Construction of Japanese retiree-community to start first half of 2014, says PCCI’s Varela

By Kris M. Crismundo

MANILA, Dec 14 (PNA) – The construction of a Japanese retirees’ village in the country will likely take place in the first half of 2014, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) Intellectual Property and Public Relations Chairman Jesus Varela told Philippines News Agency (PNA) in an interview.

Varela, who was assigned to partner with the group of Japanese planning to set a retiree community in the Philippines, said the Japanese are still working on the details and process on setting up the Japanese retiree-community.

These include identifying the number of retirees that will come to Philippines and the process of inflow and outflow of funds.

”Now they are working on the details. The details, the inflow of money; the retirees now get so much money from Japanese government. Now they are working on details on how the fund will get straight to the developers,” he said, noting that these developers will also come from Japan.

September of this year, Number One Associates Co. Ltd President and former Chairman of the Japan-Philippine Paliamentarians’ Association Senator Hajime Ishii said that they are keen to put up retirement village in the country particularly in Tagaytay City.

Varela reported that the Japanese group who is spearheading the project has already paid for the property in Tagaytay.

”They already identified the area (and) I think nabili na. And the ones supporting is a Japanese hotel owner here, which is The Networld Hotel in Tagaytay,” he added.

He mentioned that the project is currently being put on hold by the Japanese group because of typhoon ‘Yolanda’.

”I got a call from them that they will temporarily hold the project then (they) will come back and will conclude,” said Varela. “They didn’t want to destruct (us) after we were hit by the worst typhoon.”

Moreover, aside from Tagaytay Vice President Jejomar Binay suggested to Ishii to locate the second retirement village in Makati City.

On the other hand, Varela proposed the Laguna area for the second Japanese community of retirees as the province has hot springs.

”I suggested to them to consider Laguna as these Japanese people love hot springs,” he said.

Meanwhile, when asked about the impact of a foreign retirement community in the country, Varela answered that the Japanese retiree-community will serve as a ‘model’ and will draw more foreigners to retire here and make their own community in the Philippines.

”If we are going to have (a foreign retiree) community can you just imagine the tripple effect? Marami ang gustong mag-retire dito,” said Varela.

This will also give our people the opportunity of additional jobs, local contractors will benefit here, there will be more establishments catering to the needs of these retirees,” he added. (PNA)