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New Policy on Metro Manila Ecozones: Boon or Bane for the Philippine Office Property Market?

The Philippine government imposed Administrative Order (AO) No. 18 which aims to aid the development of special economic zones to generate more job opportunities in the countryside. The move resulted in mixed sentiments from the office property sector.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte imposed Administrative Order (AO) No. 18 which aims to aid the development of special economic zones to generate more job opportunities in the countryside. Aside from mobilizing different executive departments and government agencies and instrumentalities, the recent directive also places on moratorium the acceptance, processing, and evaluation of applications for Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) ecozones in Metro Manila. Meanwhile, pending applications that are already submitted to the Office of the President were provided time to address their deficiencies.

The move is considered to be consistent with one of the Duterte Administration’s 10-point socio-economic agenda, particularly the item which aims to promote rural and value chain development toward increasing agricultural and rural enterprise productivity and rural tourism.

With benefits arising from the PEZA accreditation being one of the factors that has helped in the growth of the Information Technology and Business Process Management (IT-BPM) sector, and with Metro Manila still being the most preferred location for IT-BPM firms, there are mixed sentiments towards the administrative order.

But would there really be significant impact and risks to the growth of the office property market in Metro Manila for the order to be of concern? And ultimately, would the action really boost development outside the nation’s capital?

The above is an excerpt from the paper Pushing Development Outside the Metro: AO 18 and the Future of the Metro Manila Office Property Market. To read the full white paper, download it here.

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