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San Miguel president Ramon Ang has tightened financial and administrative controls over Philippine Airlines and its budget sister, AirPhil Express, installing a 10-member "business review team" composed mostly of non-airline personnel to oversee the operations of the two carriers.
Ang, who was installed PAL president April 24 following a 50-percent acquisition by San Miguel Corp. of the Lucio Tan airline, also required prior clearance from his office of any fund disbursements above P2 million.
As well, Ang directed that "travel of employees regardless whether it be domestic or foreign" shall require prior clearance and approval from his office, according to the nearly identical May 4 and May 7 memos to the airlines' staff.
The 10-member review team is headed by an expatriate, Lester Ingram, a vice president of Hong Kong Jet, an aircraft management and leasing company based in the Chinese territory. Its members include ACCRA lawyer Carmela de la Paz, PAL lawyer Ma. Cecilia Carpela, former Microsoft executives Raymund Acedera and Fortune Magsadia, San Miguel principal accounting officer Bella Navarra, Ana Leah Rodriguez (who is listed as treasurer of Mirole Development, a real estate company in Makati), Josefina R. de la Cruz, Mary Jane Ang and Salvador Britanico Jr., son of Banat party-list representative Salvador Britanico.
Ingram was also named chief executive adviser of AirPhil Express, sidelining two expatriates hired by the Lucio Tan management, Richard Miller and Trevor Jensen, who both had their line responsibility and authority removed.
Ang also hired retired Air Force general Ramon Ragasa, commander of the 250th Presidendial Airlift Wing during President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's term, as consultant to AirPhil Express president Inigo Zobel.
As well, Ang returned Cesar Chiong, until recently an executive assistant to the PAL president, back to AirPhil Express as officer-in-charge of the crucial airline operations division.
A daughter of PAL chairman Lucio Tan, Annabelle Tan-Go, until recently a vice president for corporate audit, product research and development, and human resources, was apparently retired and then rehired as a consultant, reporting directly to Ang.
Another Tan daughter, Vivienne, has kept her word and resigned her position as PAL executive vice president and commercial group head. An officer-in-charge, Rafael Rollan, is listed in the memo as replacement.
Even then, Ang kept a trusted Lucio Tan PR executive, former BusinessWorld staffer Joey de Guzman, who retained his title as PAL vice president for corporate communications while still reporting to Basic Holdings, Tan's privately-held holding company.
According to the same Ang memo, Stewart Lim will stay on as chief financial officer of the two airlines only up to June 1, after which he will be succeeded by Daniel Ang Tan Chai, whose appointment had earlier been announced.
o Shang Properties reported that it was able to save P8.66 million in executive compensation for the entire 2011 with the position of president still vacant with the departure of Juan Andres Bautista, who had been drafted by P.Noy to become chairman of the Presidential Commission on Good Government.
o It was supposed to have been just a Yuletide promotion, but Citibank's cash+points shopping program proved such a hit that the US bank has indefinitely extended its duration, at least as far as Rustan's, Zara, and Marks & Spencer department stores are concerned.
The promo allows shopaholics to pay up to 50 percent in Citibank-issued credit card points for any merchandise in any of the participating upscale shops.
Heard through the grapevine
Estrada-era Press Secretary Mike Toledo has moved a few steps up the social ladder, having just acquired a Manila Polo Club share.