PamCham's Christmas Party Pictures
President’s Welcome Remarks at PamCham’s Christmas Party, December 12, 2016, 6pm @ The Lakeshore
Change has come. And not just for the Philippines. Recent events will show that the world’s normal is being challenged and a NEW normal is emerging. Political ideologies are shifting. America’s election result certainly surprised the global community. Britain’s exit from the European Union was a bold move. Austria and Italy’s recent election also veered away from normal expectations.
Technological breakthroughs abound. Artificial intelligence, only once seen in sci-fi movies are now being used and they have taken over most of our daily activities. There is Apple’s Siri, Windows’ Cortana, Google’s Google now and Amazon Echo’s Alexa.
Even normal weather patterns are affected by climate change.
What is certain though is that business will always adjust to these changes, adapt to the new normal, amend plans and priorities to convert these changes to opportunities.
For PamCham, 2016 is not just a year of change but a year of innovation. We innovated our activities to focus on member services, fostered fellowship among members and facilitated business matching at every opportunity.
Our Kapihans were tweaked to focus more on fellowship and camaraderie, between and among our members and the directors. Assigned respective months to host, members of the board took turns in welcoming members into their business establishments and shared half of their workday with them. An exercise that quickly turned into business mentoring sessions where the directors, generous in their time and resources, shared their best business practices, as well as their mistakes and failures, and how they used these disappointments to become their springboards to success.
But what was significant in these activities were the avenues of business matching that were opened as a result. Directors learned of the products and services of the members. And in turn, the members quickly established rapport with the directors enough to overcome the initial intimidation.
Another activity we introduced this year were the business matching sessions. Members who participated in this activity have built productive networks, established substantial partnerships and concluded business contracts.
I encourage members who have not yet joined the monthly business matchings to do so because these small activities yield the most effective results, simply because they are more personal, relaxed and intimate. They are also platforms for bonding and friendship among business colleagues, which is one of PamCham’s objectives.
Our GMMs have continued with very little changes since these meetings focus more on our advocacies and establishing connections with institutions outside our organization. These are opportunities for engagement with our partners in government and other business associations we share advocacies with.
While the Kapihans and Business Matchings are internal activities and benefit members directly, the GMMs are our opportunities for expanded and inclusive networking as well because we invite other chambers and stakeholders to attend.
The GMMs also showcase PamCham as a professional business organization that continuously upgrades on information and knowledge, material to the economy and the countryside business community.
On interactions with other chambers and organizations. We have been extremely lucky this year as we were approached by other chambers like the Australia-New Zealand Chamber, the American Chamber Central Luzon, and the Italian Chamber for business matching and information sharing. According to them, they see Pampanga’s potential for development and would like to get an early foothold by exploring partnership with us.
We have also been quite fortunate to have established partnerships with SBMA, CDC and CIAC relative to our advocacies for the development of Region 3 as a growth area outside of Metro Manila, which as we all know is now bursting at the seams, figuratively and literally.
We also wrote local airlines like Cebu Pacific, Philippine Air Lines and Air Asia requesting them to increase flights from Clark to other local destinations, as well other countries in Aisa. Thus far, we have received positive responses from them, committing to study these options.
Other advocacies we continuously pursue include the prohibition of tricycles at our major highways, and the clearing of Spaghetti wires not only in San Fernando, but in Guagua and most recently in the municipality of Sta. Ana.
Recently we wrote the city council of San Fernando to study the impact to traffic by malls located along our major highways, JASA and Mac Arthur, indicating the frequency of gridlocks at these locations during holidays and weekend sales.
While we welcome investments, we likewise promote balance development, where social and environmental concerns are not compromised by business development and economic progress. We endorse and support responsible business practices that yield the triple bottomline - People, Planet and Profit, in this particular order of priority.
We have also been actively participating in the various development councils of the City, the Province and the Region as we have recommended directors and members to represent the business sector in these consultative bodies.
Ultimately, we want the voice of business to be resonantly voiced and clearly heard. The interest and welfare of the business sector should be given priority consideration because economic development rests heavily in business viability and sustainability.
In return, we must always champion good business practices, remain compliant with government policies and regulations, stay committed to our obligation of providing employment to our fellow Kapampangans, exceedingly conscious of our social obligations to our Cabalens, and conscientiously caring and protective of our environment.
In 19 days we will wrap up business in 2016 and will begin planning for 2017. Despite the continuous shifts in the global and national geopolitical ideologies, changes in technologies and weather patterns, we remain confident in the Filipinos’ resiliency and assured of the Kapampangan’s indomitable spirit that will prevail over whatever challenges this new normal will bring.
Thank you very much and happy holidays to everyone.