Freeman Cebu Business

Cebu still a major BPO expansion hub

Ehda M. Dagooc - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —  Cebu is seen to retain its stature as a major Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) expansion hub outside Metro Manila.

According to Colliers Philippines market assessment, despite other province’s active stance to attract outsourcing investments, Cebu continues to corner office space deals from major outsourcing firms beyond 2023.

As of end of first half 2023, office deals outside Metro Manila reached 90,000 sq meters (968,400 sq feet), up 10 percent from the 82,000 sq meters (882,300 sq feet) recorded a year ago.

Meanwhile, deals in Cebu reached 43,000 sq meters (462,700 sq feet), up 15 percent year-on-year (YOY) and accounting for 48 percent of total deals outside the capital region.

Other provinces and cities that cornered substantial office space deals during the period include Pampanga (24,400 sq meters), Davao (10,300 sq meters), and Cagayan de Oro with (6,800 sq meters).

According to Colliers Philippines Associate Director for Research Joey Roi Bondoc, outsourcing firms continue to dominate transactions in Cebu, covering more than half (56 percent) of the total office transactions. Among the notable deals recorded in Cebu were spaces taken up by OfficePartners360, Cebu tele-net, Dexcom, BPO Seats, and Omega Healthcare. These firms occupied spaces in Cebu Business and IT Parks  as well as in CBP Fringe.

Colliers believes that Cebu-based landlords and tenants should continue seizing opportunities given the current tenant-leaning market.

Occupiers may also consider implementing flight-to-value or incorporate flex workspace into their real estate strategies.

With the increased interest in ESG (environmental, social and governance) and DE&I, (Diversity, equity, and inclusion), landlords can work with tenants on office renovations and incorporate these elements within building amenities and common areas to help align both corporate and employee values.

“In our view, Cebu will remain on the radar of major IT-BPM firms given the availability of skilled workforce, quality but relatively cheaper cost of living, good infrastructure network, and availability of high-quality office space. The viability of flexible workspaces will likely remain given the popularity of ‘work from anywhere’ set up,” said Bondoc.

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