MANILA – The Ortigas central business district continues to be an attractive destination for business process outsourcing (BPO) companies because of its accessibility and proximity to huge labor pools, according to Sheila Lobien, head of project leasing and director of global real estate services firm JLL Philippines.
Lobien said Ortigas Center’s edge also comes from the commercial establishments surrounding the business district.
“In the stiff competition for labor among expanding BPOs, established business districts like Ortigas Center continue to have an edge. This CBD has an excellent selection of malls, 24/7 restaurants and other after-work options attractive to industry workers. It is also accessible through many modes of transport, whether Ortigas Avenue, Shaw Boulevard or EDSA,” she said.
There are a number of new BPO-ready office towers in Ortigas, including the 26-storey Robinsons Cyberscape Alpha.
Lobien said these new buildings are highly efficient and are attractive to locators because of its modern design and facilities.
The Cyberscape Alpha, for example, has a typical floor plate of 2,033 square meters, which is preferred by locators seeking to maximize space.
The building is also equipped with a Variable Refrigerant Flow air-conditioning system with individual temperature setting control, as well as 100 percent backup tower for round-the-clock operations required by the BPO industry.
Lobien said that office towers like Cybergate Alpha are considered superior real estate solutions in the fast-expanding BPO industry that has been growing by an average of 20 percent annually.
She said seven office towers offering a gross leasable area of 150,200 sqm became available in Ortigas Center in 2014. Already 70 percent or 105,500 sq. of the new supply have been pre-committed, said Lobien.
Setting up shop in Ortigas Center is also less expensive with average asking rents of P625/sqm per month, compared to asking fees in the Makati CBD and Bonifacio Global City, which range from P850 to P1,200/sqm per month.
According to industry studies, new office supply of BPO-ready buildings in Ortigas Center in 2015 will be available only in the first and last quarters of the year and the first quarter of 2016.
Lobien noted that Ortigas Center is likely to be a lessors’ market in the next few years.
In the 2014 recent ranking of top BPO global destinations published by Consultancy Tholons, Manila is ranked the second most important BPO destination in the world next to Bangalore, India.