Biz Buzz: Behind-the-scenes telco dramaBy the staff
Philippine Daily Inquirer
This ranking telco official, likely under pressure to prove his mettle after recently joining one of the two major telcos, recently blew his top in a manner that some of his peers say will make (ultimate telco boss) Manuel V. Pangilinan’s heated exchange with Gina Lopez appear like a kindergarten spat.
In the course of editing a new video ad campaign not too long ago, Telco Newbie lost his cool, shouting obscenities and belittling the work of the director and the creative team. Everyone tried to reason out with him but as things got uglier, the director decided to walk out, telling Mr. Newbie he shouldn’t treat anyone as if they were his minions (or something to that effect).
Despite this behind-the-scene drama, the project was still pursued as if nothing happened. Everyone eventually went back to work and the ad hit the airwaves. Mr. Telco Newbie, to his credit, apologized to the director after the project was completed but, by then, the buzz about his temper had gone viral (even sans a video recording). The new ad campaign, in fairness, turned out fine.
As the viral “Anna Banana” campaign recently hit a million hits on YouTube, it raised the bar for social networking explosion and multi-media convergence, so much so that the telco industry is now under a lot of pressure to extract more creative juices from its people (and hopefully, not foul moods).—Doris C. Dumlao
Corporate auditor to poll auditor
Former Social Security System chief Corazon dela Paz-Bernardo may have disappeared from the headlines in recent years, but that doesn’t mean the auditing industry giant is lying idle in her retirement years.
Biz Buzz learned Tuesday that the feisty official was recently chosen to head the National Movement for Free Elections, or Namfrel, taking over from Jose Cuisia, who is now the country’s ambassador to Washington, DC.
That means, of course, she’ll be very busy next year during the 2013 mid-term national and local elections. According to her, however, it’s already getting busy as the group gears up to play its usual role during the polls.
But wait … Didn’t Namfrel fail to get accredited by the Commission on Elections during the last elections (as a result of some internal squabbles, we’re told)?
“That’s our first priority—getting re-accredited,” said Dela Paz-Bernardo in her usual gung-ho style.
She said Namfrel carries with it “unparalleled” experience in poll watching and everything election-related, given its historic role in ensuring clean elections since the 1980s. “We’ve even sent poll watchers abroad to observe elections in hotspots,” she added.
But is the Comelec receptive to the idea of a revitalized role for Namfrel?
“We’ve written them already about this. Now it’s time to follow it up,” she said. Read between the lines.—Daxim L. Lucas
LMG, Chemphil chief’s rejoinder
In response to Diversified Securities’ counter-allegation of stock manipulation, fraud and misrepresentation against his “minions,” LMG Chemicals Corp. and Chemical Industries of the Philippines (CIP) chair Antonio Garcia wrote to say that “in the interest of peace and professionalism,” he did not want to further comment or dignify any of the issues raised by his brother estranged Ramon (owner of Diversified).
“I reiterate once again that his allegations and claims have absolutely no basis,” Garcia said. “The shareholders have filed a formal complaint with the Philippines Stock Exchange. We are waiting for the PSE to resolve these issues based on facts and make the decision according to what it believes is fair and just.”
Garcia said it’s unfortunate that these issues have prevailed over “an otherwise simple business transaction.” “It is my utmost desire that these issues are settled so that we can proceed with more productive endeavors,” he said.—Doris C. Dumlao
‘Alternative’ block vs. mining?
While mining industry stakeholders are bracing for an executive order that could change the way they share net revenue with government, another piece of legislation is quietly being drawn. This may be a game-changing set of guidelines on how permission is obtained from indigenous peoples, or IPs, for mining activities.
A draft of the yet-unsigned guidelines, “The Revised Guidelines on the Exercise of Free and Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) and Related Processes,” is currently circulating.
Some stakeholders said new processes prescribed in it seemed complex and “unworkable.” It could allow “centralized” decision-making by the NCIP chair, and could make it very difficult for projects to get approved in a timely fashion.
There is concern this may become a mechanism to block mining “by other means,” if not through existing laws.
Sources also alleged these new guidelines were drafted with the assistance of non-government organizations, but “without any input” from mining stakeholders, which would have to go through the process.
All the excitement over legislation has got stakeholders wishing for definitive rules and an end to the “wait-and-see” mode on minerals development while metal prices are up. Gold may be hovering above $1,500 an ounce now, but it did hit $2,000 once upon a time.—Riza Olchondra
Windfall from delinquency
The Securities and Exchange Commission earned a cool P200 million last year from fines and penalties slapped on delinquent corporations, adding to around P1.4 billion collected by the corporate watchdog from usual transactions like business and securities registration. In all, this boosted the SEC’s total income last year to a record P1.89 billion compared to P1.31 billion the year before.
Common violations were deficiencies in financial statements and hiring of auditors not accredited with the SEC. Meanwhile, there are about 750,000 corporations registered in the Philippines, only half of which are active.
SEC chair Teresita Herbosa, of course, would rather have less collections than more delinquent corporations under her watch. “We don’t take pride in just collecting fines and penalties because that’s the least of our concerns. If you collect a lot of fines and penalties that only means you’re not doing your job,” she said.—Doris C. Dumlao
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Tags: Advertising , Antonio Garcia , Chemical Industries of the Philippines (CIP) , Corazon dela Paz-Bernardo , LMG Chemicals Corp. , Mining and quarrying , Namfrel , People , Securities and Exchange Commission , telco