Remarks of Ambassador Manuel M. Lopez, chairman and CEO, at the Lopez Holdings Corporation Annual Stockholders' Meeting on June 1, 2016
Power Plant Mall Cinema 6, Rockwell Center, Makati City
Dear fellow stockholders:
The year 2015 saw Lopez Holdings Corporation and associates grow in strength, as we expanded our reach to engage more customers, build new assets and support our country’s most cherished ideals.
The country’s gross domestic product (GDP) increased by an average of 5.8% for the year, driven by capital formation which grew by 13.6%. We can say that we did our part because contributing what we could manage, our group’s investments in power plants through First Philippine Holdings Corporation, and modern broadcast and narrowcast facilities and equipment through ABS-CBN Corporation, formed part of the private sector investments that constituted this share of expenditures as a growth driver in our national income accounts.
As we had earlier reported, ABS-CBN Corporation became the first to launch its digital terrestrial television (DTT) offering, called ABS-CBN TVplus, in February 2015. By the end of the year, ABS-CBN had distributed almost a million DTT units for an affordable one-time fee. ABS-CBN TVplus delivers dramatically clear pictures and sound and gives viewers more channel choices at no additional cost.
ABS-CBN, through its subsidiary Play Innovations, Inc., also successfully opened Kidzania, an interactive indoor play city for children between the ages of 4 to 14. This effectively expands the direct reach of ABS-CBN to this very important young market through an experiential learning environment that they are sure to cherish throughout their lives.
At First Philippine Holdings Corporation (FPH), funding was provided for and work continued on the power plants being built by First Gen Corporation. Despite some delays, the US$150-million Avion open cycle natural gas-fired power plant and the US$600-million San Gabriel combined cycle natural gas-fired power plant achieved project milestones. Both are currently undergoing commissioning.
We must emphasize that these new power plants are vital in supporting our country’s march toward inclusive growth, where real GDP has averaged 6.2% over the last six years. Energy is needed to power local commerce and industry, as well as household consumption and services. Moreover, clean energy is necessary if our country will fulfill its commitment to COP21 (the 21st Conference of Parties, also known as the 2015 Paris Climate Conference), among them to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions conditionally by 70% by year 2030, in solidarity with other nations.
To this, I must mention that First Gen has the cleanest portfolio of power plants in the Philippines, using clean, renewable and/or indigenous fuels such as steam, water, wind and natural gas. Its low carbon intensity means it releases lower carbon dioxide emissions and hence, contributes less to global warming. We must support economic growth with clean energy, to balance our current needs with those of future generations who will have to deal with greater crises from climate change. We support our government’s thrust to uplift the quality of life of Filipinos through socio-economic interventions, while at the same time creating resilient communities, prepared for disasters and willing to forgo short-term gains in favor of long-term value.
Looking to 2016, First Philippine Holdings has invested P1 billion into its transformer manufacturing business, again in line with our group’s commitment to support the larger energy needs of an expanding economy. First Philippine Industrial Park continues to attract locators to increase investments and job creation, and Rockwell Land Corporation, after expanding to the broader market through Rockwell Primaries in 2015, will begin looking at mass housing through Stonewell project.
Aside from this, Rockwell Land pursues in earnest its entry in the hospitality industry through Aruga by Rockwell, serviced apartments that were offered first in the Edades Tower and Garden Villas in Rockwell Center here in Makati, and which this year also opened in The Grove by Rockwell in Pasig City. Hotel and resort development will complete this menu of expanded services that will cater to Rockwell Land’s distinguished clientele.
Meanwhile, we commend the election coverage provided by ABS-CBN, informing our fellow citizens all over the world on the developments on the national level, as well as bravely presenting investigative reports on the situation in every province in the country through its Kampanya-serye. Factual and unbiased reporting opened the minds of Filipino voters to fulfill their duty to the country by choosing leaders who will work for the greater good. At the same time, the vigilance and enthusiasm of ABS-CBN-trained citizen journalists, long known as bayan patrollers, protected the people’s vote and respected their sovereign desire to be represented by those who emerged as winners in the recent polls.
Our people have spoken and have freely chosen those whom they wish to govern our nation. With them, we anticipate the peaceful transfer of political power to the new Administration, conscious of our duty to work together under a regime of good governance for the benefit of all Filipinos, especially those who have less in life.
Through our associated companies, we will continue to expand our reach and invest in projects that respond to the needs and wants of Filipinos everywhere. We will continue to inspire our countrymen to dream, empower them to be united or reunited with their families, and affirm their hopes to become prosperous, enlightened, and truly free.
The board of directors, management and staff of Lopez Holdings thank you for your confidence in us.
Good morning to all of you.