The PRIMEX Team

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ELVIRA C. ABLAZA

President and CEO

Ms. Vi Ablaza, PRIMEX Founder, has been at the helm of the Company’s operations in the last 30 years, steering its evolution into the premier international consulting firm that it is today. Not only is she responsible for overseeing PRIMEX's day-to-day operations, she is 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.

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CHELLASAMY MURUGABOOPATHI

Executive Vice President

Dr. Murugaboopathi has more than 30 years of extensive international experience as a consultant in agriculture, natural resources, and environment for development projects mainly funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). Since 2014,, when he joined OCG Tokyo, he has been involved in the identification, promotion, and management of projects funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), JICA, the former Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), and local governments in various countries including Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Georgia, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam.

He also has a strong background in watershed management, soils, land use, and irrigation and drainage. Dr. Murugaboopathi also has extensive research experience and he was involved in various research projects on surface and subsurface irrigation, drainage, soil and water conservation, and land reclamation during his research works and studies in India, Thailand, Japan, and U.S.A

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ESTELITA Y. GUTIERREZ

Senior Vice President

Engr. Baby Gutierrez is a registered civil and sanitary engineer, an accredited construction arbitrator, and a construction management specialist with close to four decades of experience in the planning, design, and management of various infrastructure development projects in the Philippines and abroad.

She has worked with several large engineering firms including Trans-Asia Philippines, Asialand Development Corporation, DCCD Philippines, DMJM International and Development & Technology Consultants, Inc., and Filipinas Dravo Corporation (Fil-Dravo). She joined PRIMEX as Vice President for Technical Services and Project Operations in October 2012 after her retirement from Fil-Dravo.

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LEN R. GARCES

Vice President for Technical Services

Mr. Len Garces has more than 30 years of experience in fisheries and aquaculture research and development in the Southeast Asian region. Prior to joining PRIMEX in 2020, he led multi-country teams in the implementation of a regional development project particularly in the integration and implementation of an Ecosystems Approach to Fisheries Management (EAFM) within the national and regional level fisheries management plans.

From 1990 to 2015, Mr. Garces worked with an International Research Institute (WorldFish) and was involved with multi-disciplinary projects on coastal fisheries management, program implementation, monitoring and evaluation, and research on fisheries resources and habitat assessments. He earned his B.S. Fisheries degree from the University of the Philippines (UP) in 1984 and M.S. Marine Biology from the UP - Marine Science Institute in 1988. He has published and/or edited over 70 scientific articles, volumes, and books during the course of his career.

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ROWENA SP MANALO

Vice President for Finance and Administration

Ms. Rowena SP Manalo is a Certified Public Accountant with more than 20 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. She also managed the USAID-funded Coastal Resource Management Project, which covered six provinces (Cebu, Bohol, Palawan, Davao, General Santos, and Negros Oriental) in the Philippines from 2000-2004.