Quezon City is the former capital (1948–1976) and the most populous city in the Philippines. The city was named after Manuel L. Quezon, the former president of the Commonwealth of the Philippines who founded the city and developed it to replace Manila as the country’s capital. Having been the former capital, many government offices are located in the city, including the Batasang Pambansa Complex, the seat of the House of Representatives. The main campuses of two noteworthy universities, the Ateneo de Manila University and the country’s National University—the University of the Philippines Diliman—are located in the city.
Quezon City is the largest city of Metropolitan Manila, which is an urban agglomeration of 16 cities and 1 one municipality. This region is the political, economic, social, cultural, and educational center of the Philippines. As proclaimed by Presidential Decree No. 940, Metro Manila as a whole is the Philippines’ seat of government.
Of the Metro Manila local governments, Quezon City has the biggest population, constituting 24% of the regional population. With a population of nearly three million, Quezon City is one of the largest sources of manpower in the Philippines, with its employable human resource assets of 1.672 million. More than 20,000 college graduates contribute to its productive pool every year. Its big consumer market is dominated by the youth, with more than 40% of the population younger than 20 years.
The literacy rate of the general population is higher than the national average at 98.32%. The city has a large English-speaking population, with English the language of instruction in almost all subjects in school and in business.
Quezon City is gaining its place in the global arena. The websites of the United Nations and the World Bank have highlighted the city’s success. The World Bank cited the city’s transformation “from a debt-ridden, disintegrating urban center, into one of the richest and cleanest in the Philippines.” The Asian Development Bank believes that other Philippine cities can take a cue from Quezon City’s achievements.
In a wide range of fora organized by various international institutions and associations, including UN Habitat, ICLEI organization of sustainable cities, C40 and the World Urban Forum, Quezon City has been chosen to share its experiences and success stories with other cities of the world.
In 2008, Singapore Metropolitan Government recognized Quezon City’s best practices in responding to the environment challenges of urban development at the Inaugural East Asia Summit on Liveable Cities and the Forum on Clean Water. The city has also participated actively in Eco2 seminars in Singapore, Washington, Geneva, and at the Climate Summit for the Financing of Sustainable Infrastructure for C40 cities in Basel, Switzerland and in Sao Paulo, Brazil. It is at the forefront of global city-based initiatives on urbanization and coping with the challenge of climate change. Mayor Herbert Bautista aswas a panelist and resource person at the Zero Waste Summit in Tokyo, Japan in February 2011, at the Berlin, Germany Expert Talks on Globalization in January 2011, and at the 2nd World Congress on Cities and Adaptation to Climate Change and 2011 Forum on Resilient Cities organized by the ICLEI global association of sustainable cities last June 2011 in Bonn, Germany.
The city’s competitiveness is attested to by regional and local surveys. In a survey of 200 Asian cities conducted in 2007 by the AsiaBiz Strategy, an investment and trade promotion consultancy based in Singapore, as commissioned by the London Financial Times, Quezon City joined the ranks of Hong Kong, Singapore and Taipei, as one of the top 10 Asian Cities of the Future. It was ranked no. 7, and led many other cities in terms of economic potential, cost effectiveness, quality of human resources and quality of life.
In a local survey also conducted in 2007 (the last local ranking of Metro cities), Quezon City was regarded as the 2nd most competitive city in the Philippines, based on the responses of businessmen surveyed by the Asian Institute of Management, using the same methodology as the Swiss-based International Institute for Management Development which prepares the World Competitiveness Yearbook.
Quezon City is the Philippines’ largest service economy, with most of its more than 58,000 registered businesses engaged in wholesale and retail. It is a shopping haven, with more than 28 shopping complexes scattered throughout the city. The city hosts the third largest shopping center in the world, in terms of leasable space. It may be called a lifestyle city, with many of its areas aiming to create a consortium of conveniences for people living and working here. It has a number of mixed-use, 24-hour communities, with businesses, residential condominiums, restaurants and malls in integrated developments. Common features of these areas are public access to wireless fidelity fidelity wifi services, integrated commercial centers, 24-hour restaurant services, 24/7 business operations and very pedestrian-friendly environments.
Conveniently, the city is the site of the main broadcast stations of the Philippines’ biggest media conglomerates and the office site of a high concentration of event planners and production managers.
It is also attractive to information technology companies which are enthused by the wide choice of sites, the large in-residence source of manpower, the wide variety of amenities, the cost effectiveness of locations, as well as the ease of registering IT companies with the Philippine Export Zone Authority which entitles these to incentives. For these reasons, Quezon City has the second most dense concentration of IT parks and buildings in the Philippines.