Lifting of ban on new NCR ecozones expected to benefit IT-BPM industry

Lifting of ban on new NCR ecozones expected to benefit IT-BPM industry

THE lifting of the moratorium on developing new economic zones and information technology (IT) parks in Metro Manila will benefit the IT and business process management (IT-BPM) industry, property consultancy Colliers said.

In a statement, Colliers said Metro Manila remains the preferred “starting point” for investors setting up shop in the country given its infrastructure, large talent pool, vibrant business centers, and ease of doing business.

“This is also evident in the office real estate market given the current Metro Manila to countryside office demand split of 80:20,” it said.

On Nov. 24, President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. signed Administrative Order (AO) No. 11, which amended AO No. 18 (2019). The earlier AO had imposed a freeze on the processing of ecozone applications in Metro Manila.

“Colliers believes that the IT-BPM sector will greatly benefit from this amendment as this will allow Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA)-registered entities or even prospective locators considering PEZA to move forward with their projects and consider more locations within Metro Manila,” the firm said.

“Allowing more accredited IT parks in (the region) also provides an opportunity for local government units outside the major business districts to host new IT-BPM locators that will help facilitate job generation,” it added.

Under AO No. 11, applicants granted pre-qualification clearances from PEZA before the moratorium’s effectivity will be allowed to resubmit their applications.

According to Colliers, the available PEZA-accredited office stock in Metro Manila is currently at 1.5 million square meters, or 57% of the 2.6 million square meters of total available space in the region as of September.

“With the recent amendment to AO 18, enterprises registered with an investment promotion agency will have more options to explore for their future real estate plans — may it be a new setup, expansion, or relocation,” Colliers said. — Justine Irish D. Tabile