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Business

Work-from-home policy to spur demand for office space in provinces

Catherine Talavera - The Philippine Star
Work-from-home policy to spur demand for office space in provinces
“With BPO (business process outsourcing) firms now allowed to implement 100 percent work-from-home setup without any adverse impact on their tax incentives, many registered business enterprises (RBEs) are now seen to expand their office footprint outside Metro Manila and fasttrack the setup of their operations in the provinces, long been seen as an untapped resource for BPO players talent wise,” said Tricia Pacete, Colliers Philippines market analyst for office services-landlord.
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MANILA, Philippines — The government’s move to allow 100 percent work-from-home (WFH) arrangement for information technology- business process management (IT-BPM) firms is seen to spur demand for office space in the provincial areas as they target attracting more talents, according to Colliers Philippines.

“With BPO (business process outsourcing) firms now allowed to implement 100 percent work-from-home setup without any adverse impact on their tax incentives, many registered business enterprises (RBEs) are now seen to expand their office footprint outside Metro Manila and fasttrack the setup of their operations in the provinces, long been seen as an untapped resource for BPO players talent wise,” said Tricia Pacete, Colliers Philippines market analyst for office services-landlord.

In September, the Fiscal Incentives Review Board (FIRB) issued Resolution 026- 22 that allows RBEs under the IT-BPO sector to adopt up to 100 percent WFH arrangement by transferring their registration to the Board of Investments (BOI) from the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA).

“This development has encouraged many BPOs to expand their office footprint outside Metro Manila, and fast track the setup of operations in the provinces, long been seen as an untapped resource for BPO players talent wise. Now with the mandate to implement WFH setups, BPOs are chasing after talents who prefer to settle back in their hometowns,” Pacete said.

In its third quarter Philippine property market briefing, Colliers said there has been a significant increase in provincial office transactions quarter-on-quarter totaling to 145,000 square meters (sqm) in the nine months of the year, more than 56 percent of which were for BPO firms.

Colliers data showed that Cebu remains the top provincial destination favored by BPOs, recording around 34,000 sqm of office transactions, followed by Davao (21,000 sqm), and Pampanga (9,000 sqm). When asked of their motivation for choosing provincial locations, most of these BPO companies cited expansions and/or relocations.

“The strategy of BPO companies is definitely changing. With BPO employees choosing WFH setup and choosing to stay in their provinces, companies are now seeking to take advantage of this scenario and are diversifying their work sites and opening offices in different locations outside Metro Manila,” Pacete said.

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