Negros Oriental’s capital, Dumaguete City, has been named the best place to retire in the Philippines for 2018.
Six years after giving Makati the same honor, the Philippine Retirement Authority awarded Dumaguete the Best Retirement Area Deemed as Retiree-Friendly or RADAR, the first Visayan city to receive the honor.
According to PRA data, Dumaguete scored an average of 87.48 percent, based on criteria set by the United Nations, International Living, World Health Organization, and other international organizations.
Some of the factors for judging include cost of living, friendliness of locals, climate, healthcare, and peace and order.
Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo, who received the award, said the main factor behind the city’s attractiveness to foreign retirees is its people.
Dumaguete is known as “The City of Gentle of People.”
“Tiningnan po namin ang number of retirees na nandito and figures showed that it’s been growing up. A dominating number of our retirees from Negros Oriental are living in Dumaguete,” said PRA marketing head Mervin Magbuhat. He further noted of more than 300 retirees living in the province, 255 of them live in the city.
Magbuhat added, “We interviewed some of retirees here and they said a lot of good things about Dumaguete.”
Dumaguete is referred to as a “university city” because of the four universities and a number of other colleges located in the city. The most popular education institution in the city is Silliman University, the first Protestant university in the Philippines.
But aside from students converging to enroll for tertiary education, Dumaguete has long been attracting retirees. Forbes magazine in 2014 named the city as one of the Best Places to Retire Around the World.
Magbuhat said the RADAR award will significantly benefit Dumaguete as the Philippines is the most “Googled” country in the world when it comes to retirement, with Malaysia and Thailand coming close.
Magbuhat said Dumagueteños can expect more investors and stakeholders involved in the retirement and tourism industries to flock to the city.
An upsurge of foreign retirees is also expected in the next few years as the PRA said it will heavily promote Dumaguete as one the most recommended cities in the Philippines for retirees.
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