BIZ BUZZ: Doing its part
With operations of the mega vaccination facility built by tycoon Enrique Razon Jr. now in full swing, demand for inoculation at what was once a vacant lot of the Nayong Pilipino Foundation on Tuesday has surged.
Word from people who have visited the site is that the organizers have their hands full vaccinating residents of Parañaque City as well as other private sector employees whose companies joined the effort to procure 20 million doses of the highly sought after Moderna shots.
But not to worry. There’s enough space on the site to accommodate both ambulatory vaccine recipients as well as those who prefer to receive the shots in their cars, thanks to the 1-hectare property that Megaworld Corp. has lent to the Solaire-ICTSI Vaccination Center,
Biz Buzz learned that no less than the property developer’s chief executive officer, Kevin Tan, visited the location on Thursday morning to check on how things are going and how the firm could help the vaccination process further.
We’re told Tan was pleased at how the Razon group was efficiently using the property (which was leased to Megaworld by the Nayong Pilipino Foundation) as well as maximizing it to speed up the vaccinations.
That’s because Megaworld’s plot of land is where the 10-lane drive-through vaccination section of the facility stands, along with a parking lot for those on their way to the buildings for ambulatory services.
While the pandemic is ongoing, Tan has decided to postpone the use of the property on which a Megaworld mixed-use leisure and tourism facility was set to rise. The construction of that will now be pushed back slightly in favor of something more urgent and altruistic.
Word on the street is that the mega vaccination facility may ramp up its capacity to 15,000 jabs per day, up from the 10,000-per-day target, once the rest of the Moderna shots arrive. For this, Megaworld’s act of lending out its property will definitely help.
—Daxim L. Lucas
New normal, new branding
AIA Philam Life announced recently that it had dropped the more familiar and 74-year-old “Philam Life” branding and will be known simply as AIA Philippines henceforth. More than just insurance, the old-timer also made strides in the bigger economy, including real estate, such that Biz Buzz wondered what will happen to the iconic Philam Life Tower in Makati, for instance. So, is another name change in the offing? “We will definitely rename all our properties, but it will happen in phases at a later date,” AIA Philippines says. And how about the bancassurance joint venture with Ayala-led Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), BPI-Philam Life Assurance Corp.? AIA Philippines says the rebranding would also affect the partnership but “we will leave it up to BPI-Philam to make their own announcement.” AIA Philippines chief executive Kelvin Ang explained that while the local subsidiary became a part of the Hong Kong-based AIA Group in 2009, it was only three years ago when they decided to attach the AIA brand to the homegrown, hence more popular Philam Life. “We recognize that Philam Life is a big brand, and the company is doing well, so we thought of the need to slowly integrate the AIA brand so that people get to know about it first before we change completely to the AIA branding. It is a decision that we have been holding back” but eventually pushed through “slowly and gradually, step by step,” Ang said. “Now, we think that it is time to continue to move forward, as what we have planned 10 years ago, to embrace that whole AIA Philippines brand,” he added.
—Ben O. de Vera
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