IT-BPM industry to drive office demand in 2022

Iris Gonzales - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — IT-Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) companies and industry stakeholders echoed the call of the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) to lift the ban on new economic zone development in Metro Manila.

The moratorium on new ecozones in the capital was mandated by Administrative Order No. 18 issued in June 2019 to accelerate rural development by pushing BPOs to set up offices in PEZA-accredited buildings in the countryside.

Sources said the resumption of PEZA accreditation in Metro Manila would help revive the BPO sector.

“If Metro Manila’s economy is at the optimum level, only then can the countryside economy grow faster, too,” said an industry source.

PEZA-accredited buildings in Metro Manila are currently at full capacity and some of the newer buildings have no PEZA accreditation, sources said.

Leechiu Property Consultants (LPC) said despite challenges posed by COVID-19, the Philippine office demand would continue to grow, driven by IT-Business Process Management (IT-BPM) firms.

Live requirements are likely to be concluded within the first half of the year totalling 224,000 square meters.

“Omicron has affected only office expansion timelines, but not the business confidence of IT-BPMs and other firms in the country,” said Mikko Barranda, LPC director for commercial leasing.

With the easing of quarantine restrictions and more mobility, Barranda expects these transactions to speed up now that key decision makers based outside the Philippines can travel more freely in the country.

LPC said the Philippines remains a highly attractive destination for firms in the West.

While businesses still face pandemic risks such as surges from new COVID variants, they seem to have learned to live with COVID and now have contingency plans to ensure uninterrupted operations.

LPC continues to receive inquiries from firms in the West, many of them captives from industries ranging from healthcare to technology to financial services and directly doing business in the country for the first time, officials said.

Many companies also prefer to locate to provincial hubs such as Bohol and Dumaguete. In the residential sector, LPC director for Research and Consultancy Roy Golez allayed fears of an oversupply.


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