A first look at the Philippines’ eco-friendly ‘tourism city’

Reading Time: 4 minutes
Butch
Butch Dioso Arradaza, CEO of ADS Group

Named after the US’s first president by a group of English teachers in the early 1900s, the municipality of New Washington, on the island of Aklan, in the Philippines hosts a 4,400-hectare cove that has become the center of a bold aspiration to develop an eco-friendly “tourism city.” Butch Dioso Arradaza, CEO of ADS Group, the developer of the New Washington Yacht Club, told Inside Investor about the vision behind this inaugural development, as well as the venture capital, licenses and incentives the project has already secured.

Q: Where is ADS Group’s New Washington Yacht Club and what inspired you to design what could be the Philippines’ first fully integrated yacht club resort?

A: The property for the New Washington Yacht Club is located about seven kilometers south of Kalibo International Airport on the island of Aklan, just 90 minutes south of Boracay Island. New Washington is located on a mangrove-filled cove that spans 4,400 hectares.  I first began thinking of this vision in the 1980s when I was in the US navy. Having later lived in Orange County, California, I was then inspired by Laguna Niguel, as well as Kapalua Bay Resort, Maui, Hawaii — an affluent master planned communities – among other locations in the US, to create the New Washington Yacht Club.

Q: What will Phase 1 of the development of the New Washington Yacht Club look like?

A: In Phase 1 of development, we have conceptualised the deployment of a fast-craft ferry, which we will coordinate through a binding agreement with Zest Air and AirAsia Philippines to ferry travelers from the Kalibo International Airport through New Washington, then to Boracay. This will give the public a first glimpse of our property. We have conducted feasibility studies on the fast-craft ferry to determine the time and speed required, which we plan to steer along through scenic rivers in the first stretch at about 20 knots before entering out into the channel with an average cruising speed of 35 to 40 knots. The New Washington Yacht Club will be a fully integrated tourism city, conceptualised by myself, with the input and design work of world-renowned architect Felino Palafox Jr., the creator of our master plan. During Phase 1 of construction, we will build a medical triage, a gas station, a modern five-story mall, hotels, a shooting range and more. We also plan to implement biomass energy facilities, clean sewage system, and desalination plants to avoid the problems being experienced in other tourism destinations in the region and in the country as a whole.

Q: Who is your venture capitalist and when will the ground breaking for this project be?

A: Statecraft Asia Ventures Inc., with the initiative of its President and CEO, Rico Gonzalez,  has entered as our venture capitalist, a company that is now headed by the former chairman of the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company, the largest company in the country by market capitalisation. The construction start date is soon. We are waiting for Palafox to put the finishing touches on the master plan.

Washington Yacht club1Q: How far along are you with obtaining licenses and has ADS been approved for any incentives?

A: We have secured 440 hectares of land in New Washington and other pertinent licenses and requirements are also lined up. The Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) has provisions for between six- to 12-year tax holiday upon receipt of official documentations and procedures. Usually TIEZA extends tax holidays for six years to those who qualify, but we met additional requirements for the full term of 12 years.

Q: What is your largest concern during Phase 1 of development?

A: Security comes first. We are planning to conduct multiple security check systems for this project and will have deputised security guards as soon as possible to protect the land and our people. We also aim to provide proper employment and compensation to our constituents to better their living conditions.

Q: According to Secretary of Tourism Ramon Jimenez, the tourism sector will employ nearly one in five by 2016. How do you assess your competitors as the tourism industry rises in the Philippines?

A: Most of the big players in the local arena of development and infrastructure saw the New Washington Yacht Club concept and derided me as a dreamer. In the first year of this project, I spent about $120,000 just to travel and to see what my competitors were doing. I tell potential investors that they should look at us because we are the most buyable project. ADS Group is looking to do the right thing and our goal is to make a big bang by employing people from around the island and ensuring they are contented. I am originally from Aklan and want to give back to the community. Additionally, I want the New Washington Yacht Club to have an international flavour, employing five to 10 per cent of the workforce from abroad.

Q: How is ADS Group advertising this project?

A: Our website is the only medium we have so far. My vice president and I, together with the ADS Group COO, CIT and CFO, built the website ourselves and we are not on social media yet either. Our Co-Chairman of the Board, Mr. Antonio Tan Jr, has done worldwide presentations.

