BIZ BUZZ: The next BSP chief | Inquirer Business

BIZ BUZZ: The next BSP chief

/ 02:06 AM March 28, 2023

If veteran banker Cezar “Bong” Consing didn’t have to take over the helm of conglomerate Ayala Corp. following tycoon Fernando Zobel de Ayala’s medical emergency and subsequent retirement, there’s a good chance that he would be appointed the next Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor.

From what we gather, there are prime movers in the Marcos administration who are batting for Consing to be the country’s next chief monetary and banking regulator.


But now that Consing may be out of the game after accepting the post of Ayala CEO, who could the other candidates be?

By this time, it appears that former BSP chief and Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno is comfortably nestled in his position as chief of the economic team. Whether or not he wants to return to the BSP, an influential source says Diokno will likely stay in this current post.


Thus, among President Marcos’ options is to keep the status quo: BSP Governor Felipe Medalla (whom we hear has been backed by Diokno himself) could be reappointed to a new term given that there’s no legal constraint to such a move, as opined by legal experts, based on existing Supreme Court jurisprudence. Also, many financial market observers believe he has done quite well amid global headwinds.

But using the same eligibility (or rather, lack of legal obstacle) that applies to Medalla, two-term Monetary Board (MB) member Peter Favila likewise qualifies as a candidate. Within the MB, we’ve also heard the name of well-respected economist Eli Remolona (a former Federal Reserve Bank of New York and Bank for International Settlements officer) coming up as a viable option.

Another name that often comes up in the grapevine is that of long-time BDO Unibank president Nestor Tan. However, he is in the same boat as Consing: Tan’s term as CEO of the country’s largest lender has been extended through 2028. Will the BSP chief position be desirable enough for corporate stalwarts like Tan to give up their current high-paying posts?

In any case, after assembling a pretty credible economic team, the choice of BSP chief who will start a new term by July is the next most important—and eagerly awaited—appointment that Mr. Marcos will make at this time that slaying inflation is a key priority.

—Doris Dumlao-Abadilla

Another Uy on the rise

There’s little doubt that Dennis Anthony Uy of Pampanga has been prospering substantially in recent years, thanks to well-timed moves of his Converge ICT internet firm in the telecommunications industry.

But Dennis isn’t the only Uy who’s seeing his fortunes increase. His older brother, Jack Uy, is also seeing his various businesses based in Cabalen country prosper.

Last weekend, the most senior of the three Uy siblings inaugurated his new Best Western Plus Metro Clark hotel which, located along MacArthur Highway in Angeles, has the distinction of being the largest hotel outside the Clark Special Economic Zone.


The hotel marks an upgrade to the more upscale ‘Plus’ category of the Best Western from simply being a normal Best Western hotel when it opened just a few months before the pandemic hit.

“This hotel is a pandemic baby, and we’re very proud of what our team has accomplished here,” Uy told Biz Buzz, adding that the expansion—which saw the construction of a bigger wing behind the original one—was completed rapidly as the hotel grappled with the effects of various lockdowns of the last three years.

A leap up from the three-star Best Western Metro Clark, the 14-storey Best Western Plus Metro Clark is armed with a four-star rating. The hotel complex now has a total of 186 luxurious rooms complemented by amenities suitable for business and leisure.

Best Western Plus Metro Clark also has of four specialty restaurants: Namari Japanese Bistro, Cactus Jack Smokehouse, Jack’s Pool Bar (with an expansive view of the city), and The Legend Hong Kong Seafood Restaurant. There is also Cafe Sebastian for those wanting to sit in a cozy corner for coffee and light treats.

The well-appointed rooms all feature high-speed fiber internet (via Converge, of course).

Uy said the hotel hopes to be the preferred destination for meetings and conferences to parties and weddings, and all-around event venues for various clients.

Uy’s business interests—including this new hotel—all fall under Savers Group Holdings Inc., which has evolved into one of the top industry players in the country.

With Jack’s Video as its initial entry into the business foray, the company eventually diversified into consumer-centric enterprises that include appliance retail, cable TV, broadband internet, HVAC distribution, end-to-end building solutions, hotels and restaurants, real estate and leasing.

Could an initial public offering be in the cards for the Savers Group? If it is, for sure, Jack Uy can count on his younger sibling Dennis for important advice navigating treacherous financial markets. Abangan!

—Daxim L. Lucas

Meanwhile, in Davao . . .

Competition in the Davao hotel scene is anticipated to heat up this year with the opening of a new hotel next and the re-opening of a long-time favorite later this year, a development that is sure to be a welcome one for frequent travelers and long-time vacationers in the Philippines’ Durian capital.

An industry source told Biz Buzz that the Discovery Samal Resort Hotel, a project by the Discovery Hospitality Corp. (DHC) and the Samal Shores, Inc., is set to open next month (April).

The 5-star hotel and resort in the Samal island off of Davao City features 162 villas and a convention center that can accommodate up to a thousand people.

Meanwhile in downtown Davao City, the Marco Polo Hotel -which ceased operations indefinitely back in June of 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic- is set to open its doors once again sometime in the third quarter of this year.

With these, the SM group-backed Park Inn by Radisson Davao is expanding its facilities, adding a sixth meeting room, a larger fitness gym and an in-house health spa to expand its offerings to its guests.

“Obviously, the (re-opening) of the Marco Polo is a concern for our property. However, we are not sitting still,” said Park Inn by Radisson Davao General Manager Sven Toune.

—Alden Monzon INQ
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TAGS: Biz Buzz, BSP, Cezar Consing, Dennis Uy
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