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Limited supply of office spaces for BPO firms

MANILA, Philippines — The amount of viable office space for business process outsourcing (BPO) companies in Metro Manila is becoming limited due to the slowdown in the approval of Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) licenses.

In a media briefing Wednesday, Santos Knight Frank executive director for Occupier Services and Commercial Agency Francis Bautista said BPO companies would still take the lead in driving demand for office spaces in Metro Manila.

“But (there was) a little slowdown earlier this year, particularly because all the requirements are there (for BPO companies),” Bautista said referring to the requirement of BPO companies for PEZA-accredited office space.

“All of these BPO companies need space because they are growing, It’s just that the amount of viable space they can go into is limited because there was a slowdown in the release of PEZA certificates for the upcoming developments,” Bautista said.

PEZA director general Charito Plaza earlier said  the delays in  the proclamation of new economic zones have resulted in applications piling up at the Office of the President.

She said out of 46 proposed economic zones pending presidential proclamation then, six were from the time of former president Benigno Aquino III and the rest during the current administration.

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Out of 58 economic zones pending presidential proclamation, only six have been released as of Oct. 10. These include one horizontal economic zone in Negros and five buildings that will house IT-business process management firms.

Bautista said the delay in the issuance of  PEZA permits have also prevented property firms from developing more office spaces.

Frank expects over 3.7 million square meters of new office space in Metro Manila to come online in the next five years.

It also sees PEZA approvals picking up following a more positive outlook in the IT industry in the coming years.

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