business

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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IDC Hosts Thanksgiving Event for Valued Partners

September 3, 2019

In the spirit of gratitude, camaraderie and mutual support for all contributing and active sellers of Primavera City (PC), Italpinas Development Corporation (IDC) hosted the 2019 Mid-year Thanksgiving event last August 10, 2019, at YakiMix Cagayan de Oro, by thanking and recognizing individual sellers, and realties. “I would like to thank our valued partners for the outpouring support for IDC. Since the release of Citta Bella’s License to Sell last June 24, 2019, we have recorded an increase of total reservations at more than 200% in peso value in year to date comparison versus last year.” said Ms. Gladys Echano, IDC Sales Director   “We were astounded of the support of buying public and our sales force and we are always grateful for this. The success of Primavera City wouldn’t be possible without our ever-supportive partners. And for that, we thank you!" she added. Cittá Bella at Primavera City serves as IDC’s legacy in producing high quality, smart, safe, and sustainable buildings imbibing an Italian aesthetic design, all while considering a reduced environmental impact through lower energy consumption.  "Primavera's greatest asset is its location and the green features which makes it very sellable and unique. With Uptown's upcoming developments we are assured that investing in Primavera City will definitely be profitable in the years come." said Ma. Lourdes Elcarte With the first few floors of the projects designated for commercial space leasing. IDC designed its developments to be mixed-use which can provide for the residential tenants’ immediate needs. "I have been an accredited seller for Primavera City for 2 years now and for the past years, Primavera has proven itself to be the best investment buy here in Cagayan de Oro. From its amazing ambiance, magnificent panoramic view, eco-friendly features and for its investment opportunity, Primavera City has it! And we will continue to sell and promote the development with the help of IDC-PSO employees who’ve been helping us along the way" exclaimed Mr. & Mrs. Bernard Tubiano. Primavera City development was a recipient of the Best Mixed-Use Development award at the prestigious International Property Awards Asia Pacific for 2017-2018. The Asia Pacific Property Awards is a highly distinguished international awards program joined by independent panels comprised of 70 industry experts whose criteria include design, quality, service, innovation, originality and commitment to sustainability "Primavera City’s 360 view provides a breathtaking scenic peek of Cagayan de Oro’s rich scenic landscape covering Camiguin Island, Macajalar Bay, Cagayan de Oro River, the Malasag mountain view and the city’s impressive sunset. For me, this spectacular view from Primavera City is always the best!" added Maebelle Bernandino, Khristine Santillian & Jim Ogsimer. IDC recently reached out to EDGE to continue to develop its future green projects with the support of the EDGE application specifically for Primavera City. Considering its highly effective results achieved through the use of a software that helps the designers and developers not only to identify the most cost-effective ways to build green but finding also solutions to reach the minimum standard of 20% less resource intensity in energy, water and embodied energy in materials. “While working out in your own gym, swimming in your own pool (on the rooftop!), and a jogging path are all excellent benefits for fitness conscious residents, the real deal for Primavera City residents is its eco-friendly features. All the green/eco-friendly features are what makes living in Primavera City the ideal health, fitness and wellness investment. Everything around you is intended to help make you feel good; to protect you from harsh environmental elements.” said Mr. Jim Ogsimer. IDC’s development projects: Primavera Residences (PR) and Primavera City (PC), both mixed-use buildings, are strategically located in the city’s prime flood and traffic-free location. Moreover, IDC provides unique, innovative, sustainable, and safe real estate products that satisfy and exceed the expectations of customers, business partners, and stockholders. "This is proof that IDC delivers its commitment of being a genuine sustainable real estate developer. Primavera Residences was recognized as a green building by an international rating agency which is part of the IFC of The World Bank back in 2015. Now that Primavera City is currently applying for certification, this will be a statement of IDC's sustainable advocacy." added Liberty Ruth Quiñones.

