Recovery tug of war | Company Applicant
Whose project is it?
We are talking about a deal to reclaim land in Mandaue City in Cebu which is the subject of a standoff between DM Wenceslao and Associates and Harbor Center which has, as expected, reached the courts.
In particular, DM Wenceslao, through its subsidiary Mandaue Land Consortium, recently asked the Court of Appeal to overturn a decision of the Pasig Court which ordered the implementation of the rehabilitation project which had been canceled years earlier by a government agency.
While the court’s decision favored the Harbor Center-led consortium, the project was effectively overturned by the Construction Industry Arbitration Commission (CIAC). Why? Because it had already been granted to the Wenceslao group more than a decade earlier.
In a statement, DM Wenceslao said he was not informed of the case while the court was not informed of the project even though the city government – under a new mayor – was part of the deal.
The Pasig court issued its decision in December 2020, but the Wenceslao Group did not learn of it until November 2021.
The city government of Mandaue, then under the mayor Thadeo Ouanoawarded the project to Wenceslao in 2001 after a public tender.
But in May 2010, Jonas Cortes became the city’s mayor and refused to honor the award to the Wenceslao Group, saying there had been no consultation with the Philippine Reclamation Authority and the president’s approval.
He then negotiated and signed a new rehabilitation contract in 2014 with the Harbor Center group.
The Wenceslao group files an arbitration file with the CIAC to declare the validity of its contract and compel the city to implement its project, and wins its case. The CIAC issued a writ of execution in 2018.
But in June 2020, a subcontractor from the Harbor Center group asked the court in Pasig to enforce its contract under the canceled project.
The Wenceslao group said the Mandaue city government, in its documents, never mentioned the previous project and the decision of the CIAC, keeping the court in the dark and preventing the group from intervening.
As such, the company said the project could not proceed until the national government cleared the areas of illegal claimants – a process which is still ongoing. But will it still continue? Abagan!
—Daxim L. Lucas
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III losing a few dollars after losing a bet that his successor would be announced by the president-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. beginning of last week.
But while transition talks with the new head of the Ministry of Finance (DOF) Benjamin Diokno start this week, nothing is really lost when it comes to continuity in government.
Dominguez told reporters he “spoke briefly” with the current BSP governor on Wednesday, the same day the DOF unveiled its draft fiscal consolidation plan, which of President Duterte The economics team hoped the Marcos administration would consider.
Fiscal consolidation meant new, higher taxes planned from 2023 to 2025 to pay off mounting COVID-19 debts, which Diokno, according to his television interview last week, was not too keen on.
Still, Dominguez said he and Diokno planned to meet soon to discuss transition issues.
Dominguez said that unlike the transition from the Aquino to Duterte administrations in mid-2016, when “there was no blueprint” handed over by his predecessor, Cesar Purisima“This time we have a plan.”
Dominguez Chief of Staff Ira Zamudio said Diokno would receive insight into the roles and structures of specific DOF departments or groups.
We hope Dominguez doesn’t take it personally against Diokno, as he shelled out at least 500 pesos betting that new President Marcos would likely reveal who his finance secretary is early last week. Marcos did so during a Thursday briefing.
Of the finance officials who placed their bets at last week’s executive committee meeting, we heard from undersecretaries Antonette Tionko and Mark Dennis Jovenwho had predicted the choice of the head of the DOF by Marcos known on Thursday or Friday, will laugh until the bank.
—Ben O. de Vera
After three years, Converge ICT Solutions saw the complete exit of its private equity investor, the American Warburg Pincus.
The announced exit was followed by the sale of Converge shares by Warburg Pincus subsidiary Coherent Cloud Investments, which bagged its last “multibagger” profit since the fiber internet giant went public in 2020.
Warburg doesn’t break ties despite unloading his entire position.
Saurabh Agarwalchief executive of Warburg Pincus, will remain on the board of directors of Converge.
This may seem like an early exit given the rapid growth of Converge’s business, but we’re sure the fund had its own reasons in the current tumultuous global investment climate.
Warburg Pincus’ $225 million investment in Converge in 2019 was a milestone as it was their first major transaction in the Philippines.
The fruits of this investment are clearly visible given the size of Converge’s network today.
—Miguel R. Camus
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