Wednesday, February 22, 2006

PBSP Visayas Holds Successful 18th VAMM

The Philippine Business for Social Progress - Visayas has successfully conducted its 18th Visayas Annual Membership Meeting with the theme: "PBSP Visayas at 18: Leading Corporate Citizenship". Held at the Casino EspaƱol de Cebu, the 18th VAMM was presided by PBSP Visayas Executive Committee (VIXCOM) Chair, Mr. John F. Domingo. Also present were: Mr. Manuel V. Pangilinan, PBSP Chair & PLDT Chair and Ms. Maria Luisa Perez-Rubio, PBSP Board of Trustee and co-founder of PBSP, PBSP Luzon Regional Committee Chair, Mr. Jose Antonio Banson, Ambassador of Canada to the Philippines His Excellency Peter Sutherland, Cebu City Vice-Mayor Michael Rama, and Consul Moya Jackson of the United Kingdom.

Around 3oo guests attended the event. These came from officers of PBSP member companies and non-member companies, Corporate Social Responsibility partners, officers from the Provincial and City Governments of Cebu, PBSP partners from local governments in the Visayas, government agencies, partners and donors of PBSP, representatives from civil society groups, academe and media.

Her Excellencty President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was the Keynote Speaker of the 18th VAMM. She cited the men and women of PBSP for their contribution to nation-building and their mature approach to the spirit and legacy of EDSA People Power 1. She also cited the organization for supporting her projects to help the poor. "EDSA 1 has become an enduring part of our history. You honor the struggle of EDSA by bringing justice to the people. You demonstrate the transformed and mature fight for economic and social justice since EDSA 1," she said.

The President recalled that since its establishment in 1970, PBSP has created "positive change without going outside the system." She also said two EDSA People Power events have happened in the country and were accepted by the Filipino people and the world community.

The President also urged the leaders of PBSP to continue helping her administration in the battle against poverty and pursue the gains generated by fiscal and economic reforms. The country's economy is on the right track, the Philippine peso is getting stronger against the US dollar, investments continue to pick up, there is a rising business outlook, inflation is under control, the budget deficit is way below target and savings are up, the tourism industry is creating more job opportunities; and the stock market remains bullish, she said. "Our vision is permanent political and economic stability to take us to the threshold of the First World in twenty years," she added.

The President congratulated the PBSP for showing its concerns for the victims of the landslide in St. Bernard town in Southern Leyte.

Meanwhile, PBSP chairman and PLDT president Manuel V. Pangilinan stressed the legacy of PBSP's 35th year in social development in the country and of PBSP Visayas' 18 years. He also mentioned the thrusts of PBSP in the coming years. Mr. Pangilinan also informed the President that PBSP, in partnership with Gawad Kalinga, will build 100 homes free of charge for the victims of St. Bernard landslides and will donate another P5 million for the rehabilitation of the livelihood activities of the families affected.

The President was accompanied by members of her Cabinet and members of the diplomatic corps and the UN Resident Coordinator.