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Manila office space still strong, despite POGO concerns

Metro-Manila office space demand is expected to remain high, despite concerns against the sector, a property consultancy firm has said.

“I think the POGOs will continue to expand in the Philippines unless there’s a clear indication that they will be pulled out,” said Leechiu Property Consultants (LPC) chief executive officer David Leechiu to Philstar. 

Leechiu noted that there was no indication in President Duterte’s recent trip to Beijing that there would be an end to the POGO industry. 

 “So it looks like it will keep growing based on what we’re seeing,” he said.

There are currently 60 POGOs licensed by PAGCOR. 

Last month, the Philippine Gaming and Amusement Corp (PAGCOR) has said it will stop accepting new applications for offshore online gaming licenses after Beijing called on Manila to crack down on gambling operations targeting its citizens.

It was feared that the freeze would reduce the attractiveness of the Philippines as an investment destination for online gaming firms and will lead to an easing in property prices, analysts said.

Towards the end of August, the Philippines’ anti-money laundering body announced it is studying the possible impact on the economy should the online gambling industry shut down overnight. 

The country’s sanctioned online gambling industry, known as Philippines offshore gambling operators (POGOs) has helped to prop the local economy, pushing up property and office leasing prices. 

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