IT-BPO’s shift to 100% on-site operations seen to boost economyMar 17, 2022
The Fiscal Incentives Review Board (FIRB) recently announced that they expect the IT-BPM sector to fully-transition to on-site office operations after March 31, 2022 in line with its Resolution 19-21. This move is expected to boost the real estate leasing industry, particularly the Office segment, as BPOs rebuild their on-site footprint. Filinvest REIT Corporation (FILRT), whose portfolio has one of the largest percentages of BPO tenants among Philippine REITs at 90.8%, is positioned to benefit significantly from this transition.
FIRB’s announcement came as majority of the country was placed under a more relaxed Alert Level 1 with new COVID cases hitting below a thousand starting March. FILRT’s President and CEO Maricel Brion Lirio lauded FIRB, citing that the return to on-site office operations is testament to the national government’s commitment to rebuild the economy.
“FIRB’s resolution, in tandem with the country’s relentless push for vaccination, is critical to the IT-BPM sector’s continued recovery. Bringing operations back to highly equipped sustainable workspaces will not only increase productivity and provide stable connectivity but will also assist workers to deal with WFH social challenges. We expect that this shift will boost our economy with a push towards job creation, consumer spending, and business growth,” said Brion-Lirio.
The Php 26.7-billion IT-BPM industry has been resilient throughout the pandemic, posting growth of 1.8% in 2020, and created a ripple effect to FILRT. Following FILRT’s successful IPO in August last year, it has since declared three quarterly dividends of P0.112 per share each, equivalent to an annualized dividend yield of 6.4%. FILRT also joined the widely followed MSCI Philippines Small Cap Index in November.
“We also attribute FILRT’s success to our portfolio of Grade A-rated buildings, stable occupancy rates, a line-up of blue chip global BPO tenants that includes the likes of giants Majorel and SLK Global, as well as the sustainability features of our developments. All these position us for steady growth. We believe that leveraging this synergy allows us to create value for all our tenants, stock investors, and other stakeholders,” added Brion-Lirio.
Filinvest REIT Corp. (FILRT) is a real estate investment trust company sponsored by Filinvest Land, one of the country’s largest real estate developers. FILRT is a listed company on the Philippine Stock Exchange and is a pioneering sustainability-themed REIT. FILRT's portfolio consists of 17 rated Grade A office buildings: 16 located in Northgate Cyberzone, a Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) registered IT Park in Filinvest City, Alabang, and one in Filinvest Cyberzone Cebu in Lahug, Cebu City. FILRT boasts of a tenancy largely composed of global BPO tenants across its over 300,000 square meters of prime leasable spaces. FILRT is part of the MSCI Philippines Small Cap Index and was recognized as a Circle of Excellence awardee for Sustainability Company of the Year by the Asia CEO Awards.