The Benitez Group has bowed out of Philippine Women’s University. STI Holdings Inc., holding firm of Eusebio Tanco, now owns and operates the university.
STI in a statement released to media said the Benitezes have resigned as members and trustees of PWU on Monday after failing to settle the accumulated P923-million debt of PWU and its sister company Unlad Resources Development Corp. to STI.
STI has now eight out of 10 seats in PWU’s board of directors, and 11 of the 15 so-called members, which are actual owners if PWU had not been a non-stock corporation.
STI shouldered PWU’s debts and turned them to equity in November 2011 when it was about to be foreclosed by BDO.
STI also provided another P26.5 million and additional P198 million for Unlad to support PWU’s expenses.
The expenses include the teachers’ salaries and wages and other operational expenses.
Monico Jacob, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of PWU, said STI had to invest more funds in PWU to keep it from closing, fix premises and upgrade the quality of its teaching.
“The students are paying good money and deserve good education. We will do our best to deliver on this legacy and promise of PWU,” Jacob said.
The newly-added PWU board include Tanco, who was elected chairman; Jacob as president and CEO; Maria Vanessa Tanco who remains as executive vice president and chief operating officer; Jaeger Tanco; Yolanda Bautista; Jesli Lapus; Teodoro L. Locsin; and Paolo Martin Bautista. Dr. Helena Benitez is the chairperson emeritus.
For the first semester of its fiscal year, STI net income was down to P182.44 million from P454.61 million in the same time last year on higher school expenses and loan interests, despite revenues hitting near P1 billion mark—up 18 percent to P975.1 million from P826.9 million a year ago.
The company has four STI branches in Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Davao, Las Pinas that are undergoing construction. STI Chairman Eusebio Tanco earlier said that STI will be having more land acquisitions next year to build more universities.
The company has so far spent P2.2 billion out of the P5 billion allotted for its land acquisition and expansion plans.
With the addition of the four campuses, the company will raise its capacity to 45,000 students from 41,000 students. STI’s enrollees increased to 11,523 students for school year 2014 to 2015 from the 8,618 students in 2013 to 2014.
At present, STI’s school portfolio includes six campuses in Cubao, Caloocan, Calamba, Batangas, Lucena and Ortigas-Cainta, as well as other schools such as Philippine Women’s University, West Negros University and Makati Medical Center College.