BIZ BUZZ: Ending on a high note | Inquirer Business

BIZ BUZZ: Ending on a high note

/ 02:05 AM January 02, 2024

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair Emilio Aquino ended 2023 with a bang after being given the outstanding professional of the year award by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC).

Aquino, the first CPA-lawyer to head the corporate watchdog, was recognized for his exceptional contributions to the field of accountancy.

More than that, he was recognized as one of the Top Five Nominees for the coveted Eric Nubla Excellence Award.


“This award is an affirmation of the hard work that we have put in in 2023, letting us at the SEC know that we are headed toward the right direction in achieving the SuperVision that we have crafted for the SEC when I took over in 2018,” Aquino said.


“I humbly thank the PRC for this award, and also recognize the efforts of the hardworking men and women of the SEC for their commitment to pursuing the commission’s mandate as business and investor champion,” he added.

Under his watch, the SEC recorded the longest streak of unqualified opinions from the Commission on Audit (COA), from 2018 to 2022. It was also awarded the Association of Government Accountants of the Philippines Outstanding Accounting Office Award, based on a nomination from COA in 2021. —Miguel R. Camus

Leveling up to the competition

Taipan Lucio Tan’s Philippine Airlines (PAL) is not backing down from more competition after US giant United Airlines began nonstop Manila-San Francisco flights, mounting a serious challenge to PAL’s prized transpacific business. Industry sources said PAL was looking at launching its own direct flights to Seattle, another lucrative market for regular balikbayan travelers and tourists.

This adds on to its current flights to Guam, Honolulu, Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York.

Even with relatively limited resources, the flag carrier continues to grow its international network under the steady direction of president Stanley Ng. PAL recently sealed a codeshare deal with United’s rival, American Airlines, to sell seats to seven US cities: Atlanta, Denver, Houston, Las Vegas, Miami, Orlando and Washington, D.C.

Another tie-up with Singapore Airlines allows PAL to sell trips to several destinations in Europe. That plan will include Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Milan, Paris, Rome and Zurich.


PAL’s management has long recognized that some of its older planes and reduced fleet size resulting from its Chapter 11 filing a few years ago are crimping its ability to grow. It is augmenting capacity expansion with the addition of narrow and wide-body planes before the first of nine long-range Airbus A350-1000s begin arriving in 2025. —Miguel R. Camus INQ

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