Japan To Give 12 Boats to The Philippine Coast Guard

Department of Foreign Affairs said that The Philippines and Japan have agreed to further improve their joint cooperation on “shared regional strategic concerns,” including maritime security. This developed following Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario’s meetings with his Japanese counterpart Koichiro Gemba, and Deputy Prime Minister Katsura Okada during the DFA head’s official visit to Tokyo last week.

In Philippine Daily Inquirer, Del Rosario said that aside from the United States, three other countries – Japan, South Korea and Australia – were helping the Philippines establish a minimum reliable defense posture to complement its diplomatic capacity in dealing with its territorial disputes with China in the West Philippine Sea (South China). He revealed that the Tokyo government would likely provide the Philippine Coast Guard with 12 patrol boats. “They’re considering 10 40-meter boats on official development aid and two larger ones as grants,” said Del Rosario.

The foreign office said “the two ministers engaged in comprehensive discussions reviewing key aspects of relations and affirmed their respective governments’ commitments to advancing the multifaceted bilateral relations on the two countries’ shared values and long history of cooperation.”

DFA added that “Talks centered on the enhancement of political dialogue, economic cooperation, official development assistance, and business-to-business and people-to-people ties, as well as on the furtherance of bilateral cooperation on shared regional strategic concerns, including maritime safety and disaster risk reduction”. However, the foreign office did not provide details about the two officials’ dialogue on maritime security-related matters.

The head of the embassy’s chancery, Minister Shinsuke Shimizu told this paper Tokyo would continue to help the Coast Guard deal with its maritime safety and law enforcement concerns. However, Shimizu clarified “it is of different nature from establishing the minimum credible defense capabilities” of the Philippines. “Nor is it aimed at addressing a specific regional situation,” said the diplomat. He was apparently referring to the Scarborough Shoal dispute between Manila and Beijing. He noted that “since 1990, Japan has been helping the Coast Guard in its capacity-building program.”

Real estate industry rides on boom in BPO sector

Vacancy rates on the decline

from Philippine Daily Inquirer

By Abigail L. Ho

The real estate sector continues to be one of the biggest beneficiaries of the boom in the business process outsourcing sector, as vacancy rates drop and the need to construct more office, and even residential, spaces increases.

In an interview with the Inquirer, David Young, managing director of real estate services provider Colliers International in the Philippines, said the BPO sector’s aim to add another 500,000 to its employee base over the next five years translated to the need to build close to 3 million square meters of office space.

“This industry, on its own, can fill up all office space in Ortigas. Real estate developers have a lot to thank this industry for, as it has spurred not just commercial development but residential development as well. BPO employees are either getting their own or leasing condo units,” he said.

He said the surge in the number of BPO employees, many of whom had to work outside their hometowns, had given rise to the establishment of condominium buildings with studio and one-bedroom units that are well suited to these individuals.

Mall developers have also cashed in on the BPO trend, he said, by constructing buildings with more floors and leasing the top stories to BPO companies.

Developers of office spaces reaped the most benefit from the surge in BPO activities, as opportunities opened for them to move into suburban areas and the province, away from the already crowded Makati and Ortigas business districts, he said.

“Makati and Ortigas are not really suited for BPO operations. Also, the vacancy rate in Makati is down to just 4 percent and in Ortigas to only 6 percent, with no more room to grow. The movement is toward suburban areas like Eastwood and the (University of the Philippines-Ayala Land TechnoHub), as well as to the Fort (in Taguig),” he said.

Rates have also started to pick up. He related that office space in Makati would cost around P750 per square meter for prime buildings such as 6750, RCBC and Ayala Tower One. The rate is P100 per square meter cheaper in Ortigas at P650 for buildings such as Wynsum and Orient Square. In Alabang, Eastwood, and UP, lease rates range from P400 to P500 a square meter.

As vacancies go down and rates go up, Gregory Kittelson, chairman of real estate brokerage firm KMC MAG Group, advised BPO firms, particularly start-ups and small and medium operators, to try the serviced offices approach.

Managing Director and Business Consultant of KMC MAG GROUP

Chairman of KMC MAG GROUP

“Developers are building large offices to be leased to large companies, but some companies are also looking for small spaces, especially when they’re starting out,” he said in a separate interview. “There’s a massive need for serviced offices that can serve as incubation spaces for start-ups or as temporary offices for expanding small and medium BPO firms. These serviced offices can cater to operations with 5-100 seats.”

He said KMC MAG Group last year assisted more than 100 companies in setting up shop here using the serviced offices approach. Around 50-60 percent of these companies were from the BPO sector.

“There are not enough temporary office spaces now. All we have are big offices. This is an opportunity for developers as well,” he said.

KMC MAG GROUP Commercial Real Estate & Property Broker

KMC MAG GROUP Commercial Real Estate & Property Broker

KMC MAG Group is the fastest growing commercial and residential real estate brokerage company in the Philippines.  Founded and managed by two Americans and a Philippine corporate lawyer, KMC provides brokerage services for commercial office space, serviced office, seat rentals, and residential properties.

KMC also operates its own serviced offices, incubation and seat leasing facilities on Ayala Ave in Makati and Fort Bonifacio

to see the page follow this link Philippine Daily Inquirer

Arroyo visits Inquirer in media charm drive

MANILA, Philippines—President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has embarked on a tour of private media outlets—including those known to be critical of her administration—in what an aide described as an effort to be “more properly understood and appreciated” by the media.

But she has done so under her own terms—no discussion of politics.

On Tuesday, Ms Arroyo hosted dinner at the Philippine Daily Inquirer office in Makati City, the third stop in her newspaper tour.

The affair was generally cordial with Ms Arroyo talking about her fitness regimen, eating habits, and the BPO (business process outsourcing) sector, the only topic she agreed to be put on record.

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