BIZ BUZZ: Unity | Inquirer Business


/ 05:20 AM June 01, 2022

With President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. set to assume office by month’s end, he has been filling Cabinet positions and—slowly but surely—quieting previously anxious investors and market analysts who were eagerly awaiting to see the personalities who would form his economic team.

Fortunately for the BBM camp, his economic team was well-received by business groups.

The Bankers Association of the Philippines—even though it is led by a known Martial Law victim Tony Moncupa—lauded the appointments of Benjamin Diokno as Finance secretary and Felipe Medalla as Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas governor, saying they are “notable economists who have the scholastic distinction and extensive experience that transcend different administrations.”


Other appointees, such as Alfredo Pascual as Trade secretary and Arsenio Balisacan as Socioeconomic Planning chief, were also cheered by other influential groups such as Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Philippine Exporters Confederation, and Management Association of the Philippines.


A common praise for these BBM appointees is their background as technocrats, with all of them coming from the University of the Philippines School of Economics.

But spoilers remain, especially in the wild social media scene where the divisiveness afflicting the country is on full display every day.

For example, one writer recently reiterated claims that one of the largest banks in the Philippines was a conduit for money laundering under the Marcos Sr. regime.

Well, the bank—whose name we shall no longer mention, so as not to make a mountain out of a molehill—wants to set the record straight. Its largest shareholders include a Filipino-Chinese business family and one of Japan’s largest financial institutions. In fact, management’s composition has changed over the decades to reflect the bank’s different owners.

Of course, the question that needs to be asked now is that, with the President-elect having preached the gospel of unity during his campaign, will his supporters and critics be able to bury the hatchet and work together for the country? Abangan!

—Daxim L. Lucas

Capital mart awards

Local investment house BPI Capital Corp. swept three key awards at the FinanceAsia Country Awards 2022, an annual process that showcases the market participants that have demonstrated resilience in their commitment to supporting their clients alongside government schemes.


BPI Capital won “Best DCM (debt capital market) House,” “Best ECM (equity capital market) House and “Best Investment Bank” for the domestic market.

Amid a universal push toward a sustainability transition, its parent, Bank of the Philippine Islands, brought home the “Best Sustainable Bank” citation.

Credit Suisse was honored as the “Best Investment Bank” for the international market, while Citibank Philippines bagged the “Best Bank” for the domestic market.

Meanwhile, First Metro Securities Brokerage Corp. won the “Best Broker” award.

“The past year has witnessed a flurry of activity across Asia’s capital markets—everything from innovation in the form of (special purpose acquisition company) SPAC-tacular financing structures and unique unicorns, to the market’s response to changing regulation and careful conservatism amid real estate-fuelled contagion concerns,” FinanceAsia said.

—Doris Dumlao-Abadilla

Tugade vs. Bounce

After rejecting a study flagging the poor performance of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia), Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade stressed anew that such claims should not be given the time of day at all.

This time, Tugade made his sharp statement in front of fellow Cabinet secretaries, several foreign ambassadors and government officials during an event in Pasay City last Monday.

“Two days ago, there were some press releases saying that Naia is one of the world’s worst business class airports. Don’t believe that,” he said. “Please don’t believe that app.”

Recently, global luggage storage app Bounce released a report claiming that Naia was “the worst of the world’s busiest airports” for business class travelers. It was given a score of 0.88 out of 10.

The study said that the international airport also ranked the lowest in terms of number of destinations, on-time performance and ratings by UK-based consultancy firm Skytrax.

Tugade said that the study had “no fundamentals nor parameters and you don’t know how the conclusions were made.”

He explained that the Philippines was a destination airport and not a hub airport.

“Having said that, the flights that move in and move out are much lesser than a hub airport,” he pointed out.

The Department of Transportation and the Manila International Airport Authority said in a recent joint statement that the Air Carriers Association of the Philippines also noted that the on-time performance average was 83 percent in 2019, which they said was a “far cry” from 40 percent in 2016.

For the Skytrax rating, the Transportation department said that Naia’s three-star rating shows that the airport has staff service standards or production facilities that are deemed “fair or average.”

“What then is the basis for this conclusion?” Tugade asked.

The Transportation secretary, meanwhile, touted the 250 airport projects completed during the current administration. These include putting up new airport and passenger terminal, runway extension, repair and ancillary service support, he enumerated.

Just last month, Clark International Airport began the operation of its new passenger terminal building, which can accommodate a million passengers annually.

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The 110,000 square-meter terminal features touchless passenger check-in stalls. It also has self-bag-drop systems in place.

—Tyrone Jasper C. Piad
TAGS: economic team, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), Secretary Arthur Tugade

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