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Belmont Hotel Manila Bags Prestigious World Luxury Hotel Plum

September 10, 2019

Belmont Hotel Manila, one of seven acclaimed hotel brands in the country’s premier entertainment and lifestyle destination Resorts World Manila (RWM), reaped yet another international recognition as one of the winners of The World Luxury Hotel Awards this year.  Belmont-Facade Defining excellence in global hospitality since 2006, the World Luxury Hotel Awards gather votes from over 300,000 international hotel guests in a four-week span to determine the top brands that connote luxury and the finest quality service for the year.   Belmont Hotel Manila was nominated in three of the award-giving body’s over 100 categories, including Luxury Airport Hotel category for being conveniently located in front of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 and easily accessible via the upscale pedestrian footbridge Runway Manila; Luxury Business Hotel category as voted by travelers who mix work, play, and pleasure; and Luxury City Hotel category highlighting Belmont Hotel Manila’s proximity to RWM and its many offerings. Last year, the brand was likewise recognized as the Airport Hotel of the Year by the Travel and Hospitality Awards.  Belmont Hotel Manila is a 10-storey business hotel with 470 well-appointed room, and features the all-day restaurant Café Belmont, fitness center with sauna, steam room and shower areas, a business  center, meeting rooms and function rooms, and a swimming pool with outdoor Jacuzzi, kiddie pool, and rooftop bar at penthouse that overlooks the NAIA Terminal 3 runway. Belmont Hotel Manila’s big win will be announced during the ceremonies to be held in Finland this October.   Know more about Belmont Hotel Manila and its world-class offers by visiting www.belmonhotelmanila.com.  BHM_WLHA Winner_Social Media 4

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28th MinBizCon to pursue Laguindingan Airport Expansion

September 9, 2019

The private sector will actively lobby for the expansion of the congested Laguindingan Airport in Misamis Oriental during the 28th Mindanao Business Conference (MinBizCon) on September 12-14, 2019 at Iligan City. “This will be one of the issues we will raise during the MinBizCon,” said Ma. Teresa R. Alegrio, regional governor for Region 10 (Northern Mindanao) of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI). “We have already prepared our position paper on the status of domestic airports in Mindanao and will raise this on the floor during the plenary session.” A year ago, PCCI-10 passed a resolution requesting DOTr Sec. Arthur Tugade to prioritize the development and expansion of Laguindingan Airport within the next five years (2019-2023).   The resolution noted that the original proposal to improve the capacity and operations of the Laguindingan airport included upgrading the facilities /equipments to be of international standards, specifically, the operation and maintenance (O&M) of the airport along with the development of associated infrastructure and facilities, and the installation of all required equipment to meet international standards.  (please see sidebar story) As a regional airport serving Northern Mindanao and its adjacent regions, the Laguindingan Airport has been serving six provinces, two highly urbanized cities and five component cities with an average of two million passengers annually for the last three (3) years. “Laguindingan Airport has become an important logistic network for over 150 medium to large scale industries including four major thermal power plants, the Agus-Pulangi Hydroelectric Complex. 3 industrial parks, and emerging tourism destinations,” Alegrio noted.  Media reports recently disclosed that the Department of Transportation (DOTr) is seeking an additional P100 million to start detailed engineering works and much needed repairs on the Laguindingan Airport as part of the P2.9 billion augmentation budget to fund its priority projects, including the development of four airports, the construction of the Pagasa Island port, and the implementation of the public utility vehicle modernization program. The Department of Transportation (DOTr) originally allocated P400-million (M) for the terminal building expansion of the Laguindingan Airport, but this was reduced to P180-M, then again halved to P90-M, before being slashed altogether by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) from the 2019 General Appropriations Act (GAA). However, the business sector lobbied strongly for the restoration of the reduced budget and the P90-M was eventually restored through a Congressional Initiative by Rep. Juliette Uy (2nd District, Misamis Oriental). Sources at the DOTr said a portion of the P90-M would be used for the Detailed Engineering (DE) of the proposed expanded passenger terminal building. The bidding process for an independent consultant to undertake the DE is now being processed and the contract is expected to be awarded by the latter part of 2019. The balance of the P90-M would used to rehabilitate dilapidated portions of the terminal building such as the comfort rooms. Even if the original P90-M would already be used up, construction of the new PTB would still continue with the proviso the funds used for this purpose would be reimbursed to the national government by the winning bidder for the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) project to develop and expand the Laguindingan Airport faculties. ”While we appreciate the 90M Congressional Initiative Fund restored by Rep. Juliette Uy, this amount is barely enough to refurbish the dilapidated areas including the poorly designed comfort rooms and malfunctioning elevators,” said Engr. Elpidio M. Paras, president of Promote Northmin Inc. “Government should now fast track the entry of private sector companies to expand and improve all the facilities of Laguindingan so that it can already accommodate direct flights from regional and international destinations, including lengthening the runway to meet wide body jet aircraft,” he added. Alegrio said the MinBizCon would seek a clarification from DOTr if the P100 million it is seeking for the Laguindingan Airport development in next year’s budget is the same item as the P90 million earlier committed as a congressional insertion by Rep. Uy. When it started operations in 15 June 2013, air passenger traffic at the Cagayan de Oro Lumbia Airport that Laguindingan Airport was designed to replace had already exceeded the 1.6 million design capacity of the new passenger terminal building (PTB). “To put it bluntly, the replacement airport was congested upon opening,” said a former DOTC official involved in its planning. When the passenger traffic exceeded 2 million annual passengers last year, the need for a larger terminal that could accommodate the current and expected passenger volume over the medium term became urgent and critical. On a year-on-year basis alone, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines ( CAAP) figures for the past 10 years show passenger traffic increasing at an annual rate of 8.7% from 902,133 in 2008 at the Cagayan de Oro Lumbia Airport to 2,079,683in 2018 at the Laguindingan Airport (doubling passenger volume every 8.5 years.) Recent growth in air cargo traffic was even more impressive, soaring 44% from 2017 to 25,366 metric tons (MT). The 11% increase in the number of flights from 2017 to 2018 (17,478 aircraft takeoffs and landings) was mainly responsible for the meteoric rise in both passenger and cargo movements. In a related development, DOTr Sec. Arthur Tugade announced last 15 July the proposed extension of the 2.1 kilometer runway to 2.4 or 2.5 kilometers is proceeding as planned.  The P250-M budget for this project is already included in the 2020 National Expenditure Plan (NEP), which Congress wants approved before the year end.  This was part of the Feasibility Study expansion proposal endorsed by the Regional Development Council for Region 10 (RDC-X) and approved by the NEDA Board in 2014.

