BIZ BUZZ: Batangas to SMC’s defense | Inquirer Business

BIZ BUZZ: Batangas to SMC’s defense

/ 02:08 AM December 06, 2023

The publicity war being waged by certain quarters against San Miguel Corp. (SMC) took an interesting turn recently.

Specifically, we’re talking about the campaign by nongovernmental organizations (NGO) against San Miguel and the supposed adverse environmental impact of the Ilijan natural gas plant.

These allegations were made by the Center for Energy Ecology and Development (CEED), which has had the country’s largest conglomerate in its sights for several months now, especially since San Miguel took over the massive Ilijan plant in July 2022.


Ilijan is a crucial part of the country’s power supply picture as it generates up to 15 percent of Luzon’s electricity. To meet the country’s growing demand for power, San Miguel has committed to expand Ilijan—a move that CEED is criticizing, citing environmental concerns.


But Batangas officials recently emphasized the facility’s long and beneficial presence in the province, adding that it has no record of environmental violations nor harm to the local ecosystem and marine biodiversity, in its over two decades of operations.

No less than the Sangguniang Panlungsod ng Batangas passed a unanimous resolution stating that CEED’s allegations in opposing liquefied natural gas projects in the area are “baseless, misleading and also do not reflect the true sentiments of its constituents.”

Will this be enough to change the NGO’s mind? Probably not. But the public might do well to listen to local voices who know what’s happening on the ground. —Daxim L. Lucas

Looking for a new hero

Davao-based tycoon Dennis A Uy’s PH Resorts Group is on the prowl for a new white knight after failing to reach a deal with the Manigsaca-led AppleOne Properties within the target 60-day negotiation period.

The company said on Monday it was in “substantive” discussions with other parties, without providing further details.

Several investors, including parties based overseas, have expressed interest in its $300-million Emerald Bay project but no deal has been reached to date, a source told Biz Buzz.


PH Resorts wants to sell a majority stake in Emerald Bay, which remains unfinished due to funding challenges.

Investors are also leery because of the high interest rate environment and existing competition coming from the Gokongwei Group’s Nustar Resort located across the Mactan Channel in Cebu.

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We get the sense, however, that PH Resorts is more active in marketing its casino assets given the more prompt disclosure regarding AppleOne. This was much faster than its update on the terminated talks with tycoon Enrique Razon Jr., which was made almost one year after it was first announced. —Miguel R. Camus INQ

TAGS: Biz Buzz, Business, SMC

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