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Is Manila Prepared for the Next Big Disaster?


n November 2018 Cushman & Wakefield Research published the Prepped Cities Index. The report ranked major cities across Asia Pacific according to their ability to withstand acute incidences such as natural disasters or cyber-attacks.

The index looks at eight factors, namely sustainability, rent volatility, obsolescence, terrorism, cyber security, governance, talent, and environmental susceptibility, to assess overall preparedness. These factors were subdivided into two major categories:

  1. Built Environment: sustainability, obsolescence and rent volatility
  2. Governance & Environment: terrorism, cyber security, governance, talent, and environmental susceptibility

The goal of the index was to educate on strengths and weaknesses at a national, city and building level. In this way investors, developers, and occupiers could make informed decisions on their Asia Pacific real estate portfolios.

By popular demand we have recently created a separate report, focused on comparing Manila pa against the 17 other cities included within the index. Overall, Manila ranked 15 out of 17 cities, outperforming only Jakarta and Mumbai.

Regardless of the ranking however, Manila performed well in some indicators. These included obsolescence, pertaining to the healthy future supply of Grade- A buildings, rent volatility and talent. However, these were offset by areas of weakness such as cyber security, terrorism, sustainability, environmental susceptibility, and governance.

In this report, we focused on the best and worst performance of Manila among factors. We noted that Manila had the most number of young and healthy supply of Grade-A buildings. In this factor, Manila ranked as the best among the 17 cities.

This performance was not replicated in the sustainability factor however, owing to low-LEED or green-certified buildings in Manila. Finally, Manila performed worst among the eight factors in the cyber security and anti-terrorism policies, as well as in governance and political stability.

Both the successes and the failures are important for stakeholders in Manila to be aware of. As an emerging market economy the Philippines has a real chance to climb the rankings in their areas of weakness, while continuing to excel in areas of strength.

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