Biz Buzz: Neighborly advice | Inquirer Business

Biz Buzz: Neighborly advice

/ 12:19 AM December 07, 2015

THE GOTIANUN FAMILY-LED Filinvest group has refuted long-running rumors that it’s backing the opening of controversial new gates in Ayala Alabang Village in an eager beaver fashion to benefit the adjacent Filinvest City in terms of land value appreciation (not to mention higher foot traffic of high-spending consumers in its Festival Supermall).

The group has also denied any involvement in the current legal battle involving factions of the Ayala Alabang Village Association (AAVA) regarding the opening of additional village gates (amid allegations that it could be the hidden puppet master in the controversy).


A Filinvest insider told Biz Buzz that the request for entry to Filinvest City was not initiated by Filinvest but had come from the association, which has been pushing for the opening of the gates to address traffic congestion.

“As good neighbors, we merely review such requests to see how we can assist to benefit the total community of Alabang—both Ayala Alabang as well as Filinvest City,” the insider said. “Any congestion in their area spills over to us—this is the true motivation; and contrary to what has been implied in some write-ups, that it is to increase land values. It is not necessary for us to provide entry to Filinvest City from Ayala Alabang to increase land value. Filinvest City land values have been increasing rapidly and are now close to P200,000 per square meter with or without that access because of the developments that Filinvest has put in place. In fact, it is the land prices of Ayala Alabang that went up significantly after Filinvest put up the Filinvest Interchange and the Commerce Avenue and Skyway connection,” the Filinvest insider said.


Festival Supermall is currently undergoing major expansion to accommodate a higher volume of shoppers and to cement its position as the biggest mall in the South. It will house four major retailers by 2016, including Landmark’s flagship department store in Southern Metro Manila in addition to the existing Robinsons, Shopwise, Save More and S&R.

The insider noted that Filinvest had initiated major infrastructure developments, including the Filinvest Interchange, as well as the expanded 10-lane Alabang-Zapote Road. An underpass along Alabang-Zapote Road was done to accommodate neighboring communities and to minimize delays at intersections. Filinvest also worked with the local government to expand the bridge leading to the Ayala side of Alabang-Zapote Road.

“All these were done not only to benefit our property but our neighboring communities as well,” the insider stressed.

On the Ayala Alabang row (subdivision developer Ayala Land Inc. has obtained court injunction against the use of two gates that have been opened without its consent), Filinvest has some neighborly advice: “We would suggest that the association, barangay, ALI and local government explore the use of underpasses along the intersection of Commerce and Madrigal to relieve the congestion caused by the left turn lane on Commerce Ave into their village. We also suggest that they improve the Alabang-Zapote Road and bridge to incorporate their service roads and to expand their side of Alabang Zapote Road to 10 lanes to provide a smoother flow from our already expanded 10-lane road. We further suggest that they consider a left-turn overpass leading to Daang Hari at their end to further relieve congestion caused by Cavite pass-through commuters.” Doris Dumlao-Abadilla

PAL diehard

THERE are fans and there are super fans in this world.

Jerry Doviack, the Polish-American CEO of Continental Dental Laboratories of California, is neither one for flag carrier Philippine Airlines. He’s a diehard fan.


Doviack is PAL’s single most frequent flyer, fast approaching five million miles and he said he has no plans of slowing down.

Few people ever breach the million-mile mark and doing this five times over is no small feat. So how does one achieve this and earn those enviable perks?

Doviack, who spoke to Biz Buzz just as PAL launched its improved frequent flyer program, said you basically have to fly a lot. In his case, 31 years of weekly or twice-a-month business trips from Manila to Los Angeles.

Doviack, who has an interesting side story himself dating back to the Marcos years (he came here as a guest of President Marcos’ personal dentist), said it was perfectly normal to embark on the transpacific route so often. “You get used to it,” he said.

Doviack has tried plenty of other airlines but insisted none came close to PAL’s level of service, which he described as more authentic and personal. “No other airline offers that,” he said.

Apparently, spending so much time in the air means you crave flying even more, at least in Doviack’s case. “I’m trying to hit one million miles in a year. By next year, I’ll try,” he said. Miguel R. Camus

Wanted: Fair climate deal

EVERYONE wants to save the environment, and this is especially true in the Philippines, one of the countries most affected by climate change. But at least one environmental group is urging policymakers to adopt a more comprehensive approach at the Paris climate change summit.

