The Company has adopted a risk management policy that establishes a culture of disclosing, evaluating and managing risks, from the Board and throughout the organization toward achieving its goals and objectives, which include, among others, the protection and preservation its employees’ and clients’ safety and welfare, the value and condition of its properties and assets, and its local and global reputation. The Company aligns its risk appetite with its long-term strategic objectives.
The Board of Directors oversees the risk management system of the Company through the Risk Oversight Committee (ROC). The ROC assists and advises the Board of Directors in fulfilling its oversight responsibilities to ensure the quality and integrity of the Company’s Risk Management System, by carrying out the following:
- Review the adequacy and effectiveness of the Company’s policies and procedures relating to the identification, analysis, management, monitoring and reporting of financial and non-financial risks
- Ensure that Management sufficiently and swiftly manages risks, (i.e. reduction and mitigation across operating units) especially those categorized as having high impact with high probability of occurring, to sufficiently and swiftly manage major financial and business risk exposures
The ROC evaluates the effectiveness of the Company’s risk management system on an annual basis. The Board of Directors, through the ROC, has reviewed the Company’s risk management system and has found the same effective and adequate.
Some of the risks that the Company and its related subsidiaries and affiliates may be exposed to are the following:
Economic and Political Conditions
The Company’s business is mainly the development and sale of high-end leisure properties in the Philippines which is generally influenced by the Philippine political and macroeconomic climate. Events and conditions that may negatively impact the Philippine economy as a whole may also adversely affect the Company’s ability to sell its real estate projects.
The degree of competition in the property industry varies considerably by sector and geography. In general, Belle may compete with other developers for purchases of land, as well as clientele for its residential and club projects. However, the Company believes that other major property companies do not generally pursue leisure property development as a core business area.
Changes in Local and International Interest Rates
Belle’s local and foreign-denominated borrowings may be adversely affected by drastic increases in interest rates.
Changes in the Value of the Peso
The Company is not exposed to the risk of depreciation of the Peso since it does not have material financial assets and liabilities denominated in foreign currencies.
Contractors and Suppliers
As is the case with most property development companies, there is a risk that contractual arrangements with contractors may not meet the Company’s performance standards. To serve as safeguards to these eventualities, therefore, performance bonds are normally required for these contractors.
Belle’s property development business is subject to certain laws and regulations of various branches of the government, such as the local governments, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (“DENR”) and the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (“HLURB”). Belle has complied with the licensing and regulatory requirements necessary for its operations.
Belle’s gaming businesses are also subject to certain laws and regulations. Belle’s involvement in the lottery run by the PCSO is via its ownership in Pacific Online, which holds an equipment lease agreement with the PCSO for the operation of on-line lottery system in the Visayas-Mindanao regions. Belle’s subsidiary PLC owns PLAI, which holds a License granted to it by PAGCOR to operate integrated resorts, including casinos, within Entertainment City.
Changes to the Philippine Laws and Regulations
Although laws and regulations are enacted for the common benefit, changes to these laws and regulations may create negative effects to the operating and financial condition of Belle, including its subsidiaries and affiliates.
In order to mitigate the risks mentioned above, the Company will continue to exercise fiscal prudence and adopt what it considers conservative financial and operational controls.
Belle finances its working capital requirements through a combination of internally-generated funds, pre-selling and borrowings.
Customers who wish to purchase Belle properties on credit terms are subject to credit verification procedures, and receivable balances are monitored to reduce exposure to bad debts.
With the current business environment, Information Technology risks are ever increasing. These cover unauthorized access to confidential data, loss or release of critical information, corruption of data, regulatory violations, and possible increase in costs and inefficiencies.
In order to address these risks, Belle has a co-location arrangement with redundant capability and automatic fail-over set-up for disaster recovery. It also continues to implement enterprise security solutions to manage external and internal threats. Annual review of technology roadmap to ensure the alignment between the business and information technology is performed.
Belle may be at risk for breach of data privacy as detailed information is gathered from customers and prospective buyers, suppliers, contractors and other business partners. This risk is mitigated through company-wide orientation on the Data Privacy Act, the topics of which include legal bases and implementing rules and regulations, rights of the individuals owning the information, exercising breach reporting procedures and other advisories.