The crackdown on offshore gambling is not the end of the world for local landlords, according to David Leechiu, founder and president of Leechiu Property Consultants. Leechiu pointed out that landlords could survive the possible withdrawal of Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs) as local demand remains strong, with BPO firms and multinational companies expected to occupy the vacated spaces.
Leechiu said that if POGOs were to leave, the landlords would be covered for a year with the minimum 12 to 24 months advance security deposits the POGOs have paid, adding that demand from BPO firms could easily catch up during the buffer period. According to the property consulting veteran, this could be the last year that property developers would build additional office space in excess of one million square meters. He projected that new office stock would decline to 900,000 square meters in 2021 and further drop to 600,000 square meters in 2022, with BPO firms and the local market absorbing the stock.