Lipa is one among the three cities in the province of Batangas, Philippines (the others being Batangas City and the City of Tanauan). It is situated 78 kilometers south of Manila. According to the latest census, it has a population of 260,558 inhabitants in 41,962 households.
Lipa City is bounded by the town of Santo Tomas in the northeast, San Pablo City of Laguna and San Antonio of Quezon in the east, the municipalities of Padre Garcia and Rosario in the southeast, the municipalities of Ibaan and San Jose in the southwest, the municipaltities of Cuenca and Mataasnskahoy and Taal Lake in the west and the municipalities of Balete and Malvar in the northwest.
The city’s location, in a valley between Mount Malarayat and Mount Makulot, makes it a low risk area. These two mountains serve as a wind breaker in times of typhoon. Mount Makulot at the western portion also served as shield of the city in times of eruption of Taal Volcano.
The Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (STAR) and South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) provide convenient access to Batangas City and Metro Manila.
DEVELOPMENTAL ROLE IN THE PROVINCE / REGION
As one of the three cities of the province, the city serves as an Institutional Center. It is home to the provincial offices of the Department of Labor and Employment, Department of Trade and Industry, and Department of Agrarian Reform, and regional offices of the Land Transportation Office and National Statistics Office. Government research centers are also located in the city such as the Southern Tagalog Integrated Agricultural Research Center (DA-STIARC), Regional Hemorrhagic Septicemia Vaccine Reconstruction Laboratory, International Training Center on Pig Husbandry and the Regional Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory.
The city also functions as an educational center where seven (7) colleges provide quality tertiary education. These include De La Salle Lipa, Batangas State University, Lipa City Colleges, STI College, AMA Computer College, the Kolehiyo ng Lungsod ng Lipa and the Philippine State College of Aeronautics. Its pre-elementary, elementary and secondary schools cater not only Lipeño children but also those from nearby cities and municipalities. Two international schools for elementary students namely, Stony Hurst International School and Mckinley Hill International School and Leadership Academy for Children, Lipa Inc., are also located in the city.
The presence of specialist medical facilities allows the city to take on the role of a medical center. It is the site of five (5) tertiary hospitals namely Mary Mediatrix Medical Center, Lipa Medix Medical Center, N. L. Villa Memorial Medical Center, Metro Lipa Medical Center and San Antonio Medical Center of Lipa Inc. and two government hospitals, the Lipa District Hospital and Fernando Air Base Hospital. Diagnostic laboratories and out-patient medical clinics abound in the city. Health and wellness places that are internationally known make the city a popular destination for tourists.
History would tell of the city’s economic role as a commercial center not only in the province. Way back in the 1800s, the city supplied majority of the world demand for coffee and made the city rich. This earned the city the title “Villa” given by the Queen Regent of Spain. Today, though the city no longer smells of the aroma of “Barako” coffee, it remains to carry the title that placed it on the world map. Lipeños today have engaged in retail trade and service oriented businesses which continue to dominate the city’s economy. The city’s agricultural products such as poultry, meat and dairy, are supplied to neighboring towns and provinces. Three malls which include SM City Lipa, Robinsons Place Lipa and Fiesta World Mall provide vigor to the economic activities in the city aside from the public market. Famous food chains line the city proper as well as in the expansion area of the urban core.
The city has attracted 61 domestic and foreign bank offices which makes it a suitable financial hub not only of the province.
It also serves as a religious center. Dubbed as the Little Rome of the Philippines, the city is frequently visited for its churches, convents and retreat facilities. It is the seat of the Archdiocese and the site of the two popular apparitions, the shower of rose petals in 1948 and the “Lady” atop the coconut tree in 1993.
Lipa City is an investment center. It provides sites for light industries through the LIMA Industrial Estate. A flourishing industry, BPOs (Business Process Outsourcing), has also budded in the city for the past five (5) years. Two big call center companies, Teletech and ACS (Advanced Contract Solutions, Inc.) have established sites in the city which currently employ more than 1,700 employees.
Many people find Lipa City as an ideal site for vacation spots and resorts because of its proximity to major highways, international airports and sea ports, and world class golfing, shopping and dining. Water and power resources are more than adequate to meet the demands of industries.
The city is strategically located in a low risk area in a valley between Mt. Malarayat and Mt. Makulot thus making it less prone to typhoons. Its mild climate and clean and green environment offers a conducive place to invest, live, work and raise a family.
The city’s most important resource, its people is its pride. It has a pool of skilled and trainable manpower. In 2000, the city’s literacy rates were posted at 98.46 (simple) and 87.41 (functional) which surpassed both the provincial and national averages.
POTENTIAL INVESTMENT AREAS
The city has been identified as one of the ten cyber growth corridors of the Philippines or the Next Wave Cities for IT and business process outsourcing. Lipa was ranked 10th among the cities in 2009 and 6th in 2010 because it is one of the cities that obtained the highest scores for availability of graduates and workers, infrastructure, business environment and cost.
The tourism industry while not a very vibrant sector continues to thrive in the city. Potential is seen in the development of family-oriented tourism and eco-tourism.
The city’s leading sub sectors: agriculture, agro-industrial and service sectors are seen to set the city into global competitiveness given the most conducive business climate and opportunities. The city’s years of experience in these fields have allowed a number of people to grow in skill and expertise.