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The Philippines continues to attract potential investors, mostly in business process outsourcing (BPO), as inquiries about office spaces spiked despite the pandemic, according to a report by Philippine Star.
According to global workspace provider IWG, new investors are inquiring about the office space supply in the Philippines as they prepare to expand here once travel restrictions are lifted and local virus outbreaks are managed.
IWG country manager for the Philippines Lars Wittig yesterday said they are receiving roughly 1,000 inquiries every month about the availability of office spaces here.
In a news briefing, Wittig said most of the inquiries IWG receives come from BPOs, as well as Japanese multinationals. He said the Philippines may thus see its investment inflows surge as long as it sustains its profile among investors.
“Looking at those inquiries is almost like looking at a crystal ball. [We can] see what will happen in the Philippines business-wise in the next three months to three years or longer,” Wittig said.
Ricardo Lagdameo, first vice president of Damosa Land Inc. (DLI), also said BPO firms are now surveying the markets, including the Philippines, where they can expand to within the year.
However, BPO executives are held back by the quarantine restrictions applied by authorities, as they want to travel here first to survey the locations for themselves.
They are also observing how the government contains the spread of the virus within and outside Metro Manila to assess the level of stability needed in making investment decisions.
“We have been getting inquiries from BPOs, different kinds of BPOs, whether it’s a call center or healthcare services. That is one of the major predictions that was being made by all of the real estate consultancy companies, that BPOs would be looking to expand outside of Metro Manila,” Lagdameo said.
“The preparations are being done now. Once travel is a little bit looser and cases are a bit lower, then those executives who need to visit the physical space will be coming up,” he said.
Based on data from Leechiu Property Consultants, BPOs plan to acquire at least 88,000 square meters of office spaces this year.
Further, Davao, where DLI operates, maintains around 69,000 sqm of vacant office spaces that can be taken up by BPO projects anytime, according to Leechiu.