Ortigas Center CBD towers competing for BPO locators
Manila Bulletin | November 1, 2014

With Manila now ranked as the second most important BPO destination in the world, established business districts like Ortigas Centeral Business District (CBD) are once again rallying to attract call center locators and similar office tenants.

Consultancy Tholons recently published a ranking of the top BPO global destinations which named Manila second to Bangalore, India. Manila displaced Mumbai which is now in third place.

Sheila Lobien, head of project leasing and director of global real estate services firm JLL Philippines, relates that in 2014 alone, seven office towers offering a gross leasable area of 150,200 sqm. became available in Ortigas Center after a brief hiatus. Reflecting strong demand for space, already 70% or 105,500 sqm. of the new supply have been pre-committed.

Lobien explains that the new generation of BPO-ready office towers in Ortigas Center, such as the 26-story Robinsons Cyberscape Alpha, are highly efficient. A typical floor plate in the tower on Sapphire and Garnet Roads is 2,033 sqm. which is preferred by locators seeking to maximize space. The building has also been equipped with a Variable Refrigerant Flow air-conditioning system with individual temperature setting control, as well as 100 percent backup tower for round-the-clock operations required by the BPO industry.

Now ready for occupancy, Robinsons Cyberscape Alpha and most of the newer buildings in Ortigas Center continue to be attractive to BPO locators because of their proximity to the labor pools of Quezon City and other densely populated areas in Northern and Eastern Metro Manila. She says: “In the stiff competition for labor among expanding BPOs, established business districts like Ortigas Center continue to have an edge. This CBD has an excellent selection of malls, 24/7 restaurants and other after-work options attractive to industry workers. It is also accessible through many modes of transport, whether Ortigas Avenue, Shaw Boulevard or EDSA.”

Lobien observes that buildings like Cybergate Alpha, which combine locational advantage with architectural efficiency, are considered superior real estate solutions in this fast-expanding industry that has been growing by an average of 20 percent annually.

Also important to BPOs is the fact that average asking rents in the Ortigas Center are pegged at P625/sqm. per month, which remains lower than Makati CBD and Bonifacio Global City, where asking fees range from P850 to P1,200/sqm per month.

Industry studies show that new office supply of BPO-ready buildings in Ortigas Center in 2015 will be available only in the first and last quarters of the year and the first quarter of 2016. As far as Ortigas Center is concerned, she notes, it is likely to be a lessors’ market in the next few years.


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