Biz Buzz: Outsourcing and denials
Whether or not the group of Manuel V. Pangilinan buys into beleaguered Philippine Airlines, the group is likely to play some role in the carrier’s much-ballyhooed spin-off program.
Despite the vehement denials (which are not surprising given the sensitive labor situation PAL is in), our sources insist that MVP’s group has started a due-diligence audit on the carrier. And one of the reasons why it is not palatable to discuss this in public is that an affiliate of telecom giant PLDT may be among the outsourcing companies hiring the retrenched PAL employees, according to our usually reliable grapevine.
While hotelier Manny Osmeña will take over outsourced airline catering services, a PLDT affiliate is expected to end up handling outsourced airline reservations, our sources said. But this is, of course, but a small trophy compared with the storied flag carrier that is PAL.
By the way, it’s SOP (standard operating procedure) in this country to deny anything that’s not in black and white—yet.—Doris C. Dumlao
New QC party place
Tycoon Lucio Tan’s Eton Properties recently opened a new venue for special events like weddings, corporate functions, concerts and birthday parties in Quezon City. The 1,000-square-meter tent structure called “Elements”—at the heart of the 10-hectare Eton Centris at the corner of Edsa and Quezon Avenue—is designed to accommodate up to 700 people and can be divided into two halls.
Since recently opening its doors, Elements has been used by the Eton group only for its internal events like investors’ briefing as the group would like to ensure that the structure is flawless (e.g. no roof leaks, especially this rainy season) before renting it out at P75,000 for each hall.
This Friday, however, the first external event will be held in Elements. And this buena mano event is something that many males would like to crash into: a Playboy fashion show.—Doris C. Dumlao
DBP’s questioned documents
If you think the media war between the present board of directors of the state-owned Development Bank of the Philippines and businessman Bobby Ongpin is over, think again.
Unknown to many, DBP took out an innocuous-looking ad in the Philippine Daily Inquirer last Saturday. But this was not the usual attack ad on the controversial businessman involved in an alleged “behest” P660-million loan from the bank.
Instead, the “secretary’s certificate” (as it was titled) was placed in the classified ads section, along with other ads offering jobs and selling products and services.
In it, DBP’s OIC for the Office of the Corporate Secretary said that private lawyer Zenaida Ongkiko-Acorda was appointed by the board to be the bank’s official spokesperson during its Aug. 3, 2011, meeting. Well and good.
Now comes Ongpin’s camp saying the supposed secretary’s certificate was “clearly spurious and an admission of an illegal act.” Whoa. How did they come to that conclusion?
Well, according to Ongpin’s camp, the complaint (yes, it turns out it was a complaint, and not just a transmittal) filed by DBP with the Ombudsman on that date only contained two items, labeled “a” and “b.” Item “c” as detailed in the questioned secretary’s certificate did not exist then, according to the same group. What the Ongpin camp is saying is that the item was inserted as an afterthought to cover their supposedly shoddy work.
“So who perjured himself—[DBP chair Jose] Nuñez and [president Francisco] del Rosario, or [DBP OIC corporate secretary] Cagliostro Martinez who signed the ad?” the Ongpin camp said. “The discrepancy is so glaring that one could not help but believe some forces in DBP would allow themselves to be part of a desperate attempt to cover up an illegal act—the engagement of lawyer Acorda as counsel without the requisite clearances from the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel and the Commission on Audit.”
Ongpin’s camp also asks, “Why come out with the ad only now? Why not over a month ago?” Finally, they end with a dare: “Publish in full the signed minutes of the supposed August 3 meeting.”
Will that be the end of it? Probably not. We understand this fight is about to get a lot more exciting as both sides lay down their aces.—Daxim L. Lucas
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