How Lance Gokongwei will continue supporting Duterte
MANILA, Philippines – Taipan John Gokongwei's only son, Lance, said he will continue helping the incoming President Rodrigo Duterte achieve his goals for the Philippines through hard investments in the country, especially in Visayas and Mindanao.
This was the response of the 49-year-old president and chief operating officer of JG Summit Incorporated, when asked if he rejected the finance secretary post offered by Duterte.
Indirectly answering the question, Gokongwei replied: "The President has real mandate from the people. He got true love for the country and is action-orientated. He has selected a Finance secretary, which is Dominguez, who's competent and trusted by both business community and the President."
Duterte had said he was considering the younger Gokongwei to head the Department of Finance, after Carlos "Sonny" Dominguez III initially rejected his offer. (READ: After hesitating, Dominguez accepts Finance post)
"In my personal capacity, as head of JG Summit, our group will continue to help the incoming president achieve his goals for the country," Gokongwei told reporters on the sidelines of the company’s annual stockholders meeting late Thursday, January 9.
Invest in PH, produce more jobs
Asked in what ways he will help Duterte, Gokongwei said it will be through investments in the country and creation of more jobs.
"One of the things unique about JG Summit is that we are one of the few industrial groups in the country doing difficult businesses, like petrochemicals, which we feel is essential to bringing our country to being a middle-income nation," he said.
JG Summit is the country’s second biggest company with a market value of $12.8 billion and sales of $4.88 billion.
Expand petrochem plant in Batangas
Most of JG Summit’s subsidiaries – Cebu Pacific, Robinsons Land, Universal Robina, and JG Summit Petrochemical – are under Gokongwei’s watch. He serves as the CEO for all 4 subsidiaries.
For JG Summit Petrochemical, he said the company plans to invest $500 million to $600 million between 2017 and 2019.
The businessman said JG Summit Petrochemical intends to expand the downstream capacity of its existing manufacturing plant in Batangas to 500,000 metric tons (MT), from 320,000 MT annually.
"This will require us to expand the cracker, build further downstream for butadiene and aromatics stream," Gokongwei added.
Fly to small cities in VisMin
"We’ve ordered 16 additional aircraft and the main intention for that is really connect all the small cities in the Philippines that do not have an airport that can handle a jet. So this will really help connecting people in the countryside, especially in Visayas and Mindanao," Gokongwei told reporters.
For its long-haul operations, he said Cebu Pacific plans to buy two Airbus A330 aircraft.
"That is under consideration because we're looking to fly to additional routes, particularly Honolulu, or increasing potential flights to the Middle East," Gokongwei added.
For 2016, JG Summit has earmarked a capital spending budget of P41.3 billion, lower than that of last year.
Gokongwei said the lower budget is because of the exclusion of investments for JG Summit Petrochemical expansion plans, which remain in the planning stage. – Rappler.com