Friday, February 20, 2009

The 21st Visayas Annual Membership Meeting: The Sounds & Images Part 1

21st PBSP Visayas Annual Membership Meeting
February 18, 2009, Casino Español de Cebu, Cebu City

Corporate Citizenship in the Face of Challenges

"Every year, we of PBSP in the Visayas go the distance to gather all of you in this annual occasion so we may honor your invaluable contributions to PBSP’s human development accomplishments. The VAMM is all about you. The challenging paths that PBSP has chosen to trek all these years became more bearable and the horizons we aimed to reach sparkled with inspiration because of you who have selflessly helped us along the way." Mr. Jose Antonio Aboitiz, Chairman of PBSP in the Visayas and Representative of Aboitiz & Company, welcomed the guests of PBSP's 21st Visayas Annual Membership Meeting.
In her acknowledgment of guests, PBSP Visayas Executive Committee Member and Partner of SGV & Co., Ms. Maria Madeira R. Vestil quoted a great statesman of the world, Winston Churchill, “If we are together, nothing is impossible. If we are divided all will fail.” Ms. Vestil further added that “throughout the years, PBSP has realized numerous possibilities, positive differences in the lives of thousands of families, because each and every one of you (member companies and partners) helped us meet our goals.”

Mr. Jose Levi S. Villanueva, Vice Chairman of PBSP Visayas Executive Committee and Senior Vice President of Union Bank of the Philippines, led the VIXCOM in welcoming three new member companies. Prior to the recognition of new member companies, Mr. Villanueva shared the Statement of Commitment crafted in 1970 by the 50 founding members of PBSP that closes in these inspired lines: “We hereby declare our commitment to the Philippine Business for Social Progress, which shall be private enterprise’s social development arm dedicated to the empowerment of the poor and the self-reliance of communities.”

The three new PBSP members are Espina, Perez-Espina & Associates, The Mayflower Inn, and Virginia Foods, Incorporated. PBSP’s roster of members is now 241.
Espina, Perez-Espina & Associates is a professional partnership composed of family members with expertise in architecture, engineering, planning, landscape architecture, and interior design.
Established in 1953, The Mayflower Inn Provides hotel quality service for businessmen and budget travelers and manages other popular Cebu City destinations such as Elicon House and West Gorordo Hotel.
Virginia Foods is Cebu-based meat processing company. It produces and distributes frozen processed meat and canned goods for consumers nationwide, and some of its popularly known products are El Rancho and Winner.

The three new member companies (from left): Architect Omar Maxwell Espina, Partner of Espina, Perez-Espina & Associates; Mr. Stanley Go, Vice President of Sales and Marketing of Virginia Foods, Inc.; and Mr. Jose Ma. Eliseo C. Lee, Chief Executive Officer of The Mayflower Inn.
“In my years as a journalist, I have had several encounters with real life challenges that have changed lives, altered history, and helped shape our ever evolving social consciousness. As a member of PBSP, I have had the privilege of getting front row seats to witness real people – farmers, fisher folks, urban poor workers, disaster victims, poor children, small entrepreneurs – overcoming life’s challenges to better serve their families and their communities.

“These are ordinary people. Their accomplishments are down to earth and simple. The challenges that they have faced are, in several respects, similar to the tests that have confronted many communities in our country and many societies in our world. But, their unheralded stories and unsung accomplishments have made positive differences in the places that they call home.”

Ms. Eileen G. Mangubat, VIXCOM Member and Publisher of Cebu Daily News, enlightened the 21st VAMM guests on the inspiring stories that will grace PBSP in the Visayas’ coffee table book project, “A Better Life, Stories of Corporate Social Responsibility,” that will come out in July 2009.

Ms. Mangubat asked the audience, “What color is your paddle?” For PBSP, the colored paddles that grace the 21st VAMM are symbolic of the corporate social responsibility projects engaged by Philippine business. The paddles – red for poverty reduction, green for environmental conservation, blue for health and water, yellow for education, and orange for enterprise development – have steered many communities and families to greater heights.

Atty. Hidelito Pascual, PBSP VIXCOM Member, Chairman of the Metro Cebu Workforce Development & Education Program, and Chairman of Organizational Performance Associates, Inc., introduced the Tabok Workers’ Multi-Purpose Cooperative. Tabok was formed in 1997 by Pacific Traders and Manufacturing Corporation and PBSP. Tabok is composed of skilled workers retrenched during the onslaught of the 1997 Asian Economic crisis.

The story of Tabok Workers’ Multi-Purpose Cooperative is a story of the triumph of the human spirit. Tabok embraced the challenge of Pacific Traders and PBSP by forming themselves into a cooperative. Today, they are one of the subcontractors of Pacific Traders, have over 1,000 members from the original 90, have their own building and workplace, and possess at least P10 million in assets. This triumphant story was delivered by Tabok’s Board of Director, Mr. Francisco Bakunawa, a founding member of Tabok.

The VIXCOM honored an outgoing PBSP member – Mr. N. Tolentino Gallares of First Consolidated Bank (FCB) for his six years of service. Accepting the plaque of appreciation is Mr. Dionisio Baseleres (center) of FCB and a new VIXCOM member. With him are VIXCOM members, Mr. Ricardo Santiago of PASAR Corporation & Mr. Aboitiz.

The path to a better life was also taken by a PBSP partner – the Center for International Education (CIE) via its Pearl Principle Formation School or PPFS. A PPFS is a provider of quality basic education for children ages four to eight years old. It is also a social enterprise because it will be managed by a cooperative, a community-based organization, or an NGO. Pearls stand for Passionate, Ethical, Action-oriented, Results-focused, Leaders of Society.

With the guidance of CIE and PBSP, a new PPFS will be administered by the Tabok Workers’ Multi-Purpose Cooperative. Signing the memorandum of agreement, from left, are Mr. Francisco Bakunawa of Tabok, Prof. Nelia Cruz Sarcol, Founding President of CIE; Mr. Jose Antonio Aboitiz.