Category Archives: Mindanao Daily Mirror

PLDT TO POUR P200 MILLION FOR DAVAO DOCTOR’S HOSPITAL

BY JUDY QUIROS

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

5 MORE BPO FIRMS EYE DAVAO CITY

Five business process outsourcing (BPO) companies have expressed interest to locate in Davao City signaling a continued growth in the industry. Eriberto Barriga, vice president for industry development of ICT-Davao said the said BPO establishments are slated to come to the city in the next two weeks to gather more information about the BPO industry climate in the city. Barriga however opted not to divulge the names of the companies except for one, in order not to preempt their investment plans.

He named E-Telecare, which has an existing IT recruitment and training center in the city as one of five interested firms.

This time, they (referring to E-Telecare) have expressed interest to establish a call center in the city after witnessing the growth of the industry, Barriga said. At present, Davao City has 18 big call centers and over 30 BPO establishments, he said.

The above five potential BPO investors are just among a dozen of developers who want to locate in the city, Barriga said.

Barriga however said the locators, mostly from Manila are laying some new requirements to ensure that their business venturing in outsourcing will succeed. Most of the locators want to see an ICT site which is already ready for use equipped with the needed infrastructure facilities.

Local developers want to upgrade the requirements rather than just focus on space or basic shell.

BPO interested developers want other specifications among others, improved and ready to use facilities.

“For them, it is practical to come in because the facilities are already ready,” Barriga said.

Meeting the said new requirements would entail huge budget, Barriga said. In light of this development, ICT council is seeing the need for more advocacy work in relation to getting assistance from international donor agencies among others, Australia Aid, and CIDA of Canada and for them to understand the needs of the ICT sector to pump prime its development, Barriga said.