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Reading Time: 4 minutes

Butch Dioso Arradaza, CEO of ADS Group

Named after the US’s first president by a group of English teachers in the early 1900s, the municipality of New Washington, on the island of Aklan, in the Philippines hosts a 4,400-hectare cove that has become the center of a bold aspiration to develop an eco-friendly “tourism city.” Butch Dioso Arradaza, CEO of ADS Group, the developer of the New Washington Yacht Club, told Inside Investor about the vision behind this inaugural development, as well as the venture capital, licenses and incentives the project has already secured.

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Butch
Butch Dioso Arradaza, CEO of ADS Group

Named after the US’s first president by a group of English teachers in the early 1900s, the municipality of New Washington, on the island of Aklan, in the Philippines hosts a 4,400-hectare cove that has become the center of a bold aspiration to develop an eco-friendly “tourism city.” Butch Dioso Arradaza, CEO of ADS Group, the developer of the New Washington Yacht Club, told Inside Investor about the vision behind this inaugural development, as well as the venture capital, licenses and incentives the project has already secured.

Q: Where is ADS Group’s New Washington Yacht Club and what inspired you to design what could be the Philippines’ first fully integrated yacht club resort?

A: The property for the New Washington Yacht Club is located about seven kilometers south of Kalibo International Airport on the island of Aklan, just 90 minutes south of Boracay Island. New Washington is located on a mangrove-filled cove that spans 4,400 hectares.  I first began thinking of this vision in the 1980s when I was in the US navy. Having later lived in Orange County, California, I was then inspired by Laguna Niguel, as well as Kapalua Bay Resort, Maui, Hawaii — an affluent master planned communities – among other locations in the US, to create the New Washington Yacht Club.

Q: What will Phase 1 of the development of the New Washington Yacht Club look like?

A: In Phase 1 of development, we have conceptualised the deployment of a fast-craft ferry, which we will coordinate through a binding agreement with Zest Air and AirAsia Philippines to ferry travelers from the Kalibo International Airport through New Washington, then to Boracay. This will give the public a first glimpse of our property. We have conducted feasibility studies on the fast-craft ferry to determine the time and speed required, which we plan to steer along through scenic rivers in the first stretch at about 20 knots before entering out into the channel with an average cruising speed of 35 to 40 knots. The New Washington Yacht Club will be a fully integrated tourism city, conceptualised by myself, with the input and design work of world-renowned architect Felino Palafox Jr., the creator of our master plan. During Phase 1 of construction, we will build a medical triage, a gas station, a modern five-story mall, hotels, a shooting range and more. We also plan to implement biomass energy facilities, clean sewage system, and desalination plants to avoid the problems being experienced in other tourism destinations in the region and in the country as a whole.

Q: Who is your venture capitalist and when will the ground breaking for this project be?

A: Statecraft Asia Ventures Inc., with the initiative of its President and CEO, Rico Gonzalez,  has entered as our venture capitalist, a company that is now headed by the former chairman of the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company, the largest company in the country by market capitalisation. The construction start date is soon. We are waiting for Palafox to put the finishing touches on the master plan.

Washington Yacht club1Q: How far along are you with obtaining licenses and has ADS been approved for any incentives?

A: We have secured 440 hectares of land in New Washington and other pertinent licenses and requirements are also lined up. The Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) has provisions for between six- to 12-year tax holiday upon receipt of official documentations and procedures. Usually TIEZA extends tax holidays for six years to those who qualify, but we met additional requirements for the full term of 12 years.

Q: What is your largest concern during Phase 1 of development?

A: Security comes first. We are planning to conduct multiple security check systems for this project and will have deputised security guards as soon as possible to protect the land and our people. We also aim to provide proper employment and compensation to our constituents to better their living conditions.

Q: According to Secretary of Tourism Ramon Jimenez, the tourism sector will employ nearly one in five by 2016. How do you assess your competitors as the tourism industry rises in the Philippines?

A: Most of the big players in the local arena of development and infrastructure saw the New Washington Yacht Club concept and derided me as a dreamer. In the first year of this project, I spent about $120,000 just to travel and to see what my competitors were doing. I tell potential investors that they should look at us because we are the most buyable project. ADS Group is looking to do the right thing and our goal is to make a big bang by employing people from around the island and ensuring they are contented. I am originally from Aklan and want to give back to the community. Additionally, I want the New Washington Yacht Club to have an international flavour, employing five to 10 per cent of the workforce from abroad.

Q: How is ADS Group advertising this project?

A: Our website is the only medium we have so far. My vice president and I, together with the ADS Group COO, CIT and CFO, built the website ourselves and we are not on social media yet either. Our Co-Chairman of the Board, Mr. Antonio Tan Jr, has done worldwide presentations.

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