MREIT Inc., the real estate investment trust company of Megaworld Corp., expects most business process outsourcing companies to comply with the government’s return-to-office order soon.
MREIT president and chief executive Kevin Tan said during the annual stockholders’ meeting that while BPO firms initially experienced challenges in complying with the directive, BPO workers began gradually returning to offices after two years of work from home set-up because of the pandemic.
“The return to office happened quite quickly, and BPO tenants along with their employees had encountered challenges in complying with this requirement immediately. However, we see gradual shift back to office space work. For example in Iloilo, about 90 percent of employees are back to office work, and in some parts of NCR we do see more than 50 percent of employees are now back to work,” Tan said.
“We do anticipate that most BPOs will be able to substantially comply with the return-to-office order very soon,” he said.
The government directed BPO firms to resume working onsite if they are operating within economic zones. This is part of the government’s move to reopen the company and boost the other sectors of the economy, particularly the retail, transportation and restaurant businesses.
MREIT operates 10 office buildings mostly occupied by BPO firms and traditional offices.
Tan said despite the current market environment, MREIT office properties enjoy 96-percent occupancy rate.
He said MREIT is not interested in getting offshore gaming firms as potential tenants because it is not in line with the company’s criteria of investing in stable yielding assets.
“MREIT currently enjoys 96-percent occupy rate and we do not see the need to target other types of tenants that do not provide the same levels of stability as BPO and traditional office tenants,” he said.
Tan said the company’s room for growth remained positive as sponsor Megaworld has over 1.4 million square meters of office leasing space, of which 1.1 million sq. m were not yet infused in MREIT.
MREIT committed to acquire P20 billion worth of office space in its portfolio this year which would hike the company’s portfolio value to P78.5 billion by end-2022.
MREIT aims to have 500,000 sq. m. of leasing portfolio by 2022 and 1 million sq. m. by 2030.