MAKATI CITY – PLDT chair Manuel Pangilinan said Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC), which he also chairs, will pour P200 million in additional investment this year into newly acquired Davao Doctors Hospital (DDH) in Davao City.
Pangilinan made the disclosure at a press conference in Dusit Thani Hotel here shortly after the holding of the PLDT Annual Stockholders Meeting last Tuesday.
Pangilinan said the P200 million is in addition to the P200 million which the company poured into DDH last year upon its acquisition of 34 percent ownership of DDH.
The company purchased shares of existing DDH stockholders, 34 percent or 310,000 shares of the total issued shares for P1,600 each for a total of at least P500 million.
He said MPIC is determined to increase its capital expenditures (capex) in DDH to fund its ongoing expansion projects including the purchase of additional modern medical equipment, more facilities and more improvements of the hospital’s parking area. MPIC is a local unit of Hong Kong-listed First Pacific Holdings Ltd., which also acquired a significant equity stake in PLDT.
When asked how DDH is faring upon PLDT’s assumption in the hospital, Pangilinan said “ the Davao Doctors Hospital is doing good. That’s why we are confident of increasing our capex for the facility,” he said.
“Davao is a great place to invest specially in health care,” he said. Pangilinan added, however, that Davao Doctors College, which is also principally owned by DDH, has suffered a drop in enrollment this year.
Nevertheless, he is optimistic the college will make a rebound. Pangilinan underscored the determination of PLDT/MPIC to focus on medical tourism in light of its focus of acquiring more hospitals in the countryside.
The company also owns Medical Doctors Inc. (MDI), which operates the Makati Medical Center. “We will continue to build facilities to cure because many people are getting sick,” he said.
The company is also eying Cebu City for its medical tourism thrust, Pangilinan said. He said the company has already initiated talks with local partners for the acquisition of a hospital in Cebu.
He said PLDT has many prospects for Mindanao given its potential for investments. Aside from medical tourism, PLDT is planning to invest in the agriculture and mining sectors in Mindanao. Pangilinan mentioned PLDT’s interest to invest in palm oil, aquamarine, and mining particularly on coal in Mindanao