OFFICE SECTOR. Photo shows the Mactan Newtown, a township development in Lapu-Lapu City and is home to office and residential buildings. Megaworld Corp., owned by tycoon Andrew Tan, on Thursday (Sept. 2, 2021) reported the “strength and resilience of the office market” as BPO companies opted to stay and held on to their spaces. (Contributed photo)

CEBU CITY – Overturning the anticipated effects of the coronavirus pandemic, Megaworld Corp. reported it has booked around 415,000 square meters of office leases since the start of the pandemic early last year.
Around 60 percent of these lease contracts booked since last year were renewals while the remaining 40 percent were new leases, mostly from the information technology (IT) and business process outsourcing (BPO) sectors.
During the first half of this year alone, new leases and renewals were booked at its Mactan Newtown township here in Cebu, Eastwood City, McKinley Hill, Uptown Bonifacio, Southwoods City in Biñan, Laguna, and Davao Park District in Davao City.
“Around 80 percent of these leases in the first half of the year were renewals. This means, BPO companies opted to stay and held on to their spaces. This also clearly indicates the strength and resilience of the office market within our pioneering townships,” Kevin Tan, chief strategy officer of Megaworld, said in a statement on Thursday.
Earlier this year, Megaworld fully leased its Southwoods Office Towers inside the 561-hectare Southwoods City after an American renewable energy company and a BPO company specializing in customer care solutions took the remaining spaces.
In Davao City, four levels of the Davao Finance Center inside the 11-hectare Davao Park District have also been leased to one of the largest BPO companies in the country during the first half of this year.
“The township model is (to) our advantage. These consistent take-ups of office spaces even in the middle of community lockdowns are not just in Metro Manila but also in key growth centers in the provinces. We are very happy and optimistic about how the office sector has so far been performing better than expected,” Tan said.
Occupancy rates of Megaworld premier offices remain at 90 percent, with some of its townships reaching 100 percent such as Iloilo Business Park. (PNA)