FILIPINO brown tycoon Manny B. Villar Jr. stresses a point in an interview.
By CLAIRE MORALES TRUE
LAS PINAS CITY — From houses, condos, malls and retailing for the living, former Senate President and presidential candidate and now the Philippines’ 12th wealthiest billionaire Manny Villar Jr. is now active on the business of taking care of the dead.
Earlier, Villar also entered the hospital business through Vitacare Healthcare Inc., which aims to offer 3,000 beds across the country over the next five years. The Philippine hospital business is now dominated by Manny V. Pangilinan whose conglomerate Metro Pacific now controls 14 of the biggest hospitals including the Makati Medical Center, the Asian Hospital and Medical Center, Cardinal Santos Medical Center, Davao Doctors Hospital, Delos Santos Medical Center and Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital.
Villar, also a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, does the business through his listed Golden Haven Memorial Park, Inc. (GHMPI) which is now touted as the fastest growing memorial park developers in the country.
The Golden Haven, in fact, is stepping up its projects as it launched its first memorial chapel and crematorium complex in the Villar bailiwick kof Las Piñas City, progressing with its vision to become the first full-service deathcare company in the country.
“The opening of the Golden Haven Chapels and Crematorium brings us another step closer to expanding our offerings across the five segments of the deathcare industry,” said Maribeth Tolentino, Golden Haven chief operations officer.
“Not only does this open a new chapter in the Golden Haven story, this chapel and crematorium opening also creates a new opportunity for us to increase our recurring income prospects,” she said.
The five segments of the deathcare industry, as defined in GHMPI’s prospectus from last year’s listing, are Memorial Parks, Memorial Chapels and Services, Columbariums, Deathcare Merchandising (caskets, urns and keepsakes) and Pre-need Planning.
“Not only does this open a new chapter in the Golden Haven story, this chapel and crematorium opening also creates a new opportunity for us to increase our recurring income prospects,” GHMPI chief operating officer Maribeth Tolentino said.
“The chapel we opened is just the first of a chain of memorial chapels that we are looking to open in various locations around the country where we see a growing, yet underserved market for cremation,” said majority shareholder Manuel B. Villar Jr.
The Spanish-themed chapel and crematorium complex, designed by an award-winning architectural firm with interiors done by one of the country’s top interior designers, features 12 chapel viewing rooms complete with linked family rooms and two state-of-the-art crematory machines with pollution-control systems installed to ensure minimized emissions.
With the completion of the Golden Haven Chapel and Crematorium, the Ezekiel Complex in Las Piñas now offers a full range of memorial services, including embalming, cleansing, dressing and cosmetic restoration, chapels, hearse services and stores for the sale of death care products.
GHMPI has developed over 66 hectares of land in eight locations nationwide.
The company was the first firm to be listed in the Philippine Stock Exchange in 2016 and is the first company from the deathcare industry to do so.
Among its other ventures include the acquisition and delivery of two fast-burning cremation machines for its first crematorium and the beginning of the second phase of development of its columbarium in Las Pinas City.