In particular, the Kaibigan ng Kaunlaran at Kalikasan (KKK) headed by environmentalist Ed Alabastro, said in a position paper that the Philippines should avoid pledging or committing greenhouse gases (GHG) emission reduction targets that would impose barriers to the country’s industrial growth.

“KKK believes that until such time when realistic alternatives to the use of fossil fuels in generating electricity and in moving transport vehicles are developed, these sources of energy should not be ‘condemned’ prematurely,” the group said in a position paper, referring to the country’s big number of coal-fired power plants, preferred for the cheaper electricity they generate.

But hold your horses. KKK isn’t just some puppet mouthing pro-business issues. The group laid out some concrete plans as to how the Philippines should respond to the global call for GHG reduction.

KKK pointed out that the immediate cause of climate change is the increase in the earth’s temperature due to the decrease of the ability of the earth to release heat to outer space because the outward radiation of the earth’s heat is impeded or slowed down by GHG. Unabated global warming will result to disastrous superstorms, drought and rise in sea levels that will threaten low-lying towns and cities all over the world.

GHG, of course, includes water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxides, ozone and chlorofluorocarbons. Of these gases, carbon dioxide tends to contribute most to the reduction in the earth’s ability to dissipate trapped heat to outer space. Carbon dioxide, water vapor, and nitrous oxides are products of combustion or burning of various materials such as agricultural products like wood, leaves, paper, rice husks, among others, and fossil fuels like gasoline, diesel, bunker oil, LPG, natural gas and coal.

“Clearly, coal is not the only source of greenhouse gases,” the KKK paper said.

“The combustion of materials produce the heat energy which cooks our food, drives transport vehicles, generates electricity and moves industrial processes, all of which are required to provide the needs of an expanding modern population,” the paper added. “In other words, as the population grows and gets to be more industrialized and modernized, more and more greenhouse gases will be emitted.”

More importantly, China the United States and the European Union account for 58 percent of the world’s total emission of GHG, while the Philippines contributes only a minimal amount of 0.3 percent, mainly because of the relative smallness of its population and the much lower level of its energy consumption, compared to those in well developed countries.

“In the global effort to reduce GHG emission, it is not appropriate for the Philippines to adopt the same strategies that the highly populated and highly industrialized and developed countries need to do, which may mainly be in the direction of reducing emission of GHG gases from industrial plants,” KKK said. “In generating electricity, they may shift to increased utilization of renewable energy and nuclear power.”

For the Philippines to do its share in reducing GHG emissions, KKK urged a rapid and massive greening or reforestation all over the country to help speed up the sequestration (absorption) of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere; the improvement in thermal efficiencies in all processes involving combustion and energy utilization through the use of energy efficient technologies, and for the government to grant more incentives to encourage more investments in renewable energy projects such as wind, solar, hydro and tidal power.

Now that sounds more like a fair deal. Daxim L. Lucas

Best in investor relations

WHICH companies in the Philippines best communicate material information and insights to the investing community? Based on the IR Magazine Awards for Southeast Asia 2015, these would be Metro Pacific Investments Corp., Universal Robina Corp. and D&L Industries, which won the top plums during the awarding night in Singapore on Friday.

The best investor relations (IR) award by a Philippine company went to infrastructure holding firm Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC), which also bagged the “grand prix” for best overall investor relations (mid-cap category) and the best in IR for the utilities sector category for Southeast Asia. MPIC’s IR officer Albert Pulido was cited as the best IR officer for the small and mid-cap category.

Lance Gokongwei, chief executive officer of Universal Robina Corp. (IR), won the award for best IR by a senior management team while URC also won the best IR award for the consumer sector across Southeast Asia.

Meanwhile, the best IR by a senior management team for small and mid-cap category went to Alvin Lao, chief finance officer of D&L Industries. Doris Dumlao-Abadilla

E-mail us at [email protected] Get business alerts and a preview of Biz Buzz the evening before it comes out. Text ON INQ BUSINESS to 4467 (P2.50/alert).

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TAGS: Ayala Alabang Village, Business, Continental Dental Laboratories of California, economy, filinvest, KKK, News
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