PLDT, INC. is putting on hold the plan to redevelop the company’s Ramon Cojuangco Building (RCB) in a prime spot in Makati City, its chairman said.

Wala eh (None), that has been put on hold because of the pandemic,” said Manuel V. Pangilinan, who is also the chief executive officer of the telecommunications service provider, when asked for an update on the plan at a briefing on Aug. 6.

RCB is PLDT’s current headquarters in Makati City.

Mr. Pangilinan said last year the company was pushing through with its plan to redevelop its RCB and MGO (Makati General Office) building in Makati City.

He said Japan’s NTT Realty group was “very keen” to redevelop the two buildings.

If PLDT proceeds with the redevelopment of the buildings with NTT Realty, Mr. Pangilinan said the Japanese firm would provide the capital and its redevelopment experience for the project.

He said the company would need one or two local partners that have experience in the Philippines.

PLDT expects to spend P70 billion for its network rollout this year.

The company’s second-quarter attributable net income grew 15.8% to P6.37 billion from P5.5 billion reported in the same period last year, driven by the surge in data and broadband revenues.

“Our strong performance will allow us to further boost our already significant investments. These investments, which total some P260 billion over the past five years, enabled our networks to carry all the additional traffic during these past few months and also to bring new technologies such as 5G,” Mr. Pangilinan said at the briefing.

In the second half of the year, PLDT plans to focus on LTE expansion, transport or backhaul rollout, and ADSL upgrade to fiber.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a majority stake in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Arjay L. Balinbin