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Aboitiz vows continued support to spur economic activity in Davao Region

Sabin M. Aboitiz
Aboitiz Group President and CEO Sabin M. Aboitiz highlighted the Group's strong connection to Davao through a long history of contributions to the region's growth and development at the Davao ICon 2021.

Aboitiz Group President and Chief Executive Officer Sabin M. Aboitiz said the conglomerate will continue to pour in investments in the Davao Region as it sees strong opportunities for public-private collaboration that could fuel the region’s forward momentum.

“Davao and Mindanao have always been very close to the Aboitiz’s hearts and a core region of our operations. Our strong presence and interest in the Davao Region is a clear indication of the promising investment opportunities that have always existed here and where we intend to allocate more capital,” Aboitiz said at the sixth Davao Investment Conference (Davao ICon) 2021 held recently. The event highlighted opportunities in agribusiness, real estate, manufacturing, and tourism.

The Aboitiz Group’s economic activities in the Davao Region goes back to its acquisition of Davao Light and Power in 1946. Davao Light, which is currently the country’s third largest distribution utility in terms of customers and annual gigawatt-hour sales, powers the lives and businesses of over 1.8M Davaoenos. Davao Light remains committed to excellent customer service by continuously upgrading its distribution network infrastructure to increase capacity. The distribution utility also adopts digital technology in its substations to enhance the reliability and flexibility in the subtransmission and distribution network.

Davao Light
Davao Light, the country’s third largest electric distribution utility powers most of Davao and Panabo Cities, as well as the municipalities of Carmen, Dujali, and Sto. Tomas in Davao Del Norte.

The Aboitiz Group also ventured into major investments including power generation through Hedcor, Therma South, and Therma Marine. Hedcor owns and operates several run-of-river hydroelectric power plants while Therma Marine runs an oil-fired power plant.

Therma South, Inc (TSI)., which owns and operates the 300-megawatt circulating fluidized bed coal-fired power plant located in Davao City and Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur, contributes to the continuing growing power requirements of Mindanao by providing stable and cost-effective base load power. TSI is the first power plant to utilize data science and artificial intelligence to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The automated control loop system provides just enough limestone to curb SOx emissions, targeting environmental sustainability.

Meanwhile, one of Aboitiz’s most recent major investments is Apo Agua Infrastructura’s bulk water supply project, which, once it commences operation will provide 300 million liters per day of clean water to the Davaoeños.

Aboitiz lauded the local government for its efforts in enabling an environment that is conducive for businesses to thrive in the region.

“Davao and its neighbors are stronger today because of the commendable efforts of the government in building essential infrastructure, reducing crime, and instability, and effectively marketing the region as a safe and attractive destination for tourists and investors alike.” he commented, adding that “highly attractive aggressive policies” will entice more investors to Mindanao.

“If we are too passive about incentivizing investments, we run the risk of being overtaken by our competitors in the Asia-Pacific region who are doing everything they can to drive investors in their direction,” SMA stated. “Conversely, if we make it as easy as possible for our own Philippine companies to move in Mindanao, then the possibilities for a stronger tomorrow are endless.”

With key industry leaders from Davao and the greater Mindanao area present, Aboitiz Group Mindanao Adviser and Davao native Art Milan issued a rallying call at the close of the event inviting stakeholders to sustain the region’s growth and expansion through the One Mindanao Manifesto.

“The captains of different Philippine industries have spoken about the rich opportunities that make the region very attractive for future investments. But there are still many bottlenecks that need to be worked out,” Milan said.

He assured though that the different Chambers in Mindanao share the optimism on the opportunities with Mindanao continuously growing at an impressive rate, even surpassing the national average.

About Aboitiz Equity Ventures

Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc. (AEV) is the public holding company of the Aboitiz Group with major investments in power, banking and financial services, food, infrastructure, and land. Today, AEV is recognized as one of the best-managed companies in the Philippines and in the region, consistently cited for its commitment to good corporate governance and corporate social responsibility. With five generations of Aboitiz Group business success behind it, AEV continues to drive change for a better world by advancing business and communities.

To date, the Aboitiz Group’s total contribution to the national COVID-19 response effort has reached over P2.2 billion (excluding various payments waived, reduced, extended, or restructured to help customers cope with the impact of COVID-19), underscoring the group’s sustained campaign to help address the urgent needs of frontliners and affected communities nationwide.