corporate

Holcim cement production to use more waste as fuel

March 24, 2020

HOLCIM Philippines, Inc. is increasing the use of waste materials as alternative fuel in cement production, the listed cement manufacturer said on Monday.      In a statement, the company said it was committing to increase its consumption of the coal alternative in its operations to help lower costs.      The move means that the company will boost its co-processing operations of alternative fuels and raw materials through waste management unit Geocycle.      “Aside from its business benefits, our Geocycle unit enables us to further contribute to Philippine development in a sustainable manner,” Holcim Philippines President and Chief Executive Officer John Stull was quoted as saying in the statement.      “Through our co-processing operations, we are able to lower our carbon footprint and help ease the waste management challenges of the country while producing an essential building material for development,” he added.      Holcim Philippines reported using more than 170,000 tons of waste materials last year as alternative fuel and raw material for its production. This translated to 38 days of avoiding coal in cement production, and therefore, lower carbon emissions from the company’s operations.      The process works by using segregated wastes from local governments near Holcim Philippines’ plants in Luzon and Mindanao. The waste is pre-processed to become fuel that will be used in cement production.      “In co-processing, qualified waste materials (are) pre-processed as alternative fuel and fed into the high-temperature kilns along with other raw materials to produce cement. This process transform wastes to alternative fuel and converts them into energy for cement production,” it said.      “The technology is recognized globally and is approved by the Philippine authorities due to its proven advantages in environmental and safety performance,” it added.      Holcim Philippines has plants in La Union, Bulacan, Batangas, Misamis Oriental and Davao. Its earnings last year rose 41% to P3.59 billion due to its efforts to increase efficiencies and lower costs.      The company is in the process of being acquired by listed conglomerate San Miguel Corp. The $2.15-billion deal is being reviewed by the Philippine Competition Commission.

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Jollibee sets P1-B emergency fund for employees amid Covid-19

March 24, 2020

JOLLIBEE Foods Corporation (JFC) has allocated an emergency response fund amounting to P1 billion to provide its employees with the needed financial support to cope with the enhanced community quarantine being implemented in the whole of Luzon due to coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.      “This public health crisis challenges us as a company and as a nation in ways we’ve never seen before,” JFC chairman and founder Tony Tan Caktiong said in a statement Thursday.      The employee package covers all work teams of Jollibee Group’s offices, stores, commissaries, and logistics centers, including the senior citizens and persons with disabilities (PWDs) assigned to stores under the joint employment program with local government units.        The assistance will also be extended to JFC's partner employers in the stores and other sites to provide financial support to their respective employees during this time.       “In these times, we know how people are worrying about their safety and how to take care of their families. We want to help lessen their worries and we are setting up this fund to help them through this difficult time. We are moved by how different individuals and sectors are taking action to help one another and we are one with them in supporting the government as we fight Covid together. We will overcome these challenges together,” Tan Caktiong said.      With this emergency fund, employees will continue to receive their full month’s salary for the March 15 to April 15 period. They will also receive their 13th month pay by April 30.       Affected employees can also convert their leave credits in advance and may file for personal leaves when necessary until the situation normalizes.      In a letter to employees, JFC chief executive officer Ernesto Tanmantiong said “we know that this is a very unsettling time for everyone, but let me assure you that we are doing all we can in JFC to help you and your families and our customers during this period.”       Tan Caktiong earlier said JFC is donating P100 million worth of food from its brands to healthcare workers and on-ground checkpoint personnel who are at the frontlines in the fight against Covid-19. (PR)

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DTI sets limit in buying food, non-food products

