Metro Pacific, PH's largest infra firm, unfazed by unrest in Mindanao
MANILA, Philippines – The country’s largest infrastructure conglomerate will continue cementing its presence Mindanao even as unrest continues in an 8,755-hectare city that led to the declaration of martial law in the region.
Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC) – which holds power, water, rails, toll roads, logistics, and hospitals in its portfolio – said it will soon announce a "big" investment in Mindanao.
"Most likely it will proceed. This is a long-term investment," MPIC Chairman Manuel Pangilinan told reporters on the sidelines of the firm’s annual stockholders’ meeting in Taguig City on Friday, May 26. He, however, did not divulge more details.
MPIC has a 47.8% stake in Global Business Power Corporation, which is a leading power producer in Visayas and Mindoro Island, with a combined gross dependable capacity of 854 megawatts (MW).
Global Business Power is expanding its capacity to around 1,500 MW to 2,000 MW in 5 years in Mindanao and Luzon. (READ: 'Normal working day' for businesses amid martial law in Mindanao)
Its toll roads subsidiary, Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation, is also looking at prospective expressway projects in Mindanao.
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has two projects in the pipeline for Mindanao: an expressway from Bukidnon to Davao National Highway, as well as another 23.3-kilometer expressway within Davao City.
These are live prospects even if President Rodrigo Duterte had made the declaration following clashes between government forces and the Maute Group in downtown Marawi City, Lanao del Sur.
He cited the threat of the Islamic State (ISIS), which the Maute Group previously pledged allegiance to, as basis for declaring martial law.
"It is a cause for concern so we need to understand the situation better. But these are long-term investments," Pangilinan said.
Ramoncito Fernandez, chief of Maynilad Water Services Incorporated, said, "In general, businessmen get worried when there are troubles up in the air. [But] it looks like there is no issue."
Maynilad, a 52.8%-owned subsidiary of MPIC, is the water and wastewater services provider for the West Zone of the Greater Metro Manila area. It is the largest water concessionare in terms of customer base in the Philippines – currently at 1,312,223 service connections or more than 9 million people.
Asked if Maynilad has business ventures in the region, Fernandez said, "There are opportunities there, but very raw."
MPIC posted a core net income of P3.1 billion in the first quarter in 2017, up 14% from P2.7 billion in the same period a year ago after the conglomerate expanded reach in the power sector through Global Business Power acquisition. – Rappler.com