Gokongwei, PLDT exec join Meralco board

Rappler.com
They replace San Miguel president and COO Ramon Ang, and San Miguel director Estelito Mendoza

NEW IN MERALCO. Filipino billionaire John Gokongwei Jr. joins Meralco's board of directors following his company's acquisition of a stake in the utility company. Photo by Jake Verzosa

MANILA, Philippines – The founder of conglomerate JG Summit Holdings Inc. and the president of phone giant Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) were elected as members of Manila Electric Company’s (Meralco) board of directors.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange on Tuesday, April 1, Meralco announced its board approved in a meeting on March 31 the nomination and election of JG Summit’s John Gokongwei Jr. and PLDT president Napoleon Nazareno as new members.

They replaced Ramon Ang, president and chief operating officer of San Miguel Corporation, and lawyer Estelito Mendoza, one of San Miguel’s directors.

Meralco said Gokongwei and Nazareno would “serve the remaining term of their predecessors and until their successors are duly elected and qualified.”

Their appointment followed the sale of San Miguel’s 27% stake in Meralco to JG Summit for P72 billion.

Meralco will elect a new set of board directors during its annual stockholders’ meeting on May 27. Below is the final list of candidates to the 11-man board:

  • Ray Espinosa
  • James Go
  • John Gokongwei Jr.
  • Lance Gokongwei
  • Jose Ma. K. Lim
  • Manuel Lopez
  • Napoleon Nazareno
  • Artemio Panganiban
  • Manuel Pangilinan
  • Oscar Reyes
  • Pedro Roxas

Panganiban and Roxas were nominated as independent directors.

Meralco is the country’s largest power distributor, serving over 5 million consumers in Luzon.

The company is mired in controversy following its record-high rate hike in December. Meralco was accused of colluding with power generation companies to jack up electricity prices passed on to consumers. The rate hike is subject of a case before the Supreme Court. (READ Rappler’s special report: What Meralco’s rate hike tells us about the power sector– Rappler.com