By CHENG ORDONEZ, Executive Editor, BWM
CAGAYAN de Oro City — BusinessWeek Mindanao Corporation has given recognition to deserving businessmen, business ventures, and government agencies that made significant contribution to the development of Mindanao Island for the past year through the 4th Mindanao Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs (MBLE) Awards 2015, held Saturday, July 25, at the Ayala Centrio Activity Center, here.
Institutionalized since 2012 to inspire business leaders and entrepreneurs to seek greater heights and strive for success in the noble mission of propelling the six regions of Mindanao and its people towards full economic growth and sustainable development, the 4th MBLE Awards gave accolades in 10 business categories and 15 special citations to individuals and groups.
Miguel Villareal, vice president for corporate communications of Philippine Veterans Bank (PVB), which is one of the most pioneering sponsor of the annual event, said that of all the businesses in the country, those in Mindanao have the toughest challenges.
“You have to deal with perception issues and an ongoing power shortages, among others. As we face the Asean integration, excellence and standing out becomes all the more crucial. Our Filipino businesses or enterprises must be able to innovate, practice good business ethics and dynamism in order to compete with and stand out among our Asean neighbors,” Villareal said.
Villareal congratulated Dante Sudaria, president and CEO of BusinessWeek Corp. and Allan Mediante, proponent of the project and Mindanao trustee of the Philippine Press Institute, for successfully holding the 4th MBLE Awards.
“We at PVB are proud to be your partner ever since this Awards started since four years ago. To the Awardees, our congratulations and best wishes. We hope that many other businesses would follow your example in dynamism and excellence,” he added.
“Admittedly, due to heavy industry regulations, the processes and systems of Philippine banks have not been that friendly to SMEs. We at PVB are quickly learning how to meet the needs of the SME. We are in fact training our branch managers on how to assess SMEs, which are very different from large corporations,” Villareal said.
“We call on the national government to invest heavily in infrastructure to help businesses