GLOBAL real estate management firm Colliers said that some recently released government data and certain initiatives are expected to fuel property demand in several sectors.

These are the House of Representatives' approval on second reading of the proposed Internet Transactions Act, The Department of Tourism (DOT) expecting foreign arrivals to reach 4.8 million in 2023, and the implementation of Fiscal Incentives Review Board Resolution 026- 22 allowing IT-BPM (information technology-business process management) registered business enterprises to adopt up to 100 percent work-from-home (WFH) arrangement under the Board of Investments.

With regards to the approval on the proposed Internet Transactions Act, Colliers believes an e-commerce bureau is likely to be created following the House of Representatives' approval on second reading of the proposed Internet Transactions Act, as the measure is a priority bill of President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. which he mentioned during his State of the Nation Address.

"According to e-Conomy, Southeast Asia noted that the Philippines registered the fastest growth in digital investments in the region with a 63 percent rise from 2021 to 2022. It added that the country's digital economy is likely to reach $20 billion in gross merchandise value by end-2022," Colliers Senior Research Manager Joey Bondoc stated.

Colliers believes that despite the revival of in-store shopping, online shopping will likely remain popular among consumers that prioritize convenience.

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Moreover, due to this trend, many businesses related to e-commerce will be constructed, fueling more related property demand such as data centers, IT-related jobs, and so much more.

"Given online shopping's popularity, safeguards should be in place to protect consumers from substandard merchandise. The bill to be enacted by both chambers of Congress should put in place a bureau that will regulate online trade and act on consumer complaints," Bondoc concluded.

Meanwhile, the DOT said it expects foreign arrivals to reach 4.8 million in 2023, after recording 2.5 million visitors as of Dec. 19, 2022. The DOT also reported tourism receipts reaching P149 billion ($2.5 billion) as of Nov. 20, 2022.

Colliers believes that the arrival of more international tourists, along with Filipinos' growing propensity to spend on leisure-related expenditures, will stoke demand for hotels across the country and help raise hotel rates and occupancies moving forward.

"Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed that the tourism sector's share to the country's economy reached 5.2 percent in 2021, from 5.1 percent in 2020," Bondoc explained.

Lastly, Colliers believes that the government's provision to allow up to 100 percent WFH arrangement for IT-BPM companies is likely to stoke office demand in key provinces.

"These companies account for 41 percent of the 1,088 IT-BPM registered business enterprises under the Philippine Economic Zone Authority," Bondoc said.