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Offshore Gambling Growth Helps Cebu Reach 1M Sqm of BPO Office Space

by: Sidney Liquigan

Wednesday, May 16, 2018 | Outsourcing News |

According to Colliers Philippines, the total office supply in Cebu would reach about one million square meters in 2018, as reported by SunStar Cebu.

Office leasing in Cebu is mainly driven by BPO companies, with call centers representing more than 50% of total office leases and knowledge process outsourcing (KPO) firms representing 20% in 2017.

Colliers Philippines predicts that for this year, offshore gambling will also become a main player in Cebu's office leasing activity. In 2017, offshore gambling represented 25% of total office leases. Total office transactions in 2017 were at about 107,000 square meters.

"In Manila, offshore gambling is driving the leasing activity of properties, which also have condominium components. And with the continued rise, we expect the same trend to replicate here," said Colliers Philippines Research Manager Joey Roi Bondoc.

Property developers who offer their office spaces to offshore gambling firms were advised by Bondoc to consider building condominiums to complement the offices. As the new office spaces open job opportunities, more workers may need to look for living spaces that are near the business districts.

Furthermore, if Cebu’s local government units would extend local regulations that are more beneficial for businesses like offshore gambling, Colliers Philippines could see an increased growth from the offshore gambling industry in the next two to three years.

As for KPO and business process management (BPM) firms, their annual growth in terms of office transactions is expected to be consistently at around 10% until 2020.

Colliers Philippines also sees the government's 'Build, Build, Build' and decentralization initiatives to be favorable to the office leasing growth in Cebu. The government's programs are said to encourage more offshore gambling and BPO companies, as well as other businesses, to consider the province as a viable location.

"We encourage both landlords and tenants to explore business opportunities within the Call Center City that the local government proposes to develop with the private sector; build office space that could accommodate non-outsourcing and traditional businesses that require smaller cuts; assess the needs of offshore gambling; and open more flexible workspace," Colliers Philippines stated.

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