BIZ BUZZ: Bohol water crisis feared | Inquirer Business

BIZ BUZZ: Bohol water crisis feared

/ 02:08 AM November 14, 2023

Inspired by the growing number of visitors from here and abroad coming through the classy Bohol-Panglao international airport, investments are pouring into the province’s fast-growing hospitality sector.

South Palms Panglao is looking to build as many as 10 hotels over the next 10 years. Marriott and Crimson Resorts are expected to start construction of their own hotels next year. And as if these were not enough, Modala Beach Resort will list 300 more rooms and the Henann group will beef up by another 700 rooms.

What could scuttle or derail these exciting expansion plans is the lack of regular supply of potable water, a minimum requirement to support the tourism sector, not to mention residential and commercial property developments not just in the flagship Panglao island but in the entire province.


At present, the Tagbilaran City-based Richli Water Corp. is still able to provide for the needs of Panglao Island as well as the international airport. But full distribution capacity of 10 million liters a day may be hit as early as January next year, thus the need to immediately expand so that it can meet the fast-growing requirements of its customers that include the biggest names in the hospitality sector.


Concerned groups such as the Bohol Clean Water Alliance, however, lament that the permits have been tied up in bureaucratic red tape as well as warring interests.

Their hope is that the primary need to ensure potable water supply 24 hours a day will push the government and conflicting sides to set aside their differences and come together behind a worthy cause.


Wishful thinking? Abangan!

—Tina Arceo-Dumlao

Maharlika investors’ exit routes

The Maharlika investment fund has its fair share of detractors and the negative talk hasn’t disappeared despite all the concessions made to its critics and improvements made in its structure.

Its roster of critics include financial industry professionals, including a number who write articles in local publications and speak on television as resource persons.

One such criticism leveled against this key project of the Marcos administration is that it doesn’t have an exit mechanism for its founding investors, specifically Lank Bank of the Philippines and Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) which, together, contributed a combined P75 billion to form part of the investment fund’s seed capital.

Well, actually, we’re told that there is an exit mechanism for the likes of Landbank and DBP.

According to informed sources who spoke to Biz Buzz, the investments of both government financial institutions are meant as founders’ capital of the corporation. As such, their strategic objectives and timelines are distinct from a project fund investment.

In other words, should the two government financial institutions decide to sell their stake in the Maharlika to another equity investor, they can do so.

And just to be clear, the investments of the two government financial institutions are strategic in nature and not subject to the usual fund management-definitive time horizons to realize their returns and exit.

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If Maharlika does well, Landbank and DBP may even end up investing more than selling out, right? Who knows?

—Daxim L. Lucas INQ
TAGS: Biz Buzz, Bohol, Business, Maharlika Investment Fund, Water Supply

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