Trends, Opportunities & Pit Falls of Philippine Real Estate in the Year of the Water Dragon

By looking at the “signs of the times”, the Chinese New Year 2012 –as predicted by Chinese Astrologers or Fung Shui Experts–  will bring the four blessings of the East:
Good Fortune, Good Acts, Balance and Long Life.

For us in the Real Estate industry, the Water Dragon will be good –specifically for “fluid” Projects -–among which are: Services, Tourism, Shipping, Sports and IT Systems.

Construction and Real Estate in general will slow down –they being primarily involved with so called “Earth Elements”.
My advice is to focus on specific areas of the Property Sector –those that are service and people oriented.
Examples are: Business Processing, Medical Tourism, Health Care, Hotels & Beach Resorts, Luxury Cruises, island “hopping” or seamless travel –the term I used and popularized with former Secretary of Tourism Gemma Cruz-Araneta.

Today, I wish to dwell on the Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO) or what the majority would associate with “Call Centers”.
BPO Centers anticipate the need to face up to new challenges prompted by the American policy discouraging “outsourcing of work and manpower” from other countries. The U.S.A.’s business outsourcing requirements are primarily obtained from Mexico, India and the Philippines.

Today, the Philippines ranks foremost amongst BPO providers.  Many American companies have been outsourcing their call center services to the Philippines and India where wages are significantly lower than in the U.S.

In our country, the monthly salary range of a call center employee is Php14,000-Php20,000 ($325-#465).

Staying afloat and buoyant with the Water Dragon requires that a Real Estate project be fluid, flexible and adaptive to new and changing situations.  Luck will be on the “liquid” side of Real Estate. It is good to watch and maintain a healthy Cash Flow.

The Danger and Treat is a pending Rent Control Law for Commercial Establishments.
The Rent Control Act of 2009 or Republic Act 9653 is a legislative act which established reforms in the regulation of rent rates for residential units.

Today, House Bill 5636 seeks to put a “cap” on increase in rental rates for commercial spaces in highly urbanized cities.  Based on statistics, there are around 780,437 business enterprises operating in the country – of which, 99.6% or 777,357 are micro, small and medium enterprises.
This pending Act if approved will mean chaos in the Real Estate Industry.
Every businessman seeks a good return on their investment.

In the light of our focus on areas of the Property Sector that are primarily service and people-oriented, let us now turn on a more productive and positive issue that will contribute to the development of the Service Industry. This is Education.

At Clark Freeport, at least Php33M worth of training scholarship vouchers will be awarded in Luzon this year to answer the need for more call center workers, notably in Metro Clark –composed of areas in Clark as well as nearby towns and cities of Pampanga and Tarlac.

Schools accredited to provide TESDA* courses in the fields of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) are encouraged to apply for membership with the MCICTC** in order to qualify for TWSP*** vouchers.

This is another effort at fostering industry-academe linkages; schools within Metro Clark and Pampanga with accredited TESDA courses in the ICT fields are encouraged to apply for membership with MCICTC in order to qualify for the TWSP vouchers…. to facilitate at least 70 percent employment of scholars.

Finally, my advice is for us to generate our good fortune and luck from the good acts that we do. This adds value and worth to “what we are” more than “what we have”.

May we all have a Blessed New Year!
The Good Luck will come with the Water Dragon –by the Good Acts that we do.


*TESDA – Technical Education and Skills Development Authority

**MCICTC –  Metro Clark Information and Communications Technology Council

*** Training for Work Scholarship Program (TWSP)

  • aims to “increase the ICT/BPO talent pool by giving deserving students opportunities for free training through TESDA accredited institutions and help enhance the overall hiring rate in the ICT industry”;
  • originated from an agreement forged among Tesda, the Business Process Association of the Philippines (BPAP) and the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP);  
  • to be implemented at the local level through the local ICT councils of various cities.
  • Metro Clark ICT Council has been designated to be the lead council for the Luzon group.
  • Courses available through TWSP include the following courses with their corresponding      scholarship values:  Contact Center Training (P5,000), Animation (P10,000),      Medical Transcription (P10,000) and Software Development (P10,000-P30,000).   
  • Initial awardees of the TWSP vouchers are Clark International College of Science of Technology, CCIS Educational Foundation, St. Nicholas College and Mabalacat College.

Reference:23-Jan,2012 email from VICTOR ASUNCION;

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