Quality labor pool helps sustain Cebu office market

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CEBU City’s quality labor force is helping the city maintain its strong office take-up despite a ranking dip in the Tholons list of leading business process outsourcing (BPO) cities worldwide, property consultancy Colliers said on Monday.

Colliers noted that investment advisory firm Tholons had this year placed Cebu 12th, down from 8th the previous year, as the city fell short on innovations.

“Cebu boasts of a highly reliable and sizeable labor pool, and this has helped keep Cebu among the top outsourcing cities despite its noted recent dip in overall ranking,” the consultancy said in a report.

Overall office take-up reached 69,000 square meters during the first half of the year, up 20 percent from the take-ups the previous year.


The BPO sector still led the take-ups as it accounted for 57 percent, followed by an emerging offshore gaming market with 37 percent and non-BPOs with 6 percent.

The overall vacancy rate stood at 10 percent as the Cebu Business Park (CBP) and IT Park sustained a tight 2 percent vacancy rate, while Mandaue, Mactan and uptown and downtown garnered a double-digit vacancy rate due to accessibility issues.

Accessibility to the outer cities will be improved by upcoming infrastructure projects, Colliers noted, and it advised that tenants “keep an eye” on those locations.

Some of the notable upcoming infrastructure projects were identified as the Cebu-Cordova Expressway Link, Cebu Bus Rapid Transit, Mactan International Airport expansion and the new Cebu International Port.

“The number of upcoming infrastructure projects will likely unlock the province’s potential,” the consultancy said.

Cebu’s primary districts currently drive the demand for office spaces given the support facilities nearby such as 24/7 transportation hubs, retail options and available quality office spaces.

Colliers projected that along with Cebu’s strong labor pool and upcoming infrastructure projects, upcoming supply of Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA)-proclaimed buildings in the business district would also fuel demand.

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