ONCE they get accreditation from the Philippine Retirement Authority (PRA), Duros Land Properties Inc. said they will be the first homegrown developer to house a retirement facility in Cebu.

Duros Land Properties Inc is coordinating with PRA 7 to fasttrack the accreditation of its flagship residential project, Woodland Park Residences, in Liloan, Cebu.

DLPI president Rafaelito Barino said the company filed for the accreditation two months ago and they hope to get PRA approval before yearend.

Barino said ongoing negotiations are also being made between Japanese retirees who have expressed interest in settling here in Cebu, particularly in DLPI’s Woodland Park project.

“If they could fast track our accreditation for PRA approval, we can then cater to Japanese retirees,” Barino said. Japanese retirees are aged 55 and older.

DLPI was one of the exhibitors during the Filipino Fiesta held in Tokyo on Aug. 26. Together with them were Megaworld, Filinvest and Ayala Land.

He said the Philippines is highly considered by Japanese as a retirement location, together with Thailand and Cambodia, because of the low cost of living. However, Barino said the Philippines stands out because of its proficiency with the English language, hence encouraging Japanese to settle here.

PRA, an attached agency of the Department of Tourism, is mandated to attract foreign nationals and former Filipino citizens to invest, reside and retire in the Philippines.

Barino said those who are interested to retire in the Philippines will have to secure a retirement visa from the PRA for $20,000.

“PRA is giving $500 to the operator of the retirement facility as an incentive because each foreign retiree is required to deposit to PRA $20,000 and PRA will give us, facility operators, $500 per retirement visa that they issue,” Barino said.

Last July, the Cebu City Council approved the P32 lease rate per square meter on the lot at the South Road Properties where a P1.4 billion retirement facility will be built by I Land Way Philippines, Inc. and Primary Properties Corp., in a 1.25-hectare property.

Barino is also encouraging fellow developers to have their projects become PRA-accredited so they can also benefit from the influx of foreign retirees.

Once the deal with DLPI and Japanese retirees will become official, one tower of Woodland Park composed of 250 units is expected to be booked.

Average retirement benefit for each Japanese employee is pegged at P15 million, said Barino. If they spend the money in Japan, it will not be very cost effective since the cost of living in their country is high.

Price of condominium units in the Philippines, even if for the high-end market, are still considered cheap for Japanese, said Barino.