Corporate Roundup

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    Wawa consortium signs MOA with IPs 

    Bulk water supply project developer Wawa JV Co. has signed a memorandum of agreement with the Dumagat/Remontado indigenous peoples (IPs) of Antipolo as a prelude to  a Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC).

    The consortium said the agreement was negotiated and signed last July 28 and 29 at Kaysakat National High School and signifies the support and approval of IP communities that will host the Wawa bulk water supply project–Tayabasan multi-basin system.

    This negotiation is the first FPIC process to resume in the country. It was discontinued during the implementation of the nationwide enhanced community quarantine to control the spread of the virus.

    “WawaJVCo ensured that possible exposure of our IP brothers and sisters to COVID-19 is zero. Their health and safety are of utmost importance. We would also like to thank the NCIP (National Commission on Indigenous Peoples) for their support and guidance on how we can comply the health and safety protocols implemented by the government. We are looking forward to replicate this with the continuation of the FPIC process in the Montalban ancestral domain,” Melvin John Tan, the consortium’s authorized representative, said in a statement.

    Wawa JV Co. is the joint venture between Enrique Razon’s Prime Infra and businessman Oscar Violago’s San Lorenzo Ruiz Builders Group.

    The project aims to supply 80 million liters per day (MLD) of water in 2021 and over 500 MLD by 2025.

    Last year, the JV signed an offtake agreement  Manila Water after a series of technical workshops and review by the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System and the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel.

    Alliance Global diversifies revenue mix

    Alliance Global Group Inc. (AGI) said it remains committed to diversifying its revenue mix to ensure the continued growth of the company.

    “Armed with strategies, our group is ready to face the future with optimism and confidence, as we hurdle the current challenges and strengthen our leadership position in this new reality. Today, businesses should pave the way in co-existing with the virus in order to survive,” said Kevin Andrew Tan, AGI chief executive officer.

    Tan  said unit Megaworld Corp. will continue to build “a significant recurring income stream from its office and mall rental businesses to counter the cyclicality of its residential developments.”

    “The company has also been growing the contribution of its projects in key provincial cities throughout the country to minimize its concentration of revenues in Metro Manila,” he said.

    The alcoholic beverage business under Emperador Inc. will continue its overseas expansion as its whisky business continues to gain momentum in key international markets.

    Tan said with the new coronavirus pandemic, AGI is pooling its cash for future needs, cutting its 2020 capital expenditure (capex) to P42 billion from the previous plan of P79 billion.

    “About P36 billion of the capex will be for Megaworld office and mall projects that are already committed for completion this year. Another P4 billion will be allocated for Travellers International Hotels Group Inc., and the balance of P2 billion spread out between Emperador and Golden Arches Development Corp.,” said Tan.

    “Each of our subsidiaries have always funded their capex normally using internally generated cash with some borrowings with no need for capital infusion from the parent,” he added.

    Kingson Sian, Travellers International president, said the tourism arm of AGI has been working with the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. for the reopening of its casino, and is currently in the process of some test runs “to make sure that we are in compliance with safety, health and physical distancing protocols that will work out with the regulator.”

    “At this point we are quite confident that when we open fully that our guest and employees will be safe in a clean environment. However, at this point we are waiting for official directives,” Sian said.

    “We remain optimistic about the long term potential of the country’s tourism industry and at the same time of the hotel industry… However, because of the new realities and the changes in the behavior and demand, we need to reassess our current offerings as well and also the timetable of our hotel projects,” he added.

    AGI said profit in the first quarter of the year declined 39 percent to P4 billion, from P6.5 billion last year, due to the impact of the Taal Volcano eruption in January and the lockdown in March following the coronavirus pandemic.

    Revenues dropped 7 percent to P38 billion, from last year’s P41 billion.

    MORE Power urges customers to legalize power connection

    Iloilo City’s power distribution utility More Electric and Power Corp. (MORE Power) has appealed to residents with illegal power connections to legalize their power lines following the easing of requirements.

    Roel Castro, MORE Power president, said residents with illegal connection may be arrested and will be fined  P120,000.

    MORE Power rolled out  the I-Connect project in cooperation with the local government units and barangays to fasttrack their application.

    It said apart from additional charges to customers with legitimate connections, illegal power lines have been causing fire incidents in the city.

    Ariel Castañeda, MORE Power’s apprehension team chief, said with the door-to-door crackdown in the past two weeks, some 3,000 residences were found to have illegal connection.

    About 1,000  have converted to load applications.

    PHINMA Education enters Laguna market

    PHINMA Education Holdings Inc. (PEHI), the education services subsidiary of PHINMA Corp., said it acquired controlling shares of stock of Rizal College of Laguna, Inc. for P449 million.

    With this acquisition, its eighth in the Philippines, PEHI has officially entered the Laguna market.

    PEHI serves 74,000 students in the Philippines alone.

    PEHI added PHINMA Republican College in Quezon City in December 2019 to its Metro Manila network, which also includes PHINMA Saint Jude College.

    Rizal College of Laguna currently offers Junior and Senior High School and undergraduate courses in Education, Business Administration, Office Administration, and Industrial Technology.

    PHINMA Education has an 80 percent average first-time passing rate for licensure exams with some 81 percent of students getting hired a year after graduation. It has had 94 board exam top notchers since its inception in 2004.