of e-vehicles by providing incentives, introducing charging infrastructure, and mainstreaming sustainable transportation options can lead to cleaner and healthier urban environments. A recent example of a successfully implemented sustainable transport project is the adoption of electric minibuses by Aboitiz InfraCapital’s LIMA Estate in Batangas.

Renewable and Sustainable Energy Sources

To further advance the cause of healthier communities, modern economic zones can embrace sustainable energy sources such as solar power technology. The Philippines, blessed with abundant sunshine almost all year round, can harness this renewable energy resource to power economic zone communities. By leveraging solar panels and other renewable energy technologies, these estates can reduce their environmental footprint and promote a transition to cleaner energy alternatives. Sustainable energy solutions not only contribute to mitigating climate change but also ensure a reliable and resilient power supply for locators and residents.

In 2018, AboitizPower and LIMA Estate teamed up to install 1.5MWP photovoltaic panels on the roofs of The Outlets at Lipa. This installation currently offsets 31,000 tons of carbon dioxide every year, which is the equivalent of planting around 1.4 million trees.

Water Treatment Facilities for Water Security


Water security is a critical aspect of designing healthier communities, particularly in a country like the Philippines, which faces challenges related to water availability and quality. Economic zones can take the lead in addressing this issue by integrating water treatment facilities and demonstrating how these amenities can help save water in places that are affected by contemporary challenges like climate change and environmental pollution. 

By relying on advanced filtration and wastewater treatment systems, these economic estates can ensure a reliable supply of clean and safe water for locators and residents alike. In the Philippines, the Lima Water Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Aboitiz InfraCapital, is leading the way by providing end-to-end water and wastewater services for multinational companies based in Lima Technology Center in Batangas. This proactive approach to water management serves as an example of how economic zone communities can design themselves for water security, reducing the risk of waterborne diseases and improving overall community well-being.

Economic Empowerment and Inclusivity

Economic empowerment and inclusivity are key elements of building healthier human communities. Modern economic zones in the Philippines play a crucial role in attracting investments, fostering entrepreneurship, and creating jobs. By promoting collaboration between businesses, educational institutions, and research institutions, these economic estates facilitate the growth of a diverse and dynamic economy. Small and medium-sized enterprises can thrive within economic zones, providing opportunities for local entrepreneurs and creating a sense of community engagement. 

Integrated Social Services and Healthcare

The integration of social services and healthcare infrastructure is paramount in creating healthier communities within economic zones. Accessible healthcare facilities, including clinics and hospitals, promote preventive care while also improving overall health outcomes. Furthermore, the inclusion of community centers, schools, and recreational facilities fosters a sense of well-being, social interaction, and lifelong learning. These facilities serve as gathering spaces where residents can engage in physical activities, access educational resources, and participate in community-building activities. 

This integrated approach is also a hallmark characteristic of Aboitiz InfraCapital estates like the aforementioned LIMA Estate and the Mactan Economic Zone 2 Estate in Cebu. Within these places, separate residential, commercial, industrial, and institutional components work in synergy to create mixed-use developments that address locators’ and residents’ social service and healthcare needs.

Collaborative Governance and Stakeholder Engagement

businessman discussion

To ensure the success of modern economic zones as blueprints for healthier communities, collaborative governance models and active stakeholder engagement are crucial as well. In the Philippines, this means involving local communities, businesses, and policymakers in the planning and decision-making processes. By actively engaging stakeholders, economic zones can address the specific needs and aspirations of the people they serve and of the communities in which they operate. Participatory governance promotes transparency, accountability, and inclusivity, enabling the development of communities that are responsive to the diverse needs of stakeholders. Through collective efforts, economic estates can be better equipped to create healthier and more livable communities.

Modern economic zones in the Philippines hold immense potential to serve as blueprints for healthier communities in the future. 

With the Philippines embracing the potential of modern economic estates, the nation can move towards creating healthier, more sustainable, and prosperous communities for Filipinos. By adopting the principles and lessons learned from these master-planned estates, the country can pave the way for a future where people’s well-being takes center stage in community development.

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