Manny Pangilinan's MPIC Will Open a 1,000-Cow Dairy Facility in Laguna
Metro Pacific Investments Corp, the holding company led by businessman Manny Pangilinan, is building a 1,000-cow dairy facility in Laguna through unit Metro Pacific Agro Ventures (MPAV) in partnership with an Israeli company.
During a ceremonial groundbreaking ceremony at the 20-hectare lot in the municipality of Bay, Laguna, officials led by MPAV CEO Jovy Hernandez said the company is investing an estimated P2 billion on the Metro Pacific Dairy Farms that is expected to produce as much as 6.5 million liters of fresh milk annually.
MPAV inked a 60-40 joint venture with Israeli company LR Group for the facility, which Hernandez said will be financed through a 70-30 debt-to-equity ratio.
About 600 of the 1,000 cows will be milking cows. Officials said a majority of the first batch of cows will be flown in from New Zealand. The facility hopes to produce an average of about 11.4 liters of fresh milk per cow per day. The global average for dairy facilities is about 40 liters per cow per day.
MPAV said it was targeting the so-called “import substitution objective,” or to essentially reduce the country’s reliance of imports for the country’s dairy needs. Currently, the Philippines imports about 99 percent of its milk products.
Metro Pacific Agro Ventures CEO Jovy Hernandez speaks during the groundbreaking ceremony of the Metro Pacific Dairy Farms in Bay, Laguna
Hernandez said MPAV is targeting to supply 25 percent of the country’s dairy needs, though he tempered expectations by saying the facility might not be enough to reach that number.
MPIC first announced it was entering the agriculture business In June this year when it acquired a majority stake in homegrown ice cream brand Carmen’s Best founded by businessman Paco Magsaysay.
Pangilinan himself was expected to attend the groundbreaking event, but officials said he sent his regrets at the last minute to deal with an “emergency board meeting.”
One of MPIC’s core businesses—telco giant PLDT—is dealing with the fallout of a reported budget overrun of P48 billion incurred over the last four years. The company said it found no evidence of “fraudulent transactions” related to the capex spend and blamed the irregularity on heightened spend during the pandemic and Typhoon Odette that did not go through standard checks.