By Samuel P. Medenilla, Business Mirror, Aug 16, 2019817
FOR good or for bad, the fate of they country’s real-estate industry is now tied with the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (Pogo), which employ hundreds of thousands of foreign workers whose need for housing and work stations has caused property rates to spike.
Ateneo Center for Economic Research and Development Director Alvin Ang warned on Thursday that the country’s real-estate industry may be overly reliant on the locators and foreign workers of the Pogo for their business activities.
“If they will suddenly pull out, our real-estate sector will decline since its growth relies on them,” Ang said in a forum on Thursday.
He cited reports from Colliers International which showed the demand of Pogo firms for real estate shot up 37 percent for the first half of the year.
Meanwhile, property demand of knowledge-process outsourcing and voice-process outsourcing firms declined by 14 percent, and 9 percent, respectively. Ang said the local consumers will not be able to immediately replace foreign-dominated Pogo firms in purchasing.
“The problem is, the prices of properties are currently high so the absorptive capacity of local consumers will not be able to cope with it. It will take some time before the prices go down,” Ang said.
Former Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Cielito Habito said China may be already aware of this and may soon be able to take advantage of it.
“China came out with a statement they will crackdown on Pogos….Now some mischievous thinkers are thinking this may have some relationship with the President’s pronouncement that we are going to invoke the arbitral ruling on the territorial dispute,” Habito said.
He theorized the Chinese have been quietly assessing the situation after becoming aware “that it has been benefiting our economy, especially the real-estate sector.”