Well deserved
HIDDEN AGENDA (The Philippine Star) - February 13, 2016 - 9:00am

According to business news, the local bourse rallied last week, with the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) gaining 25.95 points or 0.39 percent last Thursday with value turnover amounting to P4.83 billion.

Among the gainers was Philex Mining, whose share price rose 10.63 percent to P5.93 per share last Feb. 11. This was a third higher than the P3.75 per share recorded last Jan. 21.

In fact, Philex even outperformed the PSE index during the same period.

According to experts, Philex’ robust performance in the stock market is doubly remarkable, considering that it is taking place amidst the continued slump in the global mining market and the  uncertainties brought about by a lobby in Congress to impose even higher taxes on miners.

Last January, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) reported that the value of the country’s metal output fell 20 percent last year to P85.78 billion from P107.24 billion in 2014.

Although experts note that the rise in Philex share prices can be partly due to the increase in gold prices, they also acknowledge the fact that sound corporate governance practices and an excellent corporate social responsibility (CSR) program are crucial to enhancing the market value of any corporate organization.

Analysts are saying that Philex’ strong performance at the PSE best illustrates that investors put a premium on good governance and exemplary CSR.

As a staunch disciple of good corporate governance and holistic CSR practices, Philex has long established itself as the poster boy of responsible mining in the country.

Its feats have been recognized here and abroad, having won eight international and domestic awards for good governance and CSR since 2014 alone.

 Philex chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan, in his message to the mining company’s stockholders, emphasized that the firm has performed well “despite the continued decline in metal prices and the prevailing challenges facing the mining industry. Since 2012, prices of gold and copper have fallen by 22 percent and 25 percent, respectively.”

Pangilinan, who also chairs Philex parent Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC), said that Philex also undertook to strengthen its commitment to sound corporate governance practices, not only to align with the best practices across the globe but more importantly, to create a stronger, fully-compliant and world-class organization.

He said that the international and local recognition that Philex has been reaping are “a vote of confidence in our efforts and will inspire us further.”

Pangilinan stressed Philex’ commitment to be the face of responsible mining and to serve as the beacon for the industry by widening its corporate social responsibilities, beyond mere compliance with regulatory conditions.

Philex’ top official revealed that their investments on Social Development and Management Program, Community Development Program and Environment Protection and Enhancement Program will always remain an integral part of Philex’ capital expenditure as the company continues to prioritize helping the communities and environment around the areas it operates in.

Last November, Philex was named the top publicly listed company among 263 participants in the local bourse in terms of corporate governance during the maiden Asean Corporate Governance Scorecard Awards held in the country. Philex was also among the top 50 PLCs in the ASEAN region in the field.

 Philex was also chosen as one of the top five companies in terms of corporate governance at the 4th Annual Philippine Stock Exchange Bell Awards.

In the area of sustainability, Philex was hailed as one of the top five Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) companies in Asia during the Asia Corporate Excellence & Sustainability Awards (ACES) in Singapore. 

The ACES awards pay tribute to companies that have carried out significant CSR campaigns or that have implemented policies and structures that generate returns that go beyond financial gain.

Moreover, Philex was recognized  as the best company in terms of the way it is managed through its system of rules, practices, and processes.

It clinched the “Security Bank Corporate Governance Company of the Year” award granted by the Asia CEO Awards, which came on the heels of Philex’ recognition as among the “Most Promising Companies on Corporate Governance, an award granted by the Corporate Governance Asia, the region’s most authoritative journal on corporate governance, at formal ceremonies held in October in Hong Kong.

Philex has also bagged the “Gold Award” granted by The Asset’s Corporate Awards in Hong Kong, for the quality of its financial performance, corporate governance, social responsibility, environmental responsibility, and investor relations.

Also last year, Philex was named as one of the Philippines’ top companies for its social and environmental projects, in the Best Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) category based on polls conducted by the Hong Kong-based FinanceAsia magazine.

Philex also won the Philippine Quill Awards for Best in Publications under the division of Communication Skills Award of Excellence, for its 2013 annual report titled “Progression,” during last year’s annual conference of the International Association of Business Communications (IABC).

Philex Mining president and CEO Eulalio Austin said the company has proven anew that “we are advocates of responsible mining. Because of this, it would motivate the other mining companies that despite the environmental attacks to the mining industry, good corporate governance can be of great help to soften the issue.”

For his part, Philex Mining chief finance officer (CFO) Danny Yu said one of the biggest influences came from being a member of the MVP group of companies, which is a staunch supporter of sound corporate governance and that “determination and political will are two very important ingredients for implementing changes which we think are key to our success.

Mike Toledo, Philex Mining’s senior vice president for public and regulatory affairs and head of the MVP Group media bureau, said the accolades won by the company for its good governance and holistic CSR practices make it clear that, “responsible mining is possible in the Philippines, and that to say otherwise flies in the face of the realities on the ground.”

Philex has obtained from TUVRheinland, a technical services provider headquartered in Germany, its certification for Integrated Management System (IMS), an affirmation of the company’s successful programs on environmental protection and work safety.

MPIC’s Hongkong-based parent First Pacific Co. and its subsidiaries in the Philippines also won 16 awards from Corporate Governance Asia in Hongkong, including the Best CEO in Investor Relations for chairman Manny Pangilinan.

Aside from Philex, the other awardees during the Marriot Hotel event include MPIC president Jose Maria Lim and Meralco CEO Oscar Reyes. First Pacific, MPIC, Meralco and Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) also garnered awards for Best IR companies.

In 2014, First Pacific and MVP led four of the group’s businesses (MPIC, Philex, Meralco and PLDT) in winning eight awards for good governance granted from Corporate Governance Asia.

Philex has also joined some of its sister companies in winning the Quill Awards, among them MPIC, Meralco, PLDT, Maynilad Water Services Inc., Smart Communications Inc., The Philippine STAR and TV5 Network Inc.

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