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MANILA, Philippines, August 04, 2011 – Filipino business tycoon Manuel V. Pangilinan has expressed an interest in helping the Province of Iloilo improve its power distribution through the Manila Electric Company (Meralco).
Pangilinan, board chairman of the Philippine Long Distance Telephone (PLDT) Co. which has a controlling stake in Meralco, was the keynote speaker during the 1st Iloilo Business Summit.
The summit, which was organized by the Iloilo City Trade and Investment Promotions Board and its Foundation with JCI Iloilo and the Department of Trade and Industry, drew an audience of at least 700 which included government officials, business leaders, entrepreneurs and students.
He noted that while the completion of the 164-megawatt coal-fired power plant of Panay Energy Development Corp. now makes it possible to offer power at more affordable rates, “more generation capacity may be needed in the future for Panay as a whole.”
“However, I understand that power distribution business here needs improvement. We would be keen to help through Meralco,” he added.
Pangilinan lauded Iloilo’s government and business leaders for holding the summit, which he said represents a serious step in gathering the support of the business community to stimulate the local economy.
He cited the need for government and business to work together for Iloilo to achieve genuine and sustainable progress. “Business must shed the attitude of over-dependence on government while Government, in turn, must create an enabling environment to make it easier for businesses to operate profitably and grow.”
Pangilinan, who heads a conglomeration of businesses through the Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC) shared the formulas for the renewal and transformation of companies through the experiences of Maynilad, Meralco and North Luzon Expressway.
“First, we invest in specific businesses which offer significant returns to our shareholders and improve the lives of our people. Second, we transform the mindset and culture of the company we invest in. Third, while turning a profit is of primary consideration for us, it is not our only goal. What we want, and continually strive for, is sustained growth in the long-term,” he said.
He recommended that Iloilo prioritize improvements in the areas of power, water, port development, road networks, public transport system, education and sports.
“I’m told that Iloilo breeds excellent football teams. This is pleasant news and one which the city should nurture – to raise the quality and number of world-class players, and build the requisite football facilities. Perhaps our sports foundation can help in this regard,” he said.
PLDT and Smart Board Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan, who was invited to keynote the 1st Iloilo Business Summit, receives an award of appreciation from Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog. Also in photo are (from right) Rep. Jerry Treñas and Jonathan D. De Luzurriaga, executive vice president of CIBI Information, Inc.
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