March 24, 2020

THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) issued a Memorandum Circular (MC) on Thursday setting a limit in buying food and non-food products to avoid hoarding and panic buying amid the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon.       The MC No. 20-07 also aims to prevent unreasonable price increases in basic goods as well as products intended for health protection such as face masks, medical devices, alcohol, sanitizers, and disinfectants.      Retailers shall limit the selling of the following food products per transaction:      •    5 pieces per type per brand for locally produced instant noodles;      •    5 cans per type per brand for regular size and 3 cans per type per brand for big size for locally produced canned sardines;      •    5 cans per type per brand for small size and 2 cans per type per brand other than small size for canned regular milk;      •    2 bundles per brand for powdered milk in sachet;      •    2 bundles per brand of instant coffee in sachet; and      •    10 small bottles, 8 medium bottles, 5 large bottles, and 2 extra-large bottles of any brand of mineral water      For non-food products, consumers can only buy the following per transaction:      •    2 pieces for 70 percent solution antiseptic or disinfectant alcohol, regardless of volume;      •    2 pieces for hand sanitizer, regardless of size;      •    2 pieces for disinfecting liquids, regardless of size;      •    5 bars for bath soap if individually sold and 1 pack if sold as pack;      •    10 pieces for toilet paper if sold per roll and 1 pack if sold as pack; and      •    5 pieces for any type of surgical and N95 face masks      Retailers are directed to post notices about the allowed quantity of goods to be sold to customers per transaction, the MC stated.      According to the MC, violators may face penalties “prescribed under relevant ordinances issued by local government units, and if circumstances warrant, charges and penalties under the Price Act and Consumer Act will be applied”.      Under the Price Act, hoarding is punishable with a fine ranging from P5,000 to P2 million and imprisonment not less than five years but not more than 15 years. (PNA)

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Sharp better solutions for a better life 2

December 4, 2019

With the continuous evolution of technology and the significant role it plays in the everyday lives of people, Sharp Philippines Corporation (SPC) continues to introduce products that aim to incorporate ease and convenience into the Filipino household. SPC’s products are categorized into four sections, or what they refer to as Solutions – that seek to address the needs of consumers. These are: Entertainment Solution, Clean & Comfort Solution, Health & Beauty Solution and Business Solution. Products highlighted last November 28, 2019 at The Madison Events Place complement those that were launched earlier in July. Though SHARP’s global direction is to bring in the latest products with 8K and AIoT technology, the company also devotes its resources in coming up with items packed with technologies that enables efficiency, provides comfort and promotes good health.  The audience was treated to a visual display as well as live demonstrations conducted by their corresponding Product Specialists, showcasing the features and capability of the items.   Entertainment Solution Having introduced the AQUOS 8K LED TV for the Filipino market last July, SHARP now presents its Artificial Intelligence of Things (AIoT) series of Full HD and 4K HDR Android Televisions. Eligible Android TVs are Google Assistant ready, enabling users to interact with their devices and perform tasks such as playing music/videos, searching for the latest news among others, all hands-free. The new line of Android TVs comes with features such as Comfort Mode, a special AV Mode that reduces 50% of blue light. It also has an Advanced Bluetooth version, which allows users to connect the television to their external Bluetooth speakers.  Have your own personal cinematic sound system with the AQUOS Sound Partner AN-SX7A. It is compatible with a wide variety of devices and is extremely portable; resting comfortably on ones shoulders. The Acoustic Vibration System provides powerful sound and heavy bass, ensuring an immersive audio-visual experience that is perfect for when you are playing video games or enjoying the latest shows on Netflix.  Clean & Comfort  Solution      Personal hygiene is an important aspect in a Filipino’s life. Apart from ensuring the cleanliness of our own being, we want this to be reflected in our homes as well; a place considered as a sanctuary for individuals and families alike.      SPC has your well-being in mind; that is why they develop products that help achieve and maintain a fresh, comfortable environment. These are: Washing Machines, Ractive Air Vacuum Cleaner, Mite Catcher, Air-conditioner with AIoT J-Tech Inverter Technology and Air Purifier/Cleaner equipped with SHARP’s original Plasmacluster Ion Technology.      The application or use of these products are not only limited to homes, as they can also be utilized in venues such as offices, schools, hospitals and other establishments with high population densities; sure to benefit its occupants.  Health & Beauty  Solution      We try to keep ourselves healthy through proper exercise and appropriate diet. This also reflects on the food that we consume and how it is cooked. With SHARP’s Healsio Hotcook, healthy cooking is made possible as the natural moisture and original flavor from ingredients together with its nutritional values are retained, compared to conventional cooking. Dishes are hassle-free; with automatic control and various cooking programs depending on your menu, just place all the necessary ingredients and wait until it is finished. Voila! Your meal is now ready to be served.      Looking good is also tantamount to feeling good. When we exert even the littlest effort in fixing ourselves up, be it reporting to work every day or attending an event, we feel much more confident in facing the world. Beauty appliances for women, such as the Hair Dryer, Hair Iron and Curling Ion with Plasmacluster feature lessens dirt and prevents hair damage. The Scalp Massager on the other hand, reduces dry scalp and keeps our hair healthy. Business Solution      Understanding the needs of businesses, SHARP also has dedicated products that cater to the corporate sector through their dynamic displays that project clear and beautiful images for application as digital signages or for business meetings via the internet.      SHARP has also acquired and further developed the Dynabook Laptop, designed for business professionals and workplace environments. Combining their technologies (displays, sensors etc.) with that of Toshiba, they seek to produce market-leading computers and other devices. The Dynabook features a thin design with long-lasting battery and is rated with MIL-STD-810G for utmost durability.        Committed to quality and innovation, SHARP will continue to develop products that will bring Better Solutions for a Better Life to consumers.

