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Polo set to move to United Centre Sept 13

13 August 2020

By The SUN
Polo's announcement on the move to United Centre

It’s confirmed. The Philippine Overseas Labor Office is moving back to United Centre in Admiralty starting on Sept. 13.

This was announced by Polo in a Facebook post today, Aug 13, indicating it will be relocating to office no. 2 on the 29th floor of United Centre, where the Philippine Consulate occupies the entire 14th floor.

Polo’s office address indicates it will be occupying half of a floor in United Centre, with the floor area measuring about 10,000 square feet.
Consulate sources earlier said the rental will be lower than the $500,000 or so that Polo is currently paying for its offices on the 16th and 18th floor of YF Life Tower on Lockhart Road, Wanchai, which measure 12,000 square feet in total.

Polo’s current landlord has also reportedly asked for an increase in the rental under a new lease contract, and a three-month rental deposit.

Meanwhile, Consul General Raly Tejada said it appears all Polo personnel have tested free of Covid-19, following a scare caused by a liaison officer of an employment agency testing positive after transacting business on Aug 2 at the Polo offices on the 18th floor.

Polo had to close from Aug 3 until Aug 9 so its offices could be disinfected. Congen Tejada also suggested that all staff in the labour office submit themselves for testing “for good measure.”

This will not be the first time that Polo will be holding office in United Centre. Until 2005, or a few years after the government bought the unit in the Admiralty building, Polo shared office space with the Consulate.

United Centre is in a prime location, being a stones' throw away from the Central Government Offices

But in December 2005, Polo which was then under Labor Attache Manuel Roldan, asked the home office to lease a unit in nearby Admiralty Centre  so it could have its own offices.
Polo stayed in the building for only two years because the landlord reportedly jacked up the rent when the lease agreement became due for renewal.

After looking for a suitable and more affordable space in nearby buildings, then Labor Attache Jalilo dela Torre settled on YF Life (formerly Mass Mutual) Tower, despite it being several blocks away from the Consulate.

The impending move has been widely welcomed by members of the Filipino community, particularly domestic helpers who have to go to both offices when renewing or processing new employment contracts.

YF Life Tower is about 10 minutes away by foot from Admiralty, where the nearest MTR station is located, atop United Centre. Alternatively, one can take the tram and get off at the Hong Kong Police headquarters on Arsenal St., then walk north to Gloucester Road. Or, get off at next stop, and walk towards Lockhart Rd.

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