Lance Gokongwei new chairman, CEO of Robinsons Retail
Effective Friday, March 18, Lance Y. Gokongwei is the newly-appointed chairman and CEO of Robinsons Retail Holdings, Inc. (RRHI).
In a disclosure document submitted to the Philippine Stock Exchange on Monday, March 21, the appointment came after the retirement of RRHI's long-standing chairman and CEO John L. Gokongwei, Jr. The newly-appointed vice chairman and deputy chief executive officer is now James L. Go.
RRHI is the second largest multi-format retailer in the Philippines, with over 30 years of experience handling brands under different retail categories, such as Robinsons Supermarket; Robinsons Department Store; Handyman; True Value; Ministop; and South Star Drug, among others.
Twitter turns 10
Micro-blogging social network Twitter celebrated its 10th birthday on March 21. The social networking site co-founded and now run by Jack Dorsey kicked off the celebrations by inviting its users to use the hashtag, #LoveTwitter.
Twitter, through its 140-character format, has changed the way people communicate all over the world, even becoming the go-to source for breaking world events in real time. While still a successful social media platform, the company has experienced numerous lows over the years, from share price hitting new lows, investors doubting Dorsey's leadership, to high-ranking executives leaving the company. Still, Twitter remains positive, thanking its users for their continued use of the platform.
Albay is new biosphere reserve
The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), declared Albay as one of its 20 new additions to the World Network of Biosphere Reserves after a meeting in Lima, Peru on March 18 and 19. According to UNESCO, which made the announcement on Monday, March 21, biosphere reserves are "places for learning about sustainable development, aiming to reconcile the conservation of biodiversity with the sustainable use of natural resources."
Albay has a "high conservation value," the UN's cultural arm said, thanks to its 182 terrestrial plant species, 46 of which are endemic. "Its marine and coastal ecosystems number 12 species of mangrove; 40 species of seaweed or macro-algae; and 10 species of sea grass. Five of the world's seven species of marine turtles are to be found in Albay," the UNESCO added.
The new biosphere reserves are declared every year by the international coordinating council of the program, which brings together elected representatives from 34 UNESCO member states. Apart from Albay, 19 other sites have been declared new biosphere reserves, which include Isle of Man, United States; Beaver Hills, Canada; Balambangan, Indonesia; Agasthyamala, India; and Collina Po, Italy, among others.
CA upholds decision allowing Meralco rate hike
In a ruling made public on March 21, the Court of Appeals (CA) upheld the decision made by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) in 2011 allowing the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) to hike its rates by P0.0168 per kilowatt-hour (kwh).
In a 16-page decision, the court denied the petition filed by the National Association of Electricity Consumers for Reforms, Inc. (NASECORE) to nullify the decision made by the ERC in 2011, which upheld an order made in 2003 granting Meralco approval for its application for unbundled rates, appraisal of properties, and proposed hike in rates.
Meralco justified its rate hike on the need to support its growing operations and its maintenance expenses, which includes ongoing construction of power plants. The decision came despite earlier findings by the Commission on Audit (COA) that Meralco overcharged its consumers in 2004 and 2007 by up to P7 billion ($150.74 million). – Toni Antiporda