By Neil Jerome C. Morales (The Philippine Star) | Updated February 6, 2014 - 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines - Megaworld Corp. of property tycoon Andrew L. Tan is completing this year six new business process outsourcing (BPO) towers that will further cement its position as the biggest office developer and landlord in the country.
The property firm is adding 112,000 square meters (sqm) of office space that will allow Megaworld to cater to increasing demand from existing clients and new locators, company executives said.
“Megaworld remains committed to be the leading office space provider in the Philippines. Year after year, we are looking into aggressively expanding our office space inventory to increase our rental income,” said Jericho Go, first vice-president for business leasing and development of Megaworld.
“We expect the completion of six more office towers this year: two in Uptown Bonifacio, two in Mactan Newtown and also two in Iloilo Business Park,” he said.
The additional 112,00 sqm of space suited for information technology-BPO and corporate offices will allow Megaworld to end the year with a portfolio of 712,000 sqm of office space.
Megaworld currently has 26 corporate office towers in the country: 10 in Eastwood City in Quezon City, 14 in McKinley Hill in Taguig, one in Newport City in Pasay and one in The Mactan Newtown in Cebu.
At least 126 companies are leasing from Megaworld’s office spaces offered in various townships in Metro Manila, Cebu and Iloilo. IT-BPO companies like Accenture, HP, Wells Fargo, IBM, United Health Group, Thomson Reuters, Dell, WNS and Samsung account for around 87 percent of the total leased space.
“As we continue to build more state-of-the-art, environment-friendly office towers, we hope to help grow the country’s BPO sector by encouraging more companies to come and operate in the Philippines,” Go said, adding that the company “live-work-play-learn” township communities has earned the confidence of many locators.
Noel Mendoza, country director for application services of HP, said locators want a community atmosphere with the convenience of various offerings like events place and retail shops.
The growth in the country’s BPO sector bodes well for Megaworld and other office space providers, said Julius Guevara, associate director and head of research and consultancy practice at Colliers International Philippines.
“Vacancy rates (of BPO buildings) is three percent as of end-2013, which is unhealthy because it is not that efficient. If a locator will go to the Philippines, it will be hard-pressed to find office space,” Guevara said.
To date, the are 960,000 employees involved in the country’s BPO industry, which bring in $16 billion in annual revenues.
Go said in the past, bulk of the new office space are usually taken up by existing clients but their latest projects have been drawing the attention of new locators.
Megaworld is pursuing the construction of buildings in Metro Manila that are certified by the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). Go said this will cater to companies that look for environmentally-friendly office space.