BIZ BUZZ: Biggest PH reforestation deal
One of the biggest reforestation programs in the country is about to be hatched courtesy of a local conglomerate and its Japanese partner, with the technical assistance of a key government agency, Biz Buzz hears.
According to our source, Dacon Corp.—the construction management arm of billionaire Isidro Consunji—has entered into a deal with Japan’s Marubeni Corp. to reforest a sprawling tract of land that was stripped bare of trees by a large logging firm decades ago.
Specifically, the Dacon-Marubeni partnership aims to saturate a 40,000-hectare property on the southern tip of Negros Island with trees in the hope of contributing to the greening of the environment.
The property in question used to be the logging concession area of a firm called Insular Lumber Co.—the largest lumber firm in the country in its day— before the natural resources of the area were fully exhausted.
We’re told that the undertaking will be funded fully by Marubeni Corp. which, along with Dacon, will then “earn” from the undertaking by converting it into carbon credits which it can use to offset the carbon footprint of its other business units or trade on the international market.
Several million trees will be planted, but the exact species has yet to be determined. That will be the responsibility of the experts from the University of the Philippines in Los Baños, we’re told. Talk about a win-win deal for everyone.
—Daxim L. Lucas
Women leading Ayala’s charge
It’s International Women’s Day today, a global day that celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women everywhere.
And at the Ayala Group that is turning 189 years old this year, there are many reasons to celebrate, not least of which is the sheer number of its women executives in key positions, many of whom stand a chance of eventually taking over the reins of the different multibillion corporations that make up the conglomerate.
At property giant Ayala Land Inc., there’s Anna Ma. Margarita Dy, who’s a member of the management committee and heads the estates group as well as corporate marketing and urban and regional planning. Also in the mix is Carol Mills, president and CEO of AREIT INc. and head of Ayala Land Offices.
Over at BPI, those speculating on who could succeed TG Limcaoco are looking at two of the bank’s executive vice presidents: Ginbee Go, head of consumer banking and Marie Josephine Ocampo, head of mass retail products; as well as Maria Theresa Marcial, president and CEO of BPI Asset Management and Trust Corp.
The Globe Group also does not lack for top female executives, among them GCash president and CEO Martha Sazon, CFO Rosemarie Maniego-Eala, chief transformation and operations officer Rebecca Eclipse, chief commercial officer Maria Louisa Guevarra-Cabreira and Kickstart Ventures president Minette Navarrete.
Then there’s Mariana Zobel de Ayala, BPI vice president and a member of the eighth generation of the Zobel family now taking more responsibility at the group where women have ample opportunity to shine.
— Tina Arceo-Dumlao
Westin returns to PH
Westin Hotels and Resorts, part of the Marriott Bonvoy’s global portfolio of 30 extraordinary hotel brands, has returned to the Philippines with the opening on March 6 of The Westin Manila in Mandaluyong City, in partnership with Robinsons Land Corp.
“We are thrilled to celebrate the opening of The Westin Manila, marking the brand’s re-entry in the Philippines as well as another milestone in its expansion in Asia-Pacific,” said Jennifer Connell, the global brand leader of Westin Hotels and vice president of distinctive premium brands for Marriott International.
The Westin brand was last carried by The Westin Philippine Plaza until December 2005, after which the property was rebranded by the Sofitel chain in January of 2006.
The new 32-storey Westin Manila is situated in the Ortigas central business district and features 303 rooms including 57 suites.
Guest rooms and suites feature the patented Westin Heavenly Bed, Nespresso coffee machines, Bluetooth speakers, complimentary Wi-Fi and 55-inch flat Samsung TVs that both corporate travelers and “staycationers” are looking for in a city hotel.
“Located in the vibrant heart of Metro Manila, guests will have all they need for a productive and relaxing stay in the city,” said general manager Alexander Dietzsch. “We look forward to welcoming guests to a new world of personalized wellness with our signature Westin guest experiences.”
—Tina Arceo-Dumlao INQ
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