Biz Buzz: IBC 13 salesman
It was, according to some guests present, the shortest Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) luncheon in recent memory. In fact, Tuesday’s inaugural MAP meeting for 2016—the first for the group’s new president, lawyer Perry Pe—was so short that it ended even before its guest of honor, Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr., could leave, after his speech was moved up in the program to allow him to head to the airport early for the arrival honors for the Japanese Emperor and Empress.
Contrary to the practice of previous years, MAP’s meeting at the Manila Peninsula Hotel on Tuesday started promptly and was adjourned at 12:50 p.m., having run about 50 minutes, leaving many guests surprised and still chewing on their main course. But that’s a good thing because it was a concrete indication of the efficiency that Pe had promised in his speech to members (along with a slew of other reforms and initiatives like increasing the members’ benefits and other advocacies).
Pe, of course, is one of the stalwarts of the Romulo Mabanta Buenaventura Sayoc & De Los Angeles law office (or RMBSA), and several senior partners of that firm were there to support him, including Ricardo “Dick” Romulo and Jose “Chito” Buenaventura, whom Pe acknowledged as his mentors.
Other MAP board members and officers for 2016 who were present at the event were Convergys Philippines chair Marife Zamora, BDO Capital president and CEO Ed Francisco, KPMG Manabat Sanagustin vice chair Noel Bonoan, Philippine Coffee Board president Chit Juan, Metrobank director and former Development Bank of the Philippines president Francisco “Popoy” del Rosario, Meralco senior vice president Al Panlilio, Security Bank chair Abet Villarosa and Clairmont Group president Eduardo Yap.
In any case, Biz Buzz understands that MAP won’t be the only thing keeping Pe busy this year. The lawyer is also heading a team at RMBSA that is taking care of the legal aspects of the long-delayed and long-awaited privatization of the government-owned Intercontinental Broadcasting Corp. or IBC 13.
Government has put the TV station on the selling block with a floor price of P1.97 billion and the people at RMBSA acknowledge that there are significant obstacles to be hurdled, including hundreds of millions worth of back wages and benefits owed to employees that have accumulated over decades.
But Biz Buzz hears that the bright boys at RMBSA have found an ace that could turn IBC 13’s fortunes around as far as prospective bidders are concerned: Its franchise assigned it a frequency that is best suited for digital TV broadcast—something other TV networks don’t currently have. If true, this could spell the difference between a successful privatization and a failed bidding.
Will Perry Pe and the RMBSA lawyers pull a rabbit out of their hat and be able to sell an otherwise unattractive asset like IBC 13? We’ll know soon enough. Daxim L. Lucas
Smokey Mountain star in Ayala
FORMER child actor and singer Tony Lambino, an original member of Smokey Mountain—a singing group popularized by music maestro Ryan Cayabyab in the late ’80s to ’90s—has debuted in the corporate world as head of public policy unit (aka government relations officer) at 180-year-old conglomerate Ayala Corp.
Perhaps not too many of Tony’s followers know that after his show biz adventure, which also included a stint in youth-oriented television show “Ang TV” (during which he was romantically linked to actress Claudine Barreto), he completed schooling at Ateneo majoring in communications, went to Harvard for graduate school and was based in the US for 11 years. After grad school, he worked at the World Bank as a specialist in public sector governance and as core faculty in leadership of the Leadership for Development Program.
After a decade abroad, Tony decided to go back to the land of his birth and headed the communication unit of Laguna-based International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). This was his immediate job before joining Ayala, rejoining Ateneo batchmate and Harvard MBA alumni Paolo Borromeo, who is now managing director and head of corporate strategy at Ayala. The newly created unit headed by Tony is under Paolo’s group.
Tony is expected to support the Ayalas in tackling public policy as well as key issues such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) integration, infrastructure-building and China’s “one-belt-one-road” (Asia to Europe connectivity) initiatives. This is where Tony thinks he can make a more meaningful and more direct impact on the local landscape. Doris Dumlao-Abadilla
‘Well connected’ LPG firm
An importer of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) has allegedly put up an LPG terminal in Batangas without proper documentation from the Department of Energy.
According to Biz Buzz sources, this LPG firm has been engaging in the importation and sale of this important fuel since late last year without securing clearance from the Department of Energy.
More alarmingly, this distributor allegedly lacks the standard compliance certificate (SCC) from the authorities at the DOE. But it seems the department is looking the other way and has not been actively investigating reports that this company has been violating its rules.
Of course, the DOE requires all importers, suppliers, refiners, marketers, distributors, haulers, transporters, handlers, storers, retailers, sellers and dealers of LPG to have an SCC to be able to transact with other LPG players and sell its product to consumers.
This certificate is meant to discourage the illegal selling of LPG without proper clearances, given the various quality control and safety issues that need to be ensured in the trade of this fuel that is critical for cooking as well as the transportation sector.
But how come the DOE has allowed this firm to import and sell LPG without the proper clearances? Are the owners of this firm well connected? Hmmm. Daxim L. Lucas
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