Aboitiz strengthens strategy for 2020 amid COVID-19

AboitizPower IPO

The Aboitiz Group has laid out its strategy for 2020 amid the ongoing global health threat, starting by providing assistance and reviewing the impacts of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-10) pandemic on its projects.

“Digital infrastructure investments in previous years and regular business continuity planning has allowed us to cope with the adverse impact of COVID-19. While it’s anyone’s guess how the future will unfold, we assure our stakeholders that we are fully equipped and prepared to guarantee the continuity of all business transactions,” said Sabin M. Aboitiz, Aboitiz Group President and Chief Executive Officer.

The group has started to implement its assistance program to its team members.

“One of the first steps we took was to protect our team members. We earmarked P900 million in assistance (early release of end-March salary and the 13th or 14th month pay) to help our team members cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. We did more online work, more work from home–preventive measures are going to be the name of the game until a COVID-19 vaccine is developed,” Aboitiz noted.

Aside from that, host communities of power generation projects were also given monetary support through the use of their Energy Regulations 1-94 (ER 1-94), under the Department of Energy’s (DOE) new Department Circular No. 2020-04-00080.

These are revenue shares from power facilities, and will be used to combat the effects of the COVID-19. About P500 million worth of ER 1-94 funds are currently available for AboitizPower’s host local government units for their COVID-19 response efforts.

Affected communities as well as medical and government frontliners nationwide were also given P400 million in monetary and in-kind assistance.

The group expects to keep its operations running.

“Most of our businesses are in industries that are vital to keeping the economy running. Filipinos need electricity, food products, and money, for example. And for our other businesses, we have been prudent in capital expenditure spending so this should not be much of a problem,” Aboitiz said.

For its power ventures, the company’s affiliate Aboitiz Power Corporation continues to operate its power generation and distribution facilities nationwide.

“While the country’s total demand for power has dipped since the start of the ECQ, we are seeing an increase in consumption due to higher temperature. We also expect a gradual increase in demand as we adjust to the gradual easing of the quarantine,” said AboitizPower President and Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel V. Rubio.

Unit 1 of GNPower Dinginin will synchronize by the fourth quarter of 2020 and will begin operations by first quarter of 2021, while unit 2 of the same power plant will synchronize by the first quarter of 2021 and will start commercial operations by the second quarter of 2021.

Group infrastructure unit Aboitiz InfraCapital continues to collaborate with the country’s “Build Build Build” program.

The infrastructure arm of the group is closely reviewing the impact of COVID-19 on its projects, particularly in the airport sector.

Meanwhile, the construction arm of the Aboitiz Group continues to operate on its projects in Balamban, Cebu, and Mindanao with stricter rules implemented.

The company hopes to immediately resume work on all its first and second quarter projects in ECQ-affected areas.