What’s new for BPI in Makati and Aboitiz in Cebu?
SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Bobit S. Avila (The Philippine Star) - April 30, 2019 - 12:00am

I was in Makati for a day to attend the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) annual stockholders meeting where media from the Visayas and Mindanao were invited. Actually, it was the first time for BPI to invite the Cebu and Davao media to their annual stockholders meeting and it was good for me to meet with our old friends, Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala and his brother Fernando where we talked about the old days when they went to Cebu with their motorcycles to ride with us. Unfortunately our good friend, Bobby Aboitiz who played host with them, passed away two years ago.

As the top honchos of BPI pointed out, BPI for the 1st Quarter of 2019 posted a 7.6 percent increase in its net income, which stands at P6.72 billion and up to 10.5 percent versus the 4th Quarter of 2018. In their joint message to the BPI stockholders, chairman Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala and President and CEO Cezar Consing, noted, “For our consumer clients, digitalization has already produced the next generation of the BPI Online and PIO Mobile App platforms. Our latest application platforms allow for funds to be transferred via the use of a QR Code and feature the use of one-time PINs for security. Active users of BPI Online and BPI Mobile grew by 16.3 percent, making BPI the bank possibly the highest digital adoption rate in terms of number of users.”

As it was pointed out in the presscon after the stockholders meeting, we learned that this runs around two billion transactions in one year! This is how huge BPI has become in using modern IT technology! As Cezar Consing clearly said, “Digitalization is our tomorrow!”

We also learned that BPI officials have moved out from its iconic building along Ayala Avenue which was built in 1979 because they have plans to destroy the old BPI headquarters and build a brand new building in a few months from now which would be finished at least three to four years from now. We saw the perspective of that building and it is going to put Makati back as a top city in Metro Manila. Thanks to BPI!

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Last Friday the Aboitiz Group of Companies met with the Cebu media at the City Sports Center together with Aton Perdices, COO of the Visayan Electric Co. (VECO), Albert Ignacio Jr. of Aboitiz Construction and David Rafael of Aboitiz Land, Paula Rueland Reputation Management head and City Savings Bank. One of the top AboitizPower officials failed to join the group like Jaime “Jimmy” Aboitiz, AboitizPower executive vice president and chief operating officer (EVP and COO)-Distribution Business Group. But we had a very good meeting.

For starters, power generation in Cebu has been enhanced with the operation of the second 170-MW unit of AboitizPower subsidiary Therma Visayas, Inc.’s baseload plant in Toledo City on the Eastern side of Cebu Province which is expected to come online next month in May, this is following the launch of the power plant’s first 170-MW unit last April 6. 

The Aboitiz Group is optimistic its Cebu-based business units (BUs) will post strong performances in 2019 on the back of several key innovation projects to be implemented this year.

Anton Perdices (COO) of VECO told us that VECO, the country’s second-largest privately owned distribution utility aims to complete this year the 890-meter phase 3 of its underground distribution system. This will add to UDS Phase 1 which consists of work from the Cebu Provincial Capitol site to Fuente Osmeña, and Phase 2 which consists of work onward to P. del Rosario Street. This project has been anticipated by many Cebuanos because it means the end of sphagetti wires hanging on our main streets. This project was launched in the year 2015 and aims to rid Cebu City’s streets of unsightly wires, reduce outages and operational costs caused by vegetation, and increase VECO’s overall customer reliability.

I just learned that my good friend Andoni Aboitiz has retired from AboitizLand and its new president and CEO is David Rafael, an old friend from his Ayala and SM days. We learned that AboitizLand will soon launch a new phase at Amoa, AboitizLand’s 60-hectare mid-market residential development in Compostela, Cebu and at Priveya Hills, a premium, exclusive, 60-hectare lots development situated in Bacayan, Talamban, Cebu City.

Aboitiz Construction Inc. is headed by Albert Ignacio Jr. and is further expanding its reach with projects lined up across the country. This year, the company expanded into the transmission and logistics markets after bagging negotiated contracts from LiMA EnerZone and MetroPacific Movers, respectively. It has announced a need for 4,000 more workers to meet job orders and contracted projects in the next three to five years for local and international undertakings, adding to the more than 6,000 workers hired last year. This is great news for Cebu! Thanks to the Aboitiz Group.

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Email: vsbobita@gmail.com


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