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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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Leading Service Network USSC Launches Their Own Superhero Circle Movement

August 29, 2019

MANILA, PHILIPPINES— After a successful run for the USSC 360° SuperHero Photo Booth, one of the country’s leading financial service networks takes their advocacy online. As a follow-through to their month-long ‘USSC SuperHeroes’ Day’ campaign in honor of National Heroes’ Day, USSC sets forth another milestone as they launch their #SuperHeroNgBuhayKo movement.  The #SuperHeroNgBuhayKo movement encourages everyone to nominate their “everyday hero” and share their stories of extraordinary encounters with them. “Through this movement, we get to celebrate the lives of these everyday heroes and make them stars. Their stories matter and we, at USSC, take these real life experiences into heart so we can also improve our services,” Becca Ramirez, USSC Brand and Product Manager, says. “Our previous National Heroes’ Day run also helped us understand our consumers more—what they want and the quality of service that they need. Which is why we want to extend this monthlong campaign into a more sustainable digital activation because we believe that everyone can be a superhero. We want to take it online from offline, and hopefully, a lot of people will participate,” Ziggie Gonzales, USSC Director for Brand and Product Management, adds. Join the #SuperHeroNgBuhayKo movement and nominate your USSC SuperHero! Simply post a photo of your everyday superhero with a caption about their super story. Use #SuperHeroNgBuhayKo #USSCSuperHeroesDay2019 and tag USSC on social media. All nominees will then be transformed into USSC SuperHeroes and featured on our pages! For more information, visit https://www.ussc.com.ph/. Follow USSC Super Service Stores on Facebook and @ussc.ph on Instagram.

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Suzuki Moves Up to 4th Place in PH Automotive Brands Ranking

August 26, 2019

Suzuki Philippines Inc., the country’s pioneer subcompact car distributor, marks another first as it starts H2 of 2019 with another milestone. For the month of July, SPH grabs the 4th place among top automotive brands for the month-to-date and climbs to the 5th spot for the year-to-date ranking in the industry, the highest in the history of the brand with a 41% sales growth vs last year.      SPH closed the first half of 2019 on a high note, posting 14 percent sales growth over the same period last year. “We started the year on the right foot and strengthened our efforts in Q2 to reach more Filipino customers. Our aggressive and strategic marketing campaigns are key in pushing up our position both in the Philippine automobile industry and CAMPI rankings. These achievements reflect the Filipinos’ growing trust in our brand and the quality Suzuki cars that we provide. We are more driven now more than ever to bring only quality driving experience in every Suzuki ride,” shared SPH Director and General Manager for Automobile Division Keiichi Suzuki.       Committed to giving quality driving experience to every Filipino, SPH continues to assure the market with best-performance vehicles such as the New Ertiga, Swift, Celerio, Dzire and Vitara. These top-selling Suzuki vehicles collectively contributed 77 percent to total H1 2019 sales.       The top-favorite 7-seater family vehicle Ertiga is still the number one best-selling Suzuki vehicle in this year’s lineup with a 34 percent share of sales. The introduction of the new Ertiga Black Interior ramped up sales even further. Its fuel efficiency and spacious interior complement the elegance and modern style, giving the Ertiga a strong edge over its competitors.       Following Ertiga as a top-selling Suzuki vehicle is the hatchback well-loved by millennials. The Suzuki Swift contributed 13 percent to overall sales for the first half of the year.       The Celerio ranks third among Suzuki’s top-selling vehicles with an 11 percent shares of sales. Powered by a three-cylinder 1.0-liter DOHC engine, the hatchback is available with either a five-speed manual transmission or a Continuous Variable Transmission (CVT), making it the first model in its segment to offer CVT. Its compact design surprises with an interior that provides ample space, legroom and storage for stress-free driving.      SPH buckles up for continued strong growth these succeeding months with more targeted marketing strategies. Besides continuous efforts to bring the vehicles closer to the target markets through product displays and test drives, SPH reinforces its presence in the transport scene through active campaigns and promotions, including for those in the transport vehicle service (TNVS) ecosystem.       SPH makes ride sharing a more comfortable experience not just for drivers but for the commuters as well with the Suzuki Ciaz. A reliable partner on the road, the Ciaz runs on a refined K14B engine and has a lightweight and aerodynamic body for enhanced efficiency. Its roomy and ergonomically designed interior ensures a safe and comfortable ride for both the driver and passengers.       Spurred by the back-to-back successes in H1 2019 and with consistent marketing efforts, Suzuki Philippines warms up for a much more exciting initiatives for the remaining months of the year. These include the ongoing series of Auto Festival exhibits at SM City General Santos (September 21-22) and SM City Davao (October 26-27).      The brand will continue delivering on its commitment to provide only good-quality vehicles to provide Filipinos with the best driving experience and bring them closer to the Suzuki way of life.

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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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