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The dreamer just keeps going

by Atty. Ignacio R. Bunye

When he pioneered in land reclamation in the Philippines more than four decades ago, Delfin J. Wenceslao Jr. (alternatively Ding or DingW or DJW for short) dreamed of helping build the nucleus of a modern city center just off Manila Bay.

The dream is now a reality. D.M. Wenceslao and Associates Inc. (DMWAI) – a company founded by his father Delfin Sr. (Tatang) – has helped government in the reclamation of at least two million square meters from the sea.

On these reclaimed lands now stands DMWAI’s flagship, Aseana City, which includes familiar landmarks like Solaire, Resorts World’s West Side City, and City of Dreams.

At 75, Ding Wenceslao shows no sign of slowing down. Although he has relinquished the CEO position to his youngest son, Delfin Angelo or Buds, Ding is still very much on top of setting strategic directions for the company. Buds is a Green and Blue grad (La Salle High and Ateneo College) with a Masters degree from MIT.

DMWAI recently went public in the very first Initial Public Offering (IPO) this year. Of the funds raised during the IPO, the company intends to spend R11 to R12 billion over the next five years to fund various real estate development projects (both commercial and residential) within Aseana City and outside.

Ding’s company boasts an enviable record. As one of the very select AAAA general contractors in the country, DMWAI has already completed over 100 construction and infrastructure projects throughout the country.

But Ding has quite a few more items in his “dream list” aside from the company’s core business.

More immediate is the completion of a church within Aseana City dedicated to the memory of St. John Paul II. The imposing edifice is now 2/3 complete and should be ready sometime in 2019. According to the family, it’s a fulfillment of Ding’s promise in gratitude for answered prayers. Ding, however, is mum on the details.

In college, Ding and I served together as officers in the Ateneo Air Force ROTC. We even underwent summer cadre training together at the Philippine Air Force headquarters in Nichols (now Villamor) Airbase. However, another proposed project on Ding’s plate has nothing to do with the Air Force at all. Rather, it is for the Navy.

Ding has blue prints for a naval system which could be adopted not only for coastal defense but also for disaster relief. The system consists of a Mother Ship (“Nanay”) which could carry several high speed and very maneuverable boats (“Kumpit”).

“Nanay” would operate much like an aircraft carrier except that it will be carrying small hi-speed boats instead. The naval system can be fabricated right here in Cavite, Ding said.

It would be worthwhile for Ding’s tocayo, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, to take a look at this project. Ding proposes to Design-Finance-Construct on a Turnkey Basis the prototype of this naval system.

Ding also has proposals to help ease the traffic along EDSA.

The first stage (EDSA Shuttle) involves the lease and management of two inner lanes of EDSA going both directions. The project proponent will install semi-permanent barriers to segregate the EDSA Shuttle Lane from the regular vehicles along EDSA. The proposed system, Ding contends, will enable vehicles in the shuttle lane to run at speeds of 60 kph.

The second stage involves a proposed underground toll way and subway along EDSA from Ayala to SM North EDSA. This can be undertaken, Ding said, by a consortium consisting of EEI Corp., IPM Construction and Development Corp., Sta. Clara International Corp., and DM Wenceslao and Associates.

Secretary Art Tugade should find the proposals, at the very least, interesting.

A personal advocacy to make many Filipinos feel “less poor” has prompted Ding to partner with like-minded friends to launch the Ninong Project. Ninong is under the auspices of Katipunan ng mga Mamamayan ng Bagong Pilipinas Foundation Inc. (KMBPFI), a service NGO duly accredited by the the DSWD.

Very simple, affordable, and easily duplicable, Ninong involves raising of donations (equivalent to the price of one kilo of rice) and distributing the rice to selected “poorest of the poor” families. Rice distribution is done every Saturday in Baclaran, Don Galo, La Huerta, San Dionisio, Sto. Nino, Tambo, Vitalez (all in Parañaque City) and in Bulacan, Bulacan.

A firm believer of “Nothing ventured, nothing gained,” Ding is a product of San Beda GS ‘56, UP HS ‘60, Ateneo Col ’64, and PMA ‘66 (Honorary).

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