Biz Buzz: No post-fiasco firings at PLDT | Inquirer Business

Biz Buzz: No post-fiasco firings at PLDT

/ 04:37 AM July 25, 2014

Having a bad week? Just think about the public relations team of Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. after the “Last HOME Stand” charity event on Tuesday, when a series of activities between Gilas Pilipinas and a collection of NBA Stars was cancelled, angering fans who shelled out between P750 and P23,300 per ticket.

This was apparently caused by a last-minute objection by the NBA and an apparent misunderstanding by the organizer earlier on.


But all was not lost and, following the crisis public relations guidebook (the correct one), PLDT—led by chair Manuel V. Pangilinan—managed to partly salvage the situation by offering a swift explanation and an even swifter offer to refund tickets.

Guests at a Rotary Club in swanky Manila Polo Club, where Pangilinan was a guest speaker on Thursday, lauded the businessman’s handling of the aftermath.


Pangilinan also said nobody from his group was likely to be fired given the crucial support the Philippine team needs in next month’s Fiba World Cup in Spain.

It was nevertheless a painful ordeal for the businessman, he said, even though he quipped about gaining some practice after an earlier gaffe involving a speech with plagiarized passages in 2010.

This time, Pangilinan had to deal with the sometimes harsh social media crowd, who felt PLDT should actually mean “Puro Lay-Up Drills at Training” and “Practice Lang Daw Talaga.”

“But our maxim in crisis PR is to say the truth. No need to explain,” Pangilinan said.

Some of the Rotarians liked this so much that they went further by saying Pangilinan should seriously consider running for public office—a topic of intense speculation.

While the businessman was set to meet with Vice President Jejomar Binay later that day, don’t hold your breath. It was just to give a briefing on the power situation, Pangilinan said.–Miguel R. Camus

NBA steps into the fray


To the National Basketball Association, basketball-crazy Philippines on the other side of the world is an important market—in fact the biggest in Asia next to China, and also considered the most passionate.

Thus, when news reached the NBA’s headquarters that there were top NBA players scheduled to have exhibition games in the Philippines as part of PLDT Home’s Last Home Stand events, the NBA, which is in its off-season, went into a tizzy since the events were not sanctioned.

Given this knowledge, the NBA players led by Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard of the San Antonio Spurs, who were in the country to help raise funds for continuing rehabilitation work in areas hit by Super Typhoon Yolanda last year, felt they had no choice but to hold off on any actual game.

That they did not actually play and just had “drills” with the Gilas Pilipinas team to the dismay of the paying crowd at Smart Araneta Coliseum left sponsoring group Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. besieged by angry fans.

PLDT, led by chair and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan, is now refunding the tickets after canceling the second night’s charity show and other side events.

The anger of the fans did not escape the attention of the NBA. Its statement issued Wednesday went all the way to New York and had the imprimatur of no less than NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.

Perhaps next time, promoters like East-West Private Llc. will know better than to skirt the rules of the NBA.–Tina Arceo-Dumlao



Of taxes and charities

The feisty Bureau of Internal Revenue chief Kim Henares made some people squirm Thursday at the CSR (corporate social responsibility) Expo 2014 organized by the League of Corporate Foundations when she made a dig at corporations that may be active in charities but supposedly are not good providers to its own employees.

Taking up the cudgels for the labor sector, Henares stressed that “charity begins at home,” and went on to lament how some corporations kept on donating big-time to disaster relief and rehabilitation efforts but could not even grant the raise in pay sought by minimum wage employees.

“If you look at it, donations to calamities are being done not because of charity anyway but to deduct them from their income tax,” Henares said in a session on governance, drawing applause from the crowd.

The BIR chief said she could not fathom why some corporations were eager to give out donations or scholarships to strangers.

“I’m not saying you should not do that. I’m just saying if you’re really sincere and if the objective is really to help, first help the people right in front of you,” she said.

Furthermore, Henares lamented how some corporations would donate expired goods or things that were not of any use to the targeted beneficiaries.

The BIR chief, of course, did not name names, leaving it to the audience to ponder on their own who these supposed hypocrites were.–Doris C. Dumlao

Ethics test

As part of reforms toward good governance—particularly addressing a government agency historically considered to be one of the most corrupt among local institutions—Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares said last Sunday that the Bureau of Internal Revenue subjected 8,000 of its staff to an “ethics personality” test.

Since 2005, the BIR has made it a requirement for any prospective new employee to pass two sets of exams—a competency exam and an integrity exam, Henares said.

“Many people pass the competency exam, but a lot of people flunk the integrity exam,” she said.

The ethics personality exam is a new set of exams rolled out to existing staff.

“It would be interesting to find out what the results of that exam will be,” Henares said.–Doris C. Dumlao

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TAGS: aborted game, Basketball, BIR, ethics test, Kim Henares, Last Home Stand, Manuel V. Pangilinan, NBA, public relations, Sports, taxes
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