BIZ BUZZ: From SBMA to Peza? | Inquirer Business

BIZ BUZZ: From SBMA to Peza?

/ 02:01 AM January 11, 2023

A former high-ranking official from the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) may soon take the helm at the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza), with two influential groups reportedly pushing for the appointment of this individual.

A well-placed government source told the Inquirer that endorsement papers for this person had reached Malacañang, with a religious sect well-known for block voting during elections, as well as a political party affiliated with the previous administration pushing for this appointment.


Backers of this individual have apparently told our government source that the appointment is almost a certainty and will be announced sometime around the mass oath taking in Malacañang that is set to take place during the last week of this month.

Despite this, industry stakeholders seem to have gotten hold of this move from the grapevine, with some industry associations making their own pitch to the President, preferring Tereso Panga, officer in charge of Peza, instead to become chief of the investment promotion agency.


The IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines and the Semiconductors and Electronics in the Philippines Foundation Inc., among others, have endorsed Panga. But only time will tell if President Marcos would heed stakeholders’ preference, or if he would go with the flow of designating a political appointee.

—Alden M. Monzon

Conscientious mining

Eramen Minerals Inc. was honored this year as it bagged the prestigious Presidential Mineral Industry Environmental Award (PMIEA) in the surface mining category and first runner-up for “best mining forest” in the metallic category at the 68th Annual National Mine Safety and Environment Conference, held at the John Hay Trade and Cultural Center in Baguio City late last year.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) recognized Eramen for its exceptional commitment, initiative and innovation in environmental protection, safety and health management and social development.

In 2021, Eramen launched the Mine Environment Modernization (Memo) program to enhance its environmental protection and natural resource management. One of the projects under Memo was the development of a new one-hectare forest nursery with a capacity to grow 500,000 seedlings.

Eramen has planted over 510,000 trees covering more than 657 hectares, including mined-out sites, buffer zones, and bamboo plantations.

Eramen also developed an organic agroforestry farm to grow a variety of fruits, vegetables and other crops not only to augment food sources and sustainability of the mine but also to aid in reducing the impact of climate change. It maintains a program to manage air quality through road watering activities by installing road water sprinklers spanning nine kilometers.

All told, Eramen invested nearly P50 million for environmental management for the 2021-2022 fiscal year alone.


— Daxim L. Lucas

Filipinos and ‘furbabies’

If one has nothing to do and bored, one will likely to spend time mindlessly scrolling through numerous entertaining Reels, which are short-form videos, on Facebook and Instagram.

And it is like a time vortex. Before one knows it, hours have already been spent staring at one’s phone. Goal achieved.

While people are watching these videos, internet giant Meta (aka Facebook) observed what had piqued people’s interests in the past year. It turns out, whether on Facebook or Instagram, Filipinos love watching animals and pets, which they endearingly call their “furbabies.”

Meanwhile, Filipino social media users also follow fashion, food and cooking, family and parenting and travel videos on Instagram. Other top topics in Facebook include comedy or skit, sports, fashion and family and parenting.

“Since we launched Reels on Instagram in 2021, we have seen just how much Reels content reflect authentic Pinoy culture as a whole,” said Meta Philippine country director John Rubio. “We look forward to seeing Filipino creators expand their repertoire, grow their following, and explore fun new ways to engage people through short-form content in 2023.”

—Tyrone Jasper C. Piad INQ
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TAGS: appointment, Biz Buzz, Business, mining, Peza
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