BIZ BUZZ: Front-runners to be next PLDT CEO | Inquirer Business

BIZ BUZZ: Front-runners to be next PLDT CEO

/ 02:18 AM December 14, 2023

The talent search for the next president of PLDT Inc. will kick into high gear after CEO Alfredo Panlilio retires by the end of 2023 after a relatively short but meaningful stint at the helm of the country’s largest telecommunications group.

Panlilio will step down due to health reasons but will remain on the company’s board after successfully leading PLDT through the COVID-19 pandemic and the more recent spending overruns.

That’s to say his calm presence and intensive focus on improving the customer experience will remain even as the company undergoes another top management shakeup.


Speaking of which, PLDT Chair Manuel Pangilinan will step in as CEO to fill the void, but this is only temporary while the search is ongoing.


So far, the names being floated by various camps include the manager of a multinational consumer company that makes deodorants and detergents and the head of a digital bank.

The only camp that matters is PLDT, of course, and we’re hearing from our sources that Smart’s consumer business head Alex Caeg is a potential successor.

Whether this comes to pass remains to be seen, but as we say here, abangan! —Miguel R. Camus

PAL beefs up US routes

Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) is expanding its presence in the lucrative United States market via a codeshare partnership with American Airlines.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Lucio Tan-led airline said its “PR” code had been placed on American Airlines’ flights between Los Angeles and Atlanta, Denver, Houston, Las Vegas, Miami, Orlando and Washington, D.C.

Meanwhile, American Airlines customers can book on the platform their codeshare flights operated by PAL to Manila and Cebu via Tokyo.


“This partnership with American Airlines unlocks more options for customers traveling between Asia and the United States,” PAL chief commercial officer Eric David Anderson said.

“We are excited to partner with Philippine Airlines, which will provide our customers seamless connections to Manila, the capital and economic hub of the region, and Cebu, the gateway to countless tropical islands with pristine beaches,” American Airlines vice president of global alliances and partnerships Anmol Bhargava added.

Currently, PAL operates flights to Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Honolulu and Guam.

Last month, PAL teamed up with Singapore Airlines for a codeshare deal for flights with local destinations and routes to Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Milan, Paris, Rome and Zurich.

The flag carrier also expanded its codeshare service with China Airlines earlier this year, adding Manila-Kaohsiung and Cebu-Taipei to its network. —Tyrone Jasper C. Piad

Inmates for food security

Some 70 inmates have been trained on efficient farm systems for the production of rice and various vegetables under a joint project of the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Justice.

Called the Reformation Initiative for Sustainable Environment for Food Security Project, it is one of the programs introduced by the government to help in the reformation of persons deprived of liberty (PDLs).

This partnership between the government and the private sector also aims to contribute to the Marcos administration’s food security agenda.

Under its first phase, inmates participated in a five-month training to be responsible individuals and productive farmers. It involved planting crops in a 4.5-hectare (ha) demonstration farm at Iwahig Prison and Penal Colony in Palawan.

The second phase will cover a total of 500 ha of Iwahig’s property.

Private seed companies that supported this project include Mench Fil-Am Corp., FA Greenseeds Corp., SL Agritech Corp., Enviro Scope Synergy and Ramgo Seeds.

During the recent harvest festival, Bureau of Plant Industry director Gerald Glenn Panganiban encouraged PDLs to expand production areas and embrace technology and innovation.

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“We will reform and prepare you for your reintegration into society. You are now farmers for a prosperous new Philippines,” Agriculture Secretary Francisco Laurel Jr. said in a message read by Panganiban on his behalf. —Jordeene B. Lagare


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