Profiles of Primex Directors and Senior Management

Ryohei Ishii

Chairman and President

Mr. Ryohei Ishii has more than 15 years of experience in business development and project management in Japanese official development assistance (ODA)-funded projects in various parts of the world. A Civil Engineer by profession, Mr. Ishii is General Manager (GM) of the Business Promotion Department of Oriental Consultants Global (OCG) Japan. Aside from serving as PRIMEX Chairman, he is the GM of OCG’s offices in Sri Lanka and Thailand, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of OCG East Africa and Latin America, and Director of OCG Thailand.

Elvira C. Ablaza

Chief Operating Officer

Ms. Vi Ablaza, PRIMEX Founder, served as the President and CEO for 31 years, steering its evolution into the premier international consulting firm that it is today. Not only was she responsible for overseeing PRIMEX’s day-to-day operations, she was also PRIMEX’s Chief Quality Assurance (QA) Officer and Project Director for development projects where PRIMEX is the Lead Firm. She also does consulting work for ADB and the UN agencies in natural resources management and environment in the Philippines and the Asia-Pacific region. Ms. Ablaza holds an MS in Biology (meritissimus) from the University of Santo Tomas (UST) in Manila and a BS in Biology (magna cum laude) from the College of the Holy Spirit (CHS) Manila.

Ponciano V. Cruz, Jr., Ll. B.

Corporate Secretary

Atty. Jackie Cruz is the Managing Partner of the Santiago, Cruz, and Associates Law Offices. Since 2007, he has been teaching at the College of Law at Adamson University and has been serving as one of the Trustees of the Board of Adamson University since 2013. He also serves as Trustee of La Salle Green Hills in Mandaluyong City and of the La Salle-Jaime Hilario School in Bagac, Bataan. He is also a Consultant on Legal and Regulatory Affairs to several broadcasting and telecommunication companies, such as Smart Communications, Inc., TV5, and Sun Cellular. Atty. Cruz joined the PRIMEX Board of Directors in 2015. He graduated with a degree in AB Philosophy from the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman and holds a Bachelor of Laws from the same university. He became a member of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), Quezon City Chapter in 1991.

Ma. Lourdes F. Mercader

Director and Corporate Treasurer

Ms. Malou Mercader currently holds the position of Finance and Accounting Manager at OCG Philippine Branch. Prior to joining OCG, she was Accounting Manager at the global electric and power company subsidiary, Asea Brown Boveri, Inc. (ABB), from 1995-2002. She started her career with Atlantic Gulf and Pacific Co. of Manila Inc. (AG&P) from 1983 to 1991 before joining ABB as Project Accountant/Chief Accountant in 1991. Ms. Mercader graduated with the degree of BS in Accounting at St. Paul College Manila (SPCM) in March 1982 and became a certified public accountant (CPA) in March 1983.

Rosechin O. Hamanaka


Ms. Hamanaka is an economist with work experience in government, international organizations, and the private sector. She has excellent skills in economic and social policy analysis, research, and quantitative analysis. She worked at the World Bank Headquarters in Washington DC and in the World Bank Manila Office, where she provided advisory services and analytics to country operations. She also worked at the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Headquarters in Manila, where she provided technical and management support to regional technical assistance projects. In the early days of her career, she was a staff member of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and a consultant to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

Ana Celina A. Baluyut

Vice President for Business Development/Head Executive Assistant/Data Privacy Officer

Ana Celina A. Baluyut is a marketing communications expert and has extensive experience in networking and business development. She was engaged as an external relations specialist, researcher, and eventually project manager for feasibility studies of various transport and infrastructure projects. She is knowledgeable in various tendering procedures of international financing institutions and is highly familiar with the implementing rules and regulations of the Philippine Procurement Policy or Republic Act 9184. She is a certified Data Protection Officer and gained recognition in Knowledge Management and Strategic Intelligence from the United Nations Public Administration Network (UNPAN). She is also a Master in Project Management, a certification that was given by the American Academy in Project Management.

Nestor Nonato P. Escara

Vice President for Project Operations

Nestor Nonato P. Escara is a fisheries management specialist with over 30 years of experience in the implementation of numerous development projects funded by different international agencies such as the Asian Development Bank (ADB), World Bank, Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) among others. Before he joined PRIMEX as a regular staff, he was involved in the onsite implementation of fisheries projects as project coordinator/manager with special assignments in developing information, education and communication materials. Since 2016 as PRIMEX regular staff, he has been involved in the management of various projects in different sectors other than fisheries, such as education, health, infrastructure, disaster risk reduction and management, irrigation and agriculture. He has prepared and edited technical reports, including promotional and information materials, handbooks and manuals. He obtained his Bachelor of Science in Fisheries Management in 1985 from the University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines and his Master of Marine Management in 2002 from the Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Rowena SP. Manalo

Vice President for Finance and Administration

Ms. Rowena Manalo is a Certified Public Accountant with more than 25 years of experience in accounting and finance and administration in both government and the private sectors in the transportation, information technology (IT), trading, power generation, and manufacturing in the Philippines, Bangladesh, Papua New Guinea (PNG), and the Marshall Islands. In 2000, she first joined PRIMEX as Assistant Manager for Finance and Administration, where she handled accounting, bookkeeping, and taxes. After several overseas engagements, she returned to the Philippines in 2017 and rejoined PRIMEX as Vice President for Finance and Administration.