BIZ BUZZ: Confusion at Peza | Inquirer Business

BIZ BUZZ: Confusion at Peza

/ 02:16 AM December 15, 2022

Don’t you guys have a Viber group?”

Government authorities on Wednesday were telling members of the press two different things as to who will lead the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza) as its officer in charge (OIC), issuing conflicting statements about the leadership at the investment promotion agency.

Yesterday morning, a source at the Peza said Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual signed a department order designating Trade Undersecretary Rafaelita Aldaba as OIC.


The source provided a department order dated Dec. 14, which was signed by Pascual himself. Around noon, the Deparment of Trade and Industry confirmed that there was such an order, but said it was withdrawn.


No reason was given for the withdrawal.

Elsewhere at roughly the same time, Peza posted on its social media platforms that it was welcoming Aldaba to the investment promotion agency.

Peza Deputy Director General for Policy and Planning Tereso Panga, who took the reins as OIC when President Marcos assumed office, also released a statement welcoming Aldaba as the new placeholder official at the agency.

The fiasco resulted in confusion for members of the press who regularly cover both government agencies.

—Alden M. Monzon

That ‘007 experience’

After taking over the retail and consumer banking businesses of Citibank Philippines, Aboitiz Group’s banking arm, Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank), has something up its sleeve for the newly expanded roster of “VVIP” clients.

At the basement of UnionBank’s The Ark in Makati City will rise what is tentatively (or maybe not) dubbed “The Vault,” a repository of valuable stuff like jewelry, top-secret documents (maybe that controversial prenup, business deal or last will and testament), heirloom items and artwork pieces.


“It’s a very 007 experience [when] you go down, enter this private space. It looks like a library,” Anna Aboitiz-Delgado, UnionBank senior executive vice president, explained to Biz Buzz. A fingerprint will be scanned to open an assigned vault.

“When you watch James Bond, remember someone always leaves a key to a Swiss account? You go in there, you do your iris (scanning) thing, and you get led by this butler-looking guy and you see a huge vault,” added UnionBank president Edwin Bautista.

While banks offer safety deposit boxes here, Bautista said his pet peeve was that these were usually located behind the teller or near the loo. He has long wondered why there was no such Swiss private banking vault experience in this part of the world.

One insight gathered by the bank was that some families have one person, a senior auntie perhaps, who keeps the family jewelry as heirloom, Delgado said. So if there’s a wedding, for instance, auntie can bring her nieces to the vault, bring out the collection and ask them which ones they would like to wear.

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It’s an experience meant to wow the affluent. And while sorting their stuff, they can smoke cigars and sip wine.

—Doris Dumlao-Abadilla
TAGS: Biz Buzz, Peza, UnionBank

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