Lopez Holdings

Articles

Ambassador MANUEL M. LOPEZ

Remarks of the Chairman at the 2020 Annual Stockholders’ Meeting
Lopez Holdings Corporation
2 October 2020, held virtually via AGM@Convene

My fellow shareholders:

Good morning.

We live in a very unusual time. As a pandemic ravages the globe, those among us who have not fallen to its virulence are fighting to survive. Economies are slowing down, businesses outside of essentials are faltering, and a lot of people are losing jobs, and even hope. 

We should not despair. This experience we share with the rest of humanity has allowed us once more to take stock of what is truly important, to draw deep into our values to direct us toward worthwhile endeavors.

We did not shrink from our responsibility to society. With seed money provided by our investees, First Philippine Holdings Corporation (FPH) and ABS-CBN Corporation, the Pantawid ng Pag-ibig campaign hit the ground running and almost immediately provided much needed assistance to those who lost their livelihood as the country adopted protocols to safeguard public health. Within the first week of enhanced community quarantine, Pantawid ng Pag-ibig had delivered relief packages in coordination with Metro Manila mayors.

It is a testament to the strong credibility and 31-year track record of ABS-CBN Foundation in humanitarian programs that various institutions, organizations and individuals have chosen to partner with us in reaching out to those most affected by the pandemic. Within five months of the campaign, Pantawid ng Pag-ibig had helped 872,000 families.

Aside from what we and our fellow employees voluntarily contributed to Pantawid ng Pag-ibig, many other initiatives were undertaken. FPH partnered with the Philippine Ports Authority to convert contracted ships into a 2,000-bed quarantine facility. It also donated laboratory equipment to the Philippine General Hospital or PGH that increased their capacity to conduct tests from 150 to 1,500 per day. Together with First Balfour, FPH provided temporary facilities for employees of Medical City and the National Kidney and Transplant Institute, many of them health workers unable to go home after hospital duty because of the lack of public transportation. The list goes on and on.

We not only looked outward to our external stakeholders. We also took care of our fellow employees, complying with infection control protocols in all our sites. Almost overnight, everybody began working from home. Only mission-critical posts were manned by a skeleton force as part of the group’s business continuity plan. 

ABS-CBN itself, before it was forced to retrench part of its workforce, provided personal protective equipment, free meals, accommodation, shuttle services and pay premium to all its employees, including third party agency personnel who had to work onsite. This was practiced almost uniformly across the group whenever people had to accomplish critical tasks, varying only according to the particular risks each company had to address. 

Caring for our internal stakeholders ran parallel to our initiatives for our communities, as well as looking after the sustainability of our investees. 

As the economy went into technical recession, with many businesses shutting down, demand for electricity, real estate and other services fell. In addition, the denial of ABS-CBN’s franchise application by the House of Representatives, led to the loss of its advertising sales from free TV. It will indeed be a challenging couple of years for the group, as the medium-term effects of the pandemic and the closure of ABS-CBN’s free TV channel put a squeeze on revenues.

Yet, we do not despair.

FPH continues to focus on contributing to the country’s energy security through the FGEN Batangas LNG Terminal Project. This project will give our country the opportunity to benefit from the global supply of LNG that can provide additional pollution-free fuel for power plants, transportation and more. 

We give credit to the FPH/First Gen team members, led by their chairman and chief executive officer, Federico R. Lopez, for their vision and resoluteness. We also thank our partner, Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd., for joining us in this exciting and worthy endeavor. Tokyo Gas is a leading LNG company with over 50 years of experience in LNG storage and regasification facilities. 

Last year, Rockwell Land handed over units in its newly completed residential projects such as Kirov, Sakura and Lincoln in The Proscenium and Buri in 32 Sanson in Cebu City to further its streak of ever higher net income after tax, since 2012 or the year in which it was listed in the Philippine Stock Exchange.

This performance is a product of the team’s hard work and perseverance, which I have personally witnessed because I also chair Rockwell Land. It is founded on our shared vision of service beyond ordinary, most ably modeled by Rockwell Land’s president and CEO, Nestor J. Padilla. It is this vision which guides us as we expand to new areas and develop living, working and recreational spaces for customers who appreciate life beyond the ordinary.

As for ABS-CBN, it continues to pursue its digital strategy, leading the way in local social media access. ABS-CBN News has over 20 million followers on Facebook. ABS-CBN Entertainment, which airs the Kapamilya Online Live Channel, has 29 million subscribers on YouTube.

For this, we give credit to the young team of ABS-CBN chairman Martin Lopez and ABS-CBN CEO (chief executive officer) Carlo Katigbak, who have energized their organization to adapt to viewers’ changing habits, including new and preferred ways to access ABS-CBN content.

We are indeed fortunate to have chosen our executives well. In the case of the Parent company, we have Mr. Salvador G. Tirona, whose example inspires our staff members to practice the Lopez Values every day, in and outside the workplace. We also recognize the members of our board, especially our hardworking independent directors, Mr. Cesar Virata, Atty. Monico Jacob, and Amb. Lilia Bautista. They have shown utmost professionalism and given us many insights as they perform their fiduciary duty to our shareholders.

Given the quality of leadership across the group, I am convinced that we will not only survive the current adversity, but thrive. We will do this while living the Lopez Values, especially business excellence and unity, with fortitude.

The board of directors, management and staff of Lopez Holdings thank you all very much for your loyalty and trust. 

Mabuhay!

AMBASSADOR MANUEL M. LOPEZ
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

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Lopez Holdings Corporation 
16/F North Tower, Rockwell Business Center Sheridan, Sheridan St. corner United St., 1550 Bgy. Highway Hills, Mandaluyong City, Philippines

  • Trunkline: (632) 8878 0000
  • Fax: (632) 8878 0000 ext 2009