Philippine Daily Inquirer
4:54 am | Sunday, August 26th, 2012
BUSINESS tycoon John Gokongwei Jr. will put up ethanol and power plants in the company’s sugar milling complexes in Negros Oriental and Negros Occidental, respectively, and operate a newly acquired sugar mill in Negros to support the region’s booming economy.
He made the announcement last week in Bacolod where he was named Honorary Mayor and Adopted Son by City Mayor Evelio Leonardia as part of the Bacolaodiat celebration of Chinese New Year.
The Gokongwei Group has three sugar mills in the Visayas—Ursumco in Manjuyod (Negros Oriental), URC-Sonedco in Kabankalan City (Negros Occidental) and URC-Passi in Passi City, Iloilo.
“We recently bought a sugar mill in Tolong, Negros Oriental, to add to our growing list of sugar mills,” said Gokongwei, chairman emeritus of JG Summit Holdings Inc. “And we’re still thinking of more ways to partner with the region in its progress. We’re putting up an ethanol plant in front of URC-Ursumco and we’re going to put up power plants using by-products of sugar milling.”
Outside of business, the 86-year-old patriarch said the Gokongwei Brothers Foundation has partnered with the University of Negros Occidental Recoletos in Bacolod to support scholarships for students in the fields of management and engineering.
In his citation, Leonardia thanked Gokongwei because it was he “who ignited the big bang in Bacolod which became a big boom.” He said the Robinsons mall that was set up in the city 15 years ago became a magnet for more investments.
Gokongwei said whenever he sees Robinsons Place mall in Bacolod, which his family built in 1997, he would remember his “bicycle days when I would stand in the market calling out to people to buy my products.” The mall was the first mall venture of the Gokongweis outside Metro Manila.
The executive order declaring Gokongwei the...