• Investors eyed to buoy up broke firm

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    THE Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) disclosed that the United Coconut Chemical Inc. (Cocochem) may resume operation with the possible entry of foreign investor for the much needed capital.

    PCGG chair Andres Bautista said the current board headed by Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Evelina Patino and the possible foreign investor were due to open soon.

    Bautista added that the talks initially started early on indicating the possibility of reviving the operation of Cocochem, a coco levy-funded company that was shutdown last year for incurring “unprecedented losses.”

    Cocochem is one of the 50 surrendered and sequestered companies under the PCGG after the 1986 EDSA People power revolution that ousted former President Ferdinand Marcos.

    The PCGG said Cocochem, which was in operation for nearly 30 years, had to be shutdown because of mismanagement that started in 2005.

    The closure came after the current officials appointed by President Benigno Aquino 3rd uncovered the unprecedented losses incurred by Cocochem allegedly stemming from questionable contract of services entered by Malacañang-appointed officials beginning 1986 to 2010.

    The losses were worsened by the problem of loss of local, US and European markets for oleochemicals while the plant equipment was left to deteriorate.

    The PCGG said the mismanagement was discovered in 2005 uncovering high operation rate, loss in production volume and questionable transactions leading the current board of directors’ decision to close shop.

    Bautista said that, the PCGG will file charges against Malacañang appointed officials following the shutdown of Cocochem because of mismanagement.

    Neil A. Alcober

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