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Dream Residences breaks ground in Manolo Fortiich

August 31, 2019

A mid-rise residential development has broken ground in Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon some 30 kilometers southeast of Cagayan de Oro City. Dream Residences is the second project of Yega Development Corporation - it is also the developer of Smart Condominium in uptown Cagayan de Oro. The venture is a result of Yega Development Corporation president and CEO Zackie Harris' dream - to establish a living space in Northern Mindanao where the climate is just right. Barangay San Miguel in Manolo Fortich definitely suits Harris' dream - temperature here drops to as low as 18°C at night. And just a stone's throw away is the famed Del Monte golf course. There are four choices of units available here in Dream Residences - each with a choice of view of the golf course or the dream swimming pools that will surreally surround the villas. The dream swimming pools are Harris' personal touch - as early as childhood, he has dreamt of living in an abode surrounded by sparkling waters. There are studio suites, mixed use units, country homes and pool villas with floor area as large as 100 sq. m. Future residents will also have the option to purchase units with varied fixtures - from standard to smart to supreme package. The supreme package already comes with a modular kitchen, dual electric cooktop stove, kitchen fixtures, range hood, closets & cabinets, coffee table set, water dispenser, queen size bed with massage bed, sofa, air conditioner, microwave, refrigerator, television, shower enclosure or bathtub and shower heater. Harris said residents will have the option to purchase solar panels for their electricity needs, making Dream Residences the most environment friendly living space outside Cagayan de Oro. To maximize this reality, parking slots will be placed outside the living campus itself. Residents will have the option to jog or use battery-operated carts to get to their vehicles. And then Dream Residences will have its own sewage treatment plant. As Harris puts it, "It is a paradigm shift, a change of habits." First turnover of units is expected in 2022. Dream Residences - your continuing experience of paradise in Manolo Fortich.

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AboitizPower enters int'l RE market, acquires Vietnam wind power facility

August 24, 2019

The Dam Nai Wind facility, located in Ninh Thuan Province, Southern Vietnam, is among the first successful wind power projects in the country. AboitizPower, through its wholly owned subsidiary AboitizPower International, announced today that it has signed a share purchase agreement for the acquisition of 100% ownership of Mekong Wind Pte. Ltd. (“Mekong Wind”) from Armstrong Southeast Asia Clean Energy Fund Pte. Ltd. The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to complete in the fourth quarter of 2019. The acquisition captures all legal and economic interest in Mekong Wind, which in turn holds a 99.9999934% direct interest in Dam Nai Wind Power JSC (“Dam Nai Wind”). Dam Nai Wind owns and operates the 39.4-megawatt (MW) onshore wind power facility in Ninh Thuan Province, Southern Vietnam. Ninh Thuan Province boasts some of the most attractive sites for wind energy in the country. The total purchase consideration payable for the acquisition of Mekong Wind is approximately USD 46 million which may be subject to certain closing adjustments.   Dam Nai Wind is one of the first wind power projects in Vietnam to have been successfully brought online with commercial operations having commenced in late 2017.  The transaction builds on AboitizPower’s investments in the rapid growth of renewable energy and marks its entry into one of Asia’s most attractive markets. Vietnam, with its robust economic growth backed by strong government support, creates an attractive environment for AboitizPower to increase its commitment and contribution to energy supply security in Southeast Asia through its wide experience and expertise in the power sector. “This transaction is a milestone for AboitizPower and sets the tone for our expansion in the international market. We have announced our intentions to go international some time back and we have been prudent in looking for the right opportunity that will bring the best value for the company and our shareholders. This is such a transaction,” AboitizPower President and Chief Executive Officer Erramon I. Aboitiz said. “We are excited for this opportunity not only to expand beyond the Philippines but to also bring our experience in the power generation sector, especially in the renewable energy space, to Vietnam. We are proud of what we have done with our Cleanergy brand in the Philippines and we will bring the same level of expertise and dedication to the Vietnam market,” AboitizPower Chief Operating Officer Emmanuel V. Rubio added. AboitizPower, together with its partners, generates some 1,200 MW of clean and renewable energy from its portfolio of hydro, geothermal, and solar power plants, forming its Cleanergy brand.

