Conglomerate Aboitiz Equity Ventures (AEV) has slashed its capital spending budget this year to P47 billion from the original P73 billion to conserve resources amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
For the most part, the Aboitiz Group is optimistic that it can weather potential headwinds from this global crisis.
“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,” said Sabin Aboitiz, Aboitiz group president and chief executive officer.
The new capital expenditure (capex) budget moves back some spending, particularly on the infrastructure, power and property businesses, considering the impact on the group’s and country’s future growth. These mostly covered operating, maintenance, and expansion costs.
Amid the difficult economic environment, the group said it’s carefully weighing opportunities and further embracing an agile strategy in the execution of its 2020 plans.
“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,” Aboitiz said.
The group has begun adjusting to a work environment that has vastly changed since the middle of March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“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.
Under a new order from the Department of Energy, communities that host power generation projects can now use their revenue share from these facilities to combat the effects of COVID-19. About P500 million worth of such funds are currently available for AboitizPower’s host local government units for their COVID-19 response efforts.
In addition, about P400 million in monetary and in-kind assistance has been extended to serve affected communities as well as medical and government frontliners nationwide.
To date, the Aboitiz Group has contributed P1.8 billion for its COVID-19 response efforts. This excludes various payments waived, reduced, extended, or restructured to help customers cope with the impact of COVID-19.
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