Philippine Daily Inquirer
Reminiscent of its move to stop operations at the Tampakan mine — said to have the largest gold and copper reserves in Southeast Asia — the provincial council of South Cotabato voted to block the coal mining operations of Daguma Agro Minerals Inc.
The company, a unit of the San Miguel Corp., is the concession holder of the Department of Energy’s coal mining project in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato.
But there’s one key difference between Tampakan and Daguma. The former was supposed to operate under the open pit mining scheme (which is allowed under the Mining Act, by the way), while the latter uses “contour strip mining” — a more environmentally sound method that only scrapes off of soil or “overburden” on top of the coal seam, and replacing it immediately for rehabilitation.
But Biz Buzz hears the voting of the provincial council was mired in controversy.
It was reportedly unscheduled and done in the absence of the very authors of the resolution to adopt the DOEproject.
Daguma said it respected the decision, but noted that the period to file a motion for reconsideration has not yet lapsed.
It said it was untrue that the indigenous people rejected the project. The company has long acquired a Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) from the indigenous T’boli people from sitios Kibang, El Dulog Pulusubong, and Abboy. In fact, one of the council members who voted for the project is the official representative of all indigenous peoples of Lake Sebu.
Daguma holds an Environmental Compliance Certificate issued by the Environmental Management Bureau of the DENR.
Claims that make it appear the project will “violate protected areas,” the firm said. House Bill 6772 and Senate Bill 1444 or the proposed expanded Nipas Act enumerates only Mount Matu- tum and Saranggani Bay as the protected area at Region XII.
Daguma’s mining zones are outside these areas and these are not “protected areas.”
The question now is whether reason — and the law — will prevail or will raw emotions win the day, as it did with Tampakan? Don’t hold your breath. —DAXIM L. LUCAS
MCIA’s Day One
Auspicious of China’s growing importance to the Philippines, the first carrier to make use of Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA)’s brand-new international terminal 2 is China Eastern, which flew in 200 passengers from Shanghai. It landed on Mactan at 3:40 a.m. on July 1.
GMR Megawide, which holds the concession to modernize and operate MCIA, was initially anxious due to the heavy downpour that night but the actual opening of the new terminal went by smoothly.
On Day 1, MCIA’s new terminal accommodated 29 flights.
Last year, MCIA saw an average of 10 aircraft movements —either landing or takeoff—hitting 18 per hour during the peak season. There’s still much room to grow air traffic to Cebu. Aircraft movements in Naia, Metro Manila’s main gateway, are four times higher to date at 40 per hour.
In 2014, Megawide Construction Corp. and its Indian partner GMR bagged the P14.4-billion contract to redevelop MCIA and operate it for 25 years.
The launch of new routes and airlines in 2017 led to a total of 9.97 million passengers, a 12- percent increase from the previous year’s 8.89 million, with domestic passengers accounting for 69 percent, and international passengers at 31 percent. This year, MCIA is targeting a 14-percent rise in passenger volume to 11.3 million. —DORIS DUMLAO-ABADILLA CNPF@40 When businessman Ricardo Po
Sr. founded Century Pacific Food 40 years ago, it was just a small tuna manufacturing company that supplied international brands. It has since then built a number of market-leading brands to become the country’s leading canned food manufacturer and expanded its portfolio beyond core tuna products.
In time for CNPF’s 40th birthday, leadership has smoothly transitioned to second generation Pos. Christopher Po, former president and CEO, has assumed the role of executive chair while his brother and former executive vice president and COO, Teodoro
“Ted” Po, has taken over as president and CEO.
“In my new role, I will now have more time to pursue strategic initiatives and various business development activities as I continue to chair the weekly management meetings, the board, as well as retain a portfolio of finance and newer business units,” Christopher Po said in a report to shareholders.
His successor, Ted Po, who has been with the company for 28 years, has personally spearheaded the launch of many of the group’s products. A manufacturing engineer, Po said Ted’s “technical breadth and institutional knowledge is unmatched within the company.”
Greg Banzon, former vice president and general manager for the tuna division, was also promoted to EVP and COO. Ed
win Africa is now senior vice president and general manager. He is the former VP and GM of the meat division. —DORISDUMLAO-ABADILLA
Franchising ‘on our own’
The local franchise industry, which earned billions of dollars in revenue through the years, has reached this point with little to no help from the national government.
Alegria Sibal-Limjoco, called the mother of Philippine franchising, did not flinch wordswhen she described how they got here.
While the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has lately been helping out, this wasn’t always the case.
Compared to other industries, like that of export or of furniture making, which are backed by considerable support from DTI, and you’ll wonder why the franchise industry — which helps a lot of small businesses grow — is doing things on its own.
Why the lack of support? We never get a straight answer from officials of the Philippine Franchise Association (PFA) during a recent press briefing.
What we do get, however, is a picture of what the industry was able to do despite being alone in this initiative for most of its history.
“PFA grew on our own. We [didn’t] get any support from the government, whereas our neighbors such as Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia, and Thailand, [have their respective] governments pay for the franchise program,” she said.
Last year, the industry hit $18.1 billion in revenue. PFA expects that figure to hit $24 billion in 2020.
Other than helping bring local brands abroad, other governments are paying foreign buyers to go to their respective countries to consider local franchise brands.
In the case of the Philippines, “this is something we had to invest in out of our own pockets,” said PFA top official Christopher
Lim, noting that a formal government program geared for this kind of support would help accelerate growth. Recently, however, Sibal
Limjoco, who is also the president of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said DTI the had helped bring local brands to Dubai and Indonesia recently.
PFA is currently preparing to host the Franchise Asia Show, the largest franchise expo in the continent which will be held from July 16 to 22 in Manila.
Despite the lack of support, it is pretty amazing how PFA had gone a long way, as the industry now has 2,000 franchise brands in the country, whose 200,000 store network generates 1.2 million jobs. —ROY STEPHEN C. CANIVEL E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Get business alerts and a preview of Biz Buzz the evening before it comes out. Text ONINQ BUSINESS to 4467 (P2.50/alert)