Billionaire Andrew Tan's Alliance Global restarts as lockdown eases: CEO

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 26 2020 09:52 AM | Updated as of May 26 2020 10:01 AM

Kevin Tan, CEO of Alliance Global and chief strategy officer of Megaworld is shown in this file photo. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/file

MANILA -- Billionaire Andrew Tan's Alliance Global is focused on restarting its businesses as the Philippines eases pandemic lockdowns, his son and CEO of the holding firm said Tuesday.

A digital transformation that started in 2018 allowed Alliance Global to "efficiently" run its businesses during the enhanced community quarantine, said CEO Kevin Tan.

Alliance Global's businesses includes property developer and shopping mall operator Megaworld, liquor maker Emperador and the Philippine master franchise of McDonald's

"It's definitely accelerated our efforts," Tan said, referring to the digital push.

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Alliance Global is testing its employees starting with those who will be required to work from the field and in the office. A rapid test center near its headquarters can test up to 400 a day, Tan said. Some 1,500 have been tested.

The holding firm has spent nearly P1 billion supporting feeding programs and procuring personal protective equipment for COVID-19 frontliners, he said.

The government on May 16 started easing a 2-month-old lockdown in Metro Manila and urban areas, allowing malls and retail shops to gradually reopen with strict health protocols.

The so-called modified ECQ or enhanced community quarantine is expected to last until May 31. The modified ECQ is a precursor to the general community quarantine or GCQ with fewer restrictions.

The lockdown forced the first contraction in the Philippine economy in 22 years and the government forecasts full year GDP to shrink by 2 to 3.4 percent with estimated losses of P2 trillion.

Global travel restrictions will shift tourism demand to the domestic market "in the foreseeable future." Alliance Global's hospitality and gaming businesses are ready with social distancing measures, he said.

The lifting on liquor sales bans could increase demand for Emperador spirits, he said. Megaworld is monitoring job losses overseas to gauge its impact on business process outsourcing firms that lease office space, he said.