Philippine Daily Inquirer

Con­tro­ver­sial vote


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 bizbuzz@in­ Get busi­ness alerts and a pre­view of Biz Buzz the evening be­fore it comes out. Text ONINQ BUSI­NESS to 4467 (P2.50/alert)

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