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Vista Land, Mitsubishi Estate form joint venture

November 22, 2019

VISTA Land & Lifescapes, Inc. (VLL) has teamed with Japanese real estate developer Mitsubishi Estate Co., Ltd (MEC) to develop a mixed-use, high-rise condominium along Taft Avenue, Manila.      The partnership is being formed through a 60:40 joint venture company between VLL’s vertical development arm Vista Residences, Inc. (VRI) and MEC’s subsidiary Mitsubishi Estate Residence Co., Ltd. (MER).      VLL President and Chief Executive Officer Manuel Paolo Villar said “This joint venture is a testament to the increasing trust and confidence of customers and investors alike in Vista. It highlights our growing profile not just with buyers but also with existing and potential partners, both here and abroad.”      This will be the MEC Group’s first residential development project in the Philippines.      “We are confident that this collaboration shall bring about a skillfully engineered and beautifully designed tower at the heart of the university cluster in Taft, and we hope to explore more opportunities with Vista Land to develop the rich potential of the real estate industry in Asia. We believe this joint venture is only the beginning, paving the way for a long-term and fruitful partnership,” MER Director and Senior Managing Executive Officer Yutaro Yotsuzuka said.      VLL is a recognized authority in homebuilding and community development with established presence all over the Philippines, while the MEC Group boasts of a diversified portfolio that has expanded to international markets including the US, UK, Australia, and other countries in Asia.      This joint venture is an opportunity for both companies to combine their architectural, engineering, and technological expertise for a project that will address the rising demand of the student population in Taft.      The condominium offers over 1,000 residential units spanning 32 stories, plus seven floors of parking spaces and one ground floor featuring various commercial establishments.      It is set to be launched in the first half of 2020, with turnover targeted in the second half of 2024. (PR)

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Del Monte unit starts selling US facilities

November 22, 2019

DEL MONTE Pacific Ltd. said its US subsidiary is improving its capacity utilization, as it has sold or in the process of selling assets of four US-based production facilities.      The listed canned fruit manufacturer told the stock exchange yesterday US subsidiary Del Monte Foods, Inc. (DMFI) sold and transferred its Cambria, Wisconsin operations to Seneca Foods Corp. on Nov. 1.      It also disposed of equipment at its Crystal City, Texas facility and is looking at selling the remaining assets of the factory.      For its facilities in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota and Mendota, Illinois, DMFI already signed a sale agreement and is targeting to complete the deal by the fourth quarter of its fiscal year, or within February to April next year.      “Production at rationalized facilities is being transitioned to other DMFI production facilities in the United States as well as to strategic co-packers. These divestitures will enable DMFI to significantly improve capacity utilization at the remaining plants in its production network,” it said.      Del Monte Pacific announced in August it is divesting these facilities as a way to reduce costs.      Through the initiative, the company said it expects its EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) margins to increase by about 225-275 basis points (about $50–60 million) over the next two years.      DMFI said it is now on-track to exceed its EBITDA targets for the full-year ending April 2020.      Savings from its cost cutting efforts will be used to expand the company’s brands as it said it wants to ride on the current consumer appetite for “convenient, healthy and tasty plant-based foods.”      Aside from operational changes, Del Monte Pacific said it is currently exploring refinancing the approximately $1.4 billion loan of DMFI. This includes a $442.5-million asset-based loan facility, a $670-million first lien term loan and a $260-million second lien term loan, which are due to expire on Nov. 2020, Feb. 2021 and Aug. 2021, respectively.      “The group has continued to support the capital structure requirements and deleveraging efforts of DMFI, including the purchase, over the last 20 months, of approximately $231 million of DMFI’s second lien term loan,” it said.      Del Monte Pacific posted a net loss of $38.3 million in the first quarter ending July, a turnaround from the net income of $3 million last year, due to one-off expenses from the disposal of its assets in its Crystal City, Texas facility.

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