With the theme “Cope and Rise Together as One”, CREBA commemorated its 48th anniversary last October 15 with an online event attended by some 350 members and sponsored by Boysen Paints, Asia United Bank, the PagIBIG Fund and the National Home Mortgage Finance Corporation.
Keynote speaker Frederick D. Go, president and CEO of Robinsons Land Corporation (RLC) and chair of RL Commercial REIT, Inc. (RCR), presented a promising outlook for the property industry with the continuous roll out of the COVID vaccine.
“We expect the property industry to further improve in 2022 when majority of the population would have been vaccinated and we would have achieved a certain level of herd immunity”, Go said.
“The introduction of REITs and the gradual easing of restrictions in the retail and hospitality sectors should provide strong momentum going into 2022’, Go added.
Go said that RCR’s REIT listing garnered P23.5 Billion, with only 65% of its assets listed.
In a surprising revelation, Go also said that sales wise, the year 2020 was RCL’s best year for its residential business, despite the pandemic being at its worst, and despite increases in its selling prices.
Go attributed this to a shift in buyer preference to house and lot units, likely in response to the need for social distancing.
Go, however, said that sales cancellations have increased significantly, but that his company shielded itself from the deleterious impact by intensifying sales.
Go added that RCL’s response to challenges posed by the pandemic was to demonstrate resilience through a diversified business model, product innovations for customers, capitalizing on market opportunities, and integrating sustainability in operations.
As far as tourism is concerned, Go predicted an uptick in the 4th quarter of 2022 when achieved herd immunity results in the lifting of cross-border restrictions.
Michael Angelo Lobrin, motivational speaker and TV and radio personality, also graced the affair, regaling the audience with his wit and humor, as well as imparting inspirational words of wisdom.
Founded in October 1973, CREBA traditionally celebrated its anniversary by holding its annual national convention on the same month. However, due to the pandemic restrictions still in place, the Chamber adapted by shifting to the virtual event paradigm.
The relatively large turnout can only be interpreted as a manifestation of unity, hope and resilience, with the CREBA membership appearing to be unbent or unbroken in the face of calamitous times.