GENERAL Santos City -- Companies owned by the family of former Senate President Manuel Villar are reportedly planning to expand their ventures in the coming months in parts of South Cotabato province.
South Cotabato Gov. Daisy Avance-Fuentes said Thursday the former senator is currently visiting several areas in the province to explore possible business and investment opportunities.
South Cotabato is presently celebrating its 49th foundation anniversary and 16th T’nalak Festival.
The governor said Villar, who turned his attention on his family’s businesses after stints in the House of Representatives and the Senate, and failed presidential bid in 2010, personally toured local shopping malls in Koronadal City on Wednesday.
“The (Villar family) is very positive with South Cotabato as an investment destination and currently looking at a major project in Koronadal City,” she said in an interview over Bombo Radyo Koronadal.
But Fuentes, who had an earlier meeting with the former senator, declined to give further details on the planned business venture.
Villar is chairman of Vista Land & Lifescapes Inc., which is one of the country’s biggest property developers.
Vista Land is the holding company of Brittany, Crown Asia, Camella Homes, Communities Philippines and Vista Residences.
His family also owns StarMalls Inc. and the Finds chain of convenience stores.
Two years ago, Villar’s Camella Homes started the development of a 12.4-hectare property in Barangay Carpenter Hill in Koronadal City.
The company has signified to invest around P500 million for the prime residential development project, which is its first in South Cotabato.
Meantime, Fuentes said the former senator will be joined in Koronadal City on Saturday by his son, Las Pinas Rep. Mark Villar.
She said the younger Villar will grace the province’s foundation anniversary day on July 18 and culmination of the T’nalak Festival.
Fuentes said Senators Grace Poe and Francis Escudero have also confirmed to attend Saturday’s festivities.
On Wednesday, the governor said Manila Vice Mayor Iskho Moreno arrived in Koronadal City to join the celebrations.
Senators Lito Lapid and Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Tourism Infrastructure and Economic Zone Authority chief operating officer Mark Lapid, and Pasig Rep. Roman Romulo and celebrity-wife Shalani graced the opening of the festivities last July 10. (MindaNews)