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PLDT in talks to cancel some projects to cut P48-B excess spending

Ian Nicolas Cigaral - Philstar.com
PLDT in talks to cancel some projects to cut P48-B excess spending
This, after PLDT announced a budget overrun of P48 billion in the last four years.
Businessworld / File

MANILA, Philippines — PLDT Inc. is in discussion with suppliers and vendors to cancel some projects to try to reduce budget “overruns” that raised concerns of management shortcomings.

In a regulatory filing on Tuesday, the telco giant said the possible cancellations would cover “certain portions of delayed projects” that have not been started or completed. The company is also asking some vendors for discounts to help cut its overspending.

At the same time, PLDT said the discussion also includes replacing certain cancelled projects with new ones "that will improve revenue growth and customer experience."

PLDT was responding to questions from the Philippine Stock Exchange, which has launched a probe into the company’s reported P48-billion excess spending in the past four years. Specifically, the PSE asked PLDT to clarify certain comments made by Manuel V. Pangilinan, company chairman, in a report by the Philippine Daily Inquirer and PLDT’s previous disclosures about the findings of its “ongoing” internal investigation.

The Securities and Exchange Commission has also launched a separate investigation into the matter.

PLDT said that so far it has not found any fraudulent transactions, procurement anomalies, or loss of assets arising from the excessive budget spending, the amount of which represents about 12.7% of the firm’s total capital expenditures in the past four years.

Pangilinan said “there will be no write-off of these assets”, majority of which were procured as part of the company’s massive LTE and 5G rollout to edge out market rivals.

As of market recess Tuesday, shares in PLDT were up 3.25%.

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Editor's Note: A unit under PLDT's media conglomerate has a majority stake in Philstar Global Corp., which runs Philstar.com. This article was independently produced following editorial guidelines.

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