Philam Life, the country’s premier insurance provider recently held a foundation laying ceremony for the construction of close to P2-billion corporate center in the heart of the Cebu Central Business District.
In line with its ongoing business transformation campaign, Philam Life has strategies lined up to improve overall operational efficiency. As company officials have long identified Cebu as a critical hub in its expansion, the development is just one that provides better access, convenience, and quality service, and makes transactions easier, faster and more convenient for regional customers and tenants.
Aside from Metro Manila, Cebu is already considered a first-tier city and a prime destination for setting up BPOs. The new construction is positive proof of the insurance giant’s awareness of the significance and viability of Cebu, the country’s second largest economy.
More than that, it speaks volumes on Philam Life’s sound financial standing.
“This ultra-modern structure not only makes efficient use of environment-friendly design and materials but also creates more value to our customers, our agency force, and our employees here in Cebu,” said Bobby Madrid, Philam Life CEO. “With this investment, we hope to provide our customers a modern office environment conducive to efficiency and productivity and also create office spaces to help local businesses to flourish.”
Designed to be the very first Prime Building in Cebu, the architectural landmark will be a tower with an ambitious goal of achieving the highly-coveted LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold Certification. Right now, building blueprints have it pre-certified LEED Silver.
Prime buildings are the highest rating given by top real estate consultants to buildings. When construction is finished, the corporate center will be comparable to ultra-modern facilities not just locally but all metro cities in the Philippines. Developers designed the Philam Life structure to be of higher quality than many located in Makati and Bonifacio Global City in Taguig.
The LEED, on the other hand, is the pre-eminent global recognition in energy and environmental initiatives that awards best-in-class building design strategies and practices. A gold mark indicates that a structure scored highly in a certification process that rates the building’s impact on ecosystems and utility resources, smarter use of water to reduce potable water consumption, and better energy performance through innovative strategies.
On top of being environment-friendly, the new corporate center will set benchmarks in safety standards by adhering to strict earthquake and typhoon resistance building codes, designed to withstand winds of up to 250 km/h.
“Construction is now on its foundation works and we’re expected to top-off by the fourth quarter of 2015. The building should be operational by first quarter of 2016,” said Arleen Guevara, Philam Life Chief Investment Officer. “This is our first major investment in Cebu in almost 60 years after the Philam Cebu Building in 1955.”
The ground floor and mezzanine levels will be open to commercial and retail shops. Most of the building will be up for lease and the rest will be for company use. It will consist of 16 storeys, specifically designed to meet the needs of corporate and BPO tenants, plus have provisions for a roof deck garden and function space for tenants.
The foundation-laying ceremony was attended by Cebu officials led by Cebu City Administrato, Dr. Lucelle Mercado, Philam Life executive management led by Mr. Madrid, building contractors, media and other distinguished guests. It was held purposely on the week of the celebration of the Chinese New Year – the first held by Philam Life outside of Metro Manila – in recognition of traditions of the Filipino-Chinese community with the hopes that it brings prosperity and good fortune.