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December 22, 2016 12:22 AM

THE demand for retail, office, and residential space in Bacolod City is expected to continue riding on an expanding Information Technology-Business Process Management (IT-BPM) sector, real estate consultancy firm Colliers International said in a report on Dec. 21, 2016.

"Aside from having skilled employees, Bacolod City will continue to be on the BPO (business process outsourcing) investors' radar given its adequate infrastructure and strong coordination of public and private stakeholders," the "Bacolod Research & Forecast" report for the third quarter, noted.

Colliers cited the 27 information technology centers accredited by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority, internet connectivity, stable power supply, roads improvements and the planned modernization of the Bacolod-Silay airport.

The overall office vacancy rate was at 14.7 percent in the third quarter, with the bulk of the take-up attributable to the growth of the BPO sector.

Global consultancy Tholons Inc. ranks Bacolod as the 85th most competitive BPO location in the world. It is also the 26th most competitive local government unit in the country, ahead of other developed LGUs such as Las Piñas (29th), Calamba (37th), and Lucena (41st).

At present, the city employs some 24,000 full-time employees (FTEs), up by 20 percent since 2005.

"The IT council and the Bacolod City Government envision an FTE count of 60,000 by 2022," the report read.

For retail space, Colliers said the opportunities are there for prospective investors, especially businesses that cater to the needs of BPO workers.

"Retail opportunities in the city abound, especially those that cater to BPO workers' needs such as convenience stores. The demand for food retail outlets that offer hot meals round-the-clock and a diverse set of food choices is also growing," it said.

The property consultancy also expects the BPO sector to drive an increase in demand for residential space.

"Over the near- to medium-term, Colliers sees the Bacolod City residential market being driven by the demand for worker-accommodation facilities," it said.

 

"The projected rise in the city's BPO workforce over the medium-term will further raise the demand for affordable and accessible worker-accommodation facilities," it added. (GMA News)