Official: There is no lack of office space in Cebu

By: Administrator  |   12/17/2008 9:09:59 PM

There is no lack of commercial office space in Cebu today.

Joel Mari Yu, Cebu Investment Promotions Center (CIPC) managing director, gave this statement yesterday after being informed that IBM aborted plans to expand in Cebu City due to lack of adequate office space.

Yu cited the soon-to-be-finished new IT buildings in Asiatown and IT Park in Lahug as proof that office spaces are indeed available.

Yu was referring to buildings constructed across Pag-ibig Fund Tower at the Cebu Business Park and the one near the entrance of the Asiatown and I.T. Park along Salinas Drive.

"But if what you mean is instant office space, that's not possible right away," Yu said.

Yu said it would take about eight months to a year to construct a building so it's not possible to have instant office spaces.

Yu was reacting to the comment of Charis Fiel Divinagracia, IBM Philippines Inc. territory business manager for south Philippines, about IBM aborting expansion plans in Cebu City late last year and early this year due to a lack of office space.

In an interview last week, Divinagracia said IBM would have operated a call center in Cebu City in the last quarter of 2006 and again in the first quarter of 2007.

The IBM call center was set up in Manila instead.

"The problem with call centers is that they want an office space right away and you know that is not possible. It takes eight months to one year to construct a building at the average," Yu said.

Aside from the new IT buildings, Yu said that there were other groups who notified the CIPC of plans to construct similar buildings for additional office spaces.

Two groups of the Gaitanis; brothers Ely and Oscar Chua, owners of Simon Enterprises; and businessman Danny Go of Ricer Mills, are among them.

Aside from the lack of office space, Divinagracia of IBM commented on the expensive rental rate of office spaces in Cebu City.

She said the rates were now comparable to Metro Manila levels.

Yu said Cebu's office space rents out for an average rate of only P500 per square meter a month, which is still low compared to Metro Manila rates of P750 per square meter a month.


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