Office rent, loans up as alert levels ease

Shown in file photo is Filinvest City

OFFICE space rent and approved loans have started to pick up as more establishments resume their operations amid lower alert levels in the National Capital Region (NCR) and other parts of the country this month.

Since the government started implementing Alert Level 1 this month, Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Sec. Jose “Joey” A. Concepcion disclosed discounts for office rent have gone down as demand for such facilities gradually increased.

“Discount was as high as 50 percent, now it is [down] to 25 percent. Soon there will be no more discounts,” Concepcion told BusinessMirror in a Viber message.

He noted that financial institutions are now extending loans to more micro and small entrepreneurs as business confidence rises alongside lower Covid-19 cases in the country despite the increased public mobility.

Under Alert Level 1, businesses and public utility vehicles are now allowed to operate with 100-percent operating capacity.

Concepcion stressed, though, that extending this duration of the booming business operation in the country will only be possible if infections are kept at bay throughout the year.

Low booster availment

The business leader expressed concern over the low number of Covid booster availment in the country.

Based on the report of the National Vaccination Operations Center (NVOC) last week, only 11.7 million of the 65.5 million people, who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 have availed of their booster shots.

This trend could leave the country vulnerable to a spike in Covid-19 cases by the second half of the year, when many effects of the jabs for many fully-vaccinated individuals begin to wane, according to Concepcion.

“So our citizens need to avail of their boosters because some of those [jabs] will expire by June. So that is only two and half months. And there is no clarity on whether additional doses will arrive,” Concepcion said in a television interview on Monday.

He noted that while large companies could afford to buy more booster shots for their employees, it might not be possible for micro, small and medium enterprises.

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