Biz buzz: Ferrari for Christmas
By the staff
Philippine Daily Inquirer
January 4, 2017 at 12:07 am

Guess what this lawmaker got for Christmas.

We thought this lawmaker was a bad boy but apparently he’s so nice that Santa gave him a yellow Ferrari over the holidays to add to his collection of supercars.

The lawmaker, one of the few Ferrari connoisseurs this part of the world, took his Ferrari F12tdf (which stands for “Tour de France”) for a spin in Manila’s streets that were traffic-free during the holidays.

Our Buzzard spotted the P25-million beast parked along with a white Ferrari owned by a contractor in Bonifacio Global City.

The F12tdf is as fast as the LaFerrari and we’re sure this lawmaker will have a hard time choosing which ‘Fezza’ to drive once his prized hybrid car arrives on Philippine shores after stashing it overseas. —GIL CABACUNGAN


BPI reshuffle

After a major revamp three years ago, Ayala-led Bank of the Philippine Islands will see a little more reshuffling in its senior management team this year to “address important business imperatives, development objectives and impending retirements,” based on an internal announcement by BPI president Cezar Consing.

The BPI boss is referring to the forthcoming retirement of executive vice president/head of retail banking group/BPI Family Bank president Natividad “Nabbie” Alejo, the highest-ranking female executive in the bank’s plantilla.

Joseph Albert “Joey” Gotuaco—currently chief finance officer (CFO) and head of strategy and development—will take over Alejo’s post as head of retail client and branch network effective April 1 this year. Before joining BPI, Gotuaco (who obtained his Economics degree from Wharton in 1986 and got his MBA from Harvard in 1994) had worked in New York, Hong Kong and Singapore. Like Consing, he previously worked for JP Morgan, among other international institutions.

Selected to become the new CFO and head of strategy and development effective April 1 is Maria Theresa “Tere” Javier. To ensure smooth transition, she has transferred from the corporate clients group to assume the interim role of deputy CFO. Her responsibilities in strategic planning include financial control, accounting, investor relations, legal and foreclosed asset recovery.

Javier—who had risen from the ranks in BPI—spent the last two years in corporate banking leading a team that provided significant financing for large deals involving top corporations, conglomerates and MNCs. She spent 19 years in BPI’s asset management and trust group (AMTG), the last five of which as head of this segment. Under her leadership, BPI became the most profitable trust institution in the industry. It was also under her leadership at AMTG that BPI acquired the investment management business of ING Philippines. —DORIS DUMLAO-ABADILLA

ERC finds an ally

It looks like Energy Regulatory Commission chair Jose Salazar has found an ally in the wake of the allegations leveled against him by a late official of the embattled agency.

The local organization representing independent power producers has thrown its weight behind ERC and Salazar, saying the power industry watchdog should “continue to focus on much-needed industry reforms.”

Philippine Independent Power Producers Association Inc. (Pippa) said it wanted Salazar—who President Duterte wanted replaced, despite having a fixed term of office—to implement the policy of so-called “mandatory contestability” by February 2017.

“Mandatory contestability is a new and exciting phase in the electric power industry,” Pippa managing director Anne Estorco Macias said. “The industry is hopeful the ERC is on top of its implementation.”

The Pippa official said the industry recognized and supported the initiatives and reforms being implemented by the current chair and commissioners to further the ERC’s institutional integrity, capabilities and efficiency.

The group issued the statement amid the current impasse at the ERC, which cloaked the industry in uncertainty since Salazar went on a month-long leave of absence starting Dec. 5 to accommodate a probe launched by the National Bureau of Investigation and the Commission on Audit over alleged irregularities claimed by the late ERC director Jose Francisco Villa Jr.

On the current investigation of the alleged anomalies, Pippa believes it will be conducted with due process and resolved expeditiously. The group is hopeful the ERC will remain the energy sector’s regulatory body, exercising its mandate under the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (Epira).

Citing the urgency to modernize and expand the country’s current infrastructure, Pippa stressed that more investments were needed in the industry now more than ever. Continuity and a certainty in policy direction are imperatives in raising such investments.

With Salazar’s month-long leave ending this week, it looks like he is slowly gaining the support of industry stakeholders. The question is: Is this enough to make President Duterte change his mind about the agency which he wants abolished? Abangan! —DAXIM L. LUCAS

Philex’ fortunes

They may be having a difficult time vis-a-vis the industry’s regulator, but the country’s largest gold and copper mining firm continues to pay its dues to the government. Or the local government, in this case.

Philex Mining Corp.—one of the oldest and largest gold and copper producers in Southeast Asia—recently paid P30 million in real property taxes to the municipality of Itogon, Benguet.

The taxes cover a five-year period for a proposed tailings pond in Barangay Ampucao of said town, according to the firm.

This is good news for the mining community of Itogon as the amount is enough for the local government to build 10 big classrooms and pay salaries of 200 public employees for about four months.

This developments came just a few weeks after Philex president and CEO Eulalio Austin Jr. was honored during the Asia-Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards—an award given in recognition of the driving force behind entrepreneurs today that allows them to take risks, face challenges and strive to stand tall as industry leaders.

With these positive developments in hand to end 2016, Philex —just like other mining firms—is hoping for better news in 2017, given the adversarial stance Environment Secretary Gina Lopez has taken against the industry. —DAXIM L. LUCAS

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