BIZ BUZZ: Climate-proof ‘Parqal’ | Inquirer Business

BIZ BUZZ: Climate-proof ‘Parqal’

/ 02:06 AM July 22, 2022

The first ever walkable, mixed-use development block in the Bay Area, the country’s emerging gaming and entertainment area, is coming soon, courtesy of integrated construction and property development group D.M. Wenceslao and Associates Inc. (DMW).

Delfin Angelo “Budz” Wenceslao, CEO of DMW, told Biz Buzz that the new development would be called “Parqal,” a portmanteau of “park” and “kalye (street).” The first phase is set to open to the public this August.

Rising on a five-hectare lot, Parqal is planned to host nine buildings that will be an architectural expression of modernized bahay na bato (stone houses). The lower floors are designed to host retail shops, and with greeneries in the open area.


Because of the proximity of this reclaimed area to Ninoy Aquino International Airport, there’s a strict height limit for structures to be built.


But what Wenceslao is particularly proud of is the open space, the centerpiece of the development.

“There’s a linear park in the middle that’s climate-protected,” he said.

The park will have a sun roof to protect pedestrians from intolerable heat during the dry season and from heavy downpours during the wet season. This climate-proofing is seen to make Parqal truly “walkable” and one-of-its-kind in the Bay Area.

Recently, Parqal bagged a five-star Berde rating from the Philippine Green Building Council. Among the sustainable features that merited the “green” rating are: energy-efficient lighting and air flow system, efficient landscape irrigation, effluent quality monitoring, materials recovery facility, bicycle rider amenities, heat island reduction, protection of land ecological features, use of local and green materials, public transportation access and proximity to key establishments.

DMW is the master developer and primary owner of the 107.5-hectare Asean City. Since 1965, the company has reclaimed more than 2.4 million square meters of land and completed more than 140 construction and infrastructure projects, including large, complex government developments throughout the Philippines.

Is DMW keen on joining the real estate investment trust bandwagon? The land-rich group intends to first bulk up its portfolio of leasable assets.

—Doris Dumlao-Abadilla

New Customs chief

The name of Acting Customs Commissioner Yogi Filemon Ruiz may not immediately ring a bell among old-timers at Aduana, although he was quite active in going after smugglers, especially those in the illicit cigarette trade, these past few years.

Formerly with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), Ruiz was appointed by former President Rodrigo Duterte to the Bureau of Customs (BOC) in 2018, when the country’s second-biggest revenue agency was headed by then customs chief Isidro Lapeña. The latter was likewise plucked from PDEA, where he served as chief, to become BOC commissioner.

Back in 2017, Ruiz’s decision as PDEA Central Visayas director to order inmates of the Cebu provincial detention and rehabilitation center remove their clothes during a surprise inspection caused a stir.

At the BOC, Ruiz became director at the enforcement and security service, where he led the antismuggling drive against the illegal trading of rice, fake cigarettes, tax stamps and guns and ammunition, among others.

Stakeholders say Ruiz was instrumental in the joint BOC-Bureau of Internal Revenue “strike team” against illicit cigarettes.

With cigarette smuggling on the rise again amid higher excise tax rates spilling over to retail prices, Ruiz at the BOC’s helm may be the best choice to combat unscrupulous traders.

Ruiz replaced embattled former commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero, who insiders say was not among President Marcos’ choices, despite some lobbying for him to stay at the BOC to continue ongoing digitalization and modernization initiatives.

—Ben O. de Vera

Metrobank on top

A new banking winner has been named in the Euromoney Awards for Excellence 2022.

We’re referring to the Ty family’s Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co. (Metrobank), which recently took the crown as the “Best Bank in the Philippines.”

The coveted award is given to the lender that tops a host of metrics, including profitability, asset quality, loan ratios and interest margins.

Metrobank, led by its chair Arthur Ty, bagged the top prize after last year’s winner, Security Bank Corp.

“A changing of the guard this year as Metrobank pushes aside other local banks to post the best numbers in a mercurial year,” according to Euromoney, a business magazine based in London.

“Metrobank’s story was about more than prudence. The bank is out there supporting a reviving economy, recording a growth in its commercial lending business,” it added.

Euromoney also highlighted the nearly 60-year-old lender’s digital push amid the pandemic.

“This award is a testament to the hard work of Metrobankers to maintain the bank’s status as a strong, reliable, and stable partner for all our stakeholders. At Metrobank, we remain committed in serving our customers as their trusted financial partner,” said Metrobank president Fabian Dee.

—Miguel R. Camus

Wish list for BBM: Nutrition, education

Philippine Business for Education (PBEd), Philippine Business for Social Progress and Makati Business Club (MBC) is urging President Marcos to prioritize nutrition and education for an inclusive economic growth.

The business advocacy groups sounded the alarms on human capital being “neglected” for “decades,” which has resulted in grave repercussions, ahead of the President’s first State of the Nation Address.

“One in every three children aged five and below are stunted. Nine out of 10 learners are not able to meet minimum reading skills,” the groups said in a joint statement.

They suggested crafting accessible and free nutrition-specific programs catering to at-risk mothers and children, in addition to providing the most vulnerable households access to affordable and healthy food.

Farmers should also be equipped with climate-smart resources and technology to improve harvest yield, they stressed.

For education, the groups pushed for the improvement of quality of instruction and teachers so that all students’ basic skills would be on a par with international standards.

They also want to “bring all children to quality pre-kindergarten to Grade 3 education and developmental programs,” such as daycare and tutorials.

“Investing in the nutrition and education of our youth is an economic imperative. We need to build strong human capital to drive productivity and inclusive economic growth,” PBEd president Chito Salazar said.

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“We need to shock our country about this crisis, to give a sense of urgency which will mobilize all sectors of society. Together with the government, [both] national and local, business sectors and the church, we will succeed in overcoming this crisis,” MBC chair Edgar Chua added.

—Tyrone Jasper C. Piad
TAGS: Biz Buzz, Education, Metrobank, nutrition, Yogi Filemon Ruiz

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