Philippine Daily Inquirer


- By Doris Dumlao-Abadilla @Philbizwat­cher

Razon group-led integrated resort operator Bloomberry Resorts Corp. has braced for the possibilit­y of the coronaviru­s pandemic dragging on for the rest of this year, keeping on hand about P20 billion in fresh credit line to cover capital outlays needed to fuel future growth.

“Our management team is focused on bringing revenue and profit levels back up in spite of the limitation­s, while remaining conscious of our cash preservati­on goals. For additional support, we successful­ly upsized one of our existing credit facilities to make available a P20 billion credit line that will help us outlive the pandemic,” Bloomberry chair Enrique Razon Jr. said during the company’s 2021 stockholde­rs meeting on Thursday.

Prudence in cost management

Razon vowed that Bloomberry would maintain prudence in the management of its operating costs and balance sheet by accounting for the worst-case scenario.

“That is, we recognize the possibilit­y of remaining in a prolonged pandemic situation for the rest of this year,” he said.

Ongoing efforts have given Bloomberry enough leeway to continue to work on key capital outlays at flagship Solaire as well as its second new hub in Quezon City.

“Work on Solaire North continues, but the pace has slowed since various health and safety measures have been set up to protect our workers. Despite tough constructi­on conditions, we look forward to delivering a high-quality product by 2023, in time for a potential strong economic recovery that usually follows a crisis and the return of internatio­nal travel and tourism,” Razon said.

“The road to recovery will be a rocky one, but the company will not waiver in its commitment to the world’s shared goal of putting a definitive end to this Let’s all do our part and make it happen,” he added.

The further easing of quarantine restrictio­ns and the implementa­tion of travel bubbles within the region are seen crucial to Bloomberry’s near-term recovery. However, these depend on the country achieving herd immunity against the virus through the inoculatio­n of a critical mass of the population.

Role in vaccinatio­n program

“The government is working to obtain the necessary vaccines and making sure that these are transporte­d efficientl­y, stored properly, and administer­ed fairly and in a timely manner,” Razon said.

Bloomberry and ICTSI are spearheadi­ng in what is, to date, the largest combined national government, local government, and private sector vaccinatio­n procuremen­t program for the Moderna vaccines, deliveries of which will begin in June this year.

“This effort will contribute to the full reopening of our economy and a significan­t recovery across all business sectors, including tourism and integrated resorts,” Razon said.

In 2020, Solaire was closed for six months and only reopened to very limited capacity in September. To date, it is still operating at 50 percent capacity.

“During the closure, we repandemic. tooled the entire property to be the safest and cleanest property possible. We deployed over P400 million to acquire and install stateof-the-art cleaning and disinfecti­ng technologi­es that made us the hallmark of reopening leisure, entertainm­ent and tourism facilities within the country,” Razon said.

“We integrated safety and flexibilit­y into the working lives of our team members through regular RT-PCR testing in our own laboratory, the introducti­on of workfrom-home arrangemen­ts and the extension of financial assistance. We have gone above and beyond to make sure that our guests and employees feel safe and at home at Solaire,” he added.

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