The province of Pampanga was destroyed by the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in 1991, even though it is not exactly located in Pampanga, its devastating effects surely reached the province. Yet more than thirty years later, the province became a thriving economy and an urbanized region of Central Luzon. Hence it became a model of a resilient economy and the reason why Pampanga is the next big thing in the country now.
Subsequent to that tragic event, the province of Pampanga became home to some 2.4 million people and has transformed itself into many things: a culinary capital, home of the famous giant lanterns, and a former military airbase turned into an economic zone.
Looking at the numbers of Pampanga
In the 2021 Rankings of Provinces, Pampanga as the next big thing landed the 7th spot with a total score of 36.93. The ranking is based on the competitiveness index of a province and the competitiveness score is the sum of scores based on the following 4 Pillars: Economic Dynamism, Government Efficiency, Infrastructure, and Resiliency. But first, let’s define what is competitiveness. Competitiveness is similar to productivity, which measures how many final outputs can be produced using a limited number of inputs. It is also based on location and how companies located there can achieve a high level of productivity (Porter, 2004). Moreover, the higher the score of a province, the more competitive it is. For the private sector or business community, this data is important to be used as a guide in deciding where to locate. Definitely one of the perks of living in Pampanga is its economic competitiveness.
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In fact, a little while back, San Fernando was named as the Most Competitive City by the National Competitiveness Council (NCC), bagging the same award for two consecutive years. Definitely, economic dynamism is one of the city’s cornerstones as they actively boost employment for their locals.
Supplementarily, the annual revenue of Pampanga for the year 2016 was only ₱2,700,334,650.72 but then it skyrocketed in 2021 with ₱6,169,782,840.05 or with a 128.482% economic growth in the last span of 5 years. Although Pampanga failed to enter the Top 10 richest provinces in the Philippines in 2020, it still for sure is within the top 20 because in 2017 the province managed to land on the 10th spot.
With a population of 2,437,709, the Kapampangans will surely make your heartbeat again and fill your tummy with their legendary cuisine. As the province is both known as the “Culinary Capital” and the “Christmas Capital of the Philippines,” this abundance of both cuisine and cultural heritage will surely be one of the factors why Pampanga is the next big thing in the country’s top tourist destinations. The province offers an ideal and desirable living not only for its residents but also to those who are aspiring to relocate therein.
Moreover, Region III is fast emerging as one of the most rapidly growing regions economically in the country. Pampanga alone leads the region as the number one employer with more than 50,000 employees as a result of P15B worth of investments given in the province for the last two years. Investments like this, provide more job opportunities for its locals.
Are you aware that the province scores the most number of SM Malls at four and there is one more that is coming? They have three Robinsons malls, a Vista Mall, Nepo Mall, and a lot of arcades all around. On top of that Pampanga now has 50 Jollibee outlets. These all will tell you the kind of market that they have there that will convince you that Pampanga is the next big thing.
Promising Future Developments Infrastructures
A development project by the government has already kicked off in 2018 that would transform 218,100 hectares all over 19 municipalities and three cities in Pampanga into the Pampanga Megalopolis Plan, or a cluster of metropolitan areas, to unlock the vast economic potential of the province. Creating the bonifacio global city of Pampanga, Pampanga Megalopolis will become a jewel in Southeast Asia as it is commonly dubbed as the gateway to Northern Philippines according to former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Beneath the Pampanga Megalopolis 2017-2040 plan approved by the local government, the Pampanga Megalopolis will spring development projects including an aerotropolis, an airport-driven project, an Megagropolis for agriculture-driven including a national seed technology park, an aquapolis for water-driven and an ecopolis, an ecology-driven project. Each project will exhibit its own strengths and provide different avenues for the business in the province to flourish as well as to attract investors in both local and foreign.
One of the major transportation projects is the construction of the Manila North Railway between Clark and Manila, which is now in full service, and the Subic Clark Tarlac expressway. This 106-kilometer project is said to significantly reduce travel time for travelers by connecting Metro Manila to Clark International Airport and New Clark City. Once built, this mega infrastructure will cover 17 stations across Tutuban in Metro Manila and Clark, Pampanga, which will definitely bring comfort and satisfaction to the lives of passengers. More on infrastructure projects, Pampanga will have integrated mass-transport systems including Bus Rapid Transit, an LRT, road widening projects with special lanes and the North Luzon Expressway.
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The Pampanga Megapolis Plan does not only pertain to transportation projects but as well as the tourism industry is being considered. It also aims to attract more tourists by developing tourist destinations, and hence providing as well more job or business opportunities to the locals. Aside from the said projects, following the government’s rapid implementation of its “Build, Build, Build” program, the province of Pampanga is expected to see more infrastructure projects in the sectors also of information technology, real estate, city civic center, Eco Park, and others are among future developments.
Now is the Time to Make your Move to Pampanga
At this stage, we all know that the Manila Metropolis has reached its peak, it’s now the perfect opportunity for you to consider transferring to this flourishing province. Just 70km off from Manila, you’re in for the next big thing of the Philippines, which is the province of Pampanga. The City of San Fernando, in Pampanga, can be traveled by land from Metro Manila in just one hour and six minutes. Further, Bria Homes in Magalang can be traveled in just 20 mins from Clark International Airport. This province is surely going to be the strongest counter-magnet of Metro Manila in a little while. The same opportunities found in Metro Manila can be also enjoyed without having to live in an exceedingly congested environment. These are just some reasons why Pampanga is the next big thing.
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It is now beyond the shadow of a doubt that Pampanga has become one of Luzon’s most sought-after residential and commercial locations because of its booming economy. This is now a great time to invest in property that you shouldn’t pass up. That’s why BRIA Homes in San Fernando city and BRIA Homes Magalang Pampanga are both strategically located close to Clark freeport zone and Subic in order to bring the BRIA residents closer to commercial establishments. For those interested in investing in Pampanga, BRIA Homes have a lot to offer for you.
Now that all things considered, keeping in mind also that Pampanga has once suffered from the wrath of an angry volcano, it still has proven itself capable of overcoming its tragic state and is now thriving. Pampanga shows so much potential not only in terms of economic development but also in tourism by becoming a new metropolis in the country. Despite the continuous flow of investors and tourists, hopefully, the region will still be able to preserve its natural resources and ecology. Pampanga is the perfect place to cater both urban and rural amenities. Let us all hope for the best of this province that it will continue to rise above the ashes and lead the way in the growth of Central Luzon.
Written by Katherine Kaye Villafuerte