BIZ BUZZ: Farewell, Joecon; Goodbye, Dad

BIZ BUZZ: Farewell, Joecon; Goodbye, Dad

/ 02:09 AM March 11, 2024

The local business, civic and political communities were united last week in expressing their grief over the passing of industrialist and patriot Jose Concepcion Jr.

But the pain is more keenly felt by his tight-knit family.

John, the fourth of his eight children and former CEO of Unilever RFM Ice Cream, said his father was his hero.


“In whatever my dad chose to do, he did it 100 percent all the time, nothing ever halfway,” he said in his eulogy.


John also recalled how RFM used to have a notepad that said, “Act now.” This guided him as he went up the corporate ladder, eventually retiring after making Selecta the leading ice cream brand in the country and even in Southeast Asia.

“Dream, think big but act now” still guides him as he devotes his energy toward making Standard Hospitality Group —operator of such brands as Yabu and Ippudo Ramen—one of the biggest casual dining groups in the Philippines.

John said he would rely on all that he had learned from his father, whom he hopes would get to enjoy all of the Selecta macapuno ice cream that heaven has to offer. —Tina Arceo-Dumlao

Rain on tycoons’ parade

The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) may yet rain on the parade of the tycoons who recently linked arms to create a liquefied natural gas (LNG) powerhouse.

Specifically, ERC Chair Monalisa Dimalanta wants to see if San Miguel Corp. (SMC) president Ramon Ang’s promise of a reduction in power rates of about P1 to P2 per kilowatthour (kWh) as a result of the partnership will pan out.

Note that an SMC unit had in January given the “best bid” to supply Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) 1,200 megawatts of power via the Ilijan plant, the same facility in the center of the LNG deal with Aboitiz Power and a unit of Manny Pangilinan’s Meralco.


That contract provides for the sale of electricity at about P7.0718 per kWh.

“We will hold them to that [lower power rates],” said Dimalanta, who also saw red flags in the new ownership structure of the Batangas generation facility.

Meralco, for one, is also the off-taker or the buyer of the product that will be produced by Ilijan.

Also note that the supply contract was secured via a competitive selection process.

Meralco had said the actual cost of the power purchased—which will eventually be passed on to consumers—could fluctuate depending on the world market prices of fuels, including LNG.

“We won’t be as liberal in the fuel pass-through,” Dimalanta said.

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In the end, the tycoons will still have to pass through the eye of the needle in securing not just the green light of the Philippine Competition Commission, but also that of the ERC (at least on the supply contract). —Ira P. Pedrasa INQ

TAGS: Biz Buzz, Business

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