Pandemic forces layoffs, strategy shift in Aboitiz Group
MANILA, Philippines — The Aboitiz Group, one of the country’s largest conglomerates, is laying off employees as the coronavirus pandemic hurts its businesses and forces a change in strategy.
In a statement on Tuesday, the company announced a “rationalization of its workforce” effective by July 31.
“This was not an easy decision for the Aboitiz Group to make but one that had to be done as it has not been spared by the health and economic crisis,” it said.
The employees, it added, “will receive a substantial separation package to support them through this transition.”
Core assets of the Aboitiz Group are held under Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc. It owns some of the country’s largest companies, such as Aboitiz Power Corp., a major energy producer and distributor, and Union Bank of the Philippines.
Other major subsidiaries include Pilmico Foods Corp., Aboitiz Land and Aboitiz InfraCapital.
For some of those segments, the pandemic has prompted the group to shift its business strategy. Cuts in infrastructure, for example, could have implications for the company’s proposed projects in airports and shared cell towers.
A company source said the group was cutting back on expansion and would impose more work-from-home measures due to the health crisis.
“The ones affected are those [new projects] that were just about to run,” the source said.
The Aboitiz Group is part of the Naia Consortium, which offered to upgrade and expand Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport and ease worsening congestion.
The collapse of air travel demand due to the pandemic, however, has affected the viability of this project.
“It is still not clear how long the COVID-19 pandemic will last, but we share everybody’s hope that a vaccine will be developed soon,” the company said. “The Aboitiz Group is confident the Philippines can weather this crisis and the country will continue with its economic growth.”
It “remains committed to being an active player in the Philippine economy through its power, food, banking, infrastructure, land and construction business units,” the statement said.
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