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CEB launches Cebu-Busuanga route 

August 23, 2019

Fares offered as low as PHP299 The Philippines’ leading airline, Cebu Pacific (PSE: CEB), strengthens its Cebu hub network with the launch of direct flights to Busuanga (Coron). Starting October 27, 2019, CEB’s wholly owned subsidiary, Cebgo, will be flying twice daily between Cebu and Busuanga. The first flight departs Mactan Cebu International Airport at 7:25am, and arrives in Francisco B. Reyes Airport at 9:00am; while its return flight leaves Busuanga at 9:20am and arrives in Cebu at 11:00am. The second flight leaves Cebu at 10:25am, and lands in Busuanga at 12:05pm; while its turnaround flight departs at 12:25pm and arrives at 2:10pm.   “We believe that these twice daily flights will enable residents from Cebu and other parts of Visayas and Mindanao to explore Palawan, without having to make the trip to Metro Manila to catch their flights. With this direct Cebu-Busuanga route, the islands of Coron and Culion are easier to get to. This will also allow locals from the rest of Southern Luzon to easily connect to Cebu and its network of over 20 domestic and six (6) international destinations,” said Alexander Lao, Cebgo President and CEO. CEB is offering seats for as low as PHP299, base fare, from today until August 17, 2019, or until seats last. Travel period is from October 27, 2019 to March 28, 2020.              Aside from Cebu, CEB also operates flights out of six other strategically placed hubs in the Philippines: Manila, Clark, Kalibo, Iloilo, Davao and Cagayan de Oro. The airline’s extensive network covers over 100 routes and 64 destinations, spanning Asia, Australia, the Middle East, and USA. For bookings and inquiries, guests can visit www.cebupacificair.com or call the reservation hotlines (+632)7020-888 or (+6332)230-8888. The latest seat sales can be found on CEB’s official Twitter (@CebuPacificAir) and Facebook pages. Guests may also download the Cebu Pacific official mobile app on the App Store and Google Play.   About Cebu Air Inc. (PSE: CEB) Cebu Air Inc., operating as Cebu Pacific, is the largest carrier in the Philippine air transportation industry, offering its low-cost services to more destinations and routes with higher flight frequency within the Philippines than any other airline. CEB and subsidiary Cebgo fly to 37 domestic and 27 international destinations, with over 100 routes spanning Asia, Australia, the Middle East, and USA. The Cebu Pacific fleet is comprised of 2 Airbus A321NEO, two Airbus A320NEO, 33 Airbus A320, seven (7) Airbus A321CEO, eight (8) Airbus A330, eight (8) ATR 72-500, and 13 ATR 72-600 aircraft. The ATR aircraft are used by Cebgo for inter-island flights where jet operations are not possible. CEB boasts of one of the youngest fleets in the world, with an average fleet age of five (5) years. Cebu Pacific has achieved full compliance with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Operational Safety Audit (IOSA)—considered as the accreditation with the highest standards for safety in the airline industry, joining a roster of 429 airlines worldwide that have strictly complied with the most stringent of international standards governing aviation safety.   

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XAVIER CITY: The new ambitious central business hub of Cagayan de Oro

August 7, 2019

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MDN Mindanao News digital) - The new and ambitious central business hub of Cagayan de Oro initially dubbed as Xavier City by its developer will definitly change the landscape of Divisoria.  Based on the proposal submitted for approval by the Jesuits in Rome, it will be a planned mixed-use development of the current Xavier University campus in the downtown, and it shall be named "Xavier City." A new 6-lane thoroughfare is envisioned by the developer to cut across the Xavier property and it will become an extension of Toribio Chaves Street. It will also exit along Mortola St. The present church inside the XU campus (Immaculate Conception Chapel) will be retained and its surroundings will be made into a green park. On its south side will rise multiple office towers on top of the commercial establishments. The upper section will also composed of condos. The proposed new central business hub (CBD) also retains the university's College of Law that will occupy one of the towers, report said.   Different perspectives are presented below for clearer understanding of this most ambitious project development as proposed by Cebu Landmasters Inc. (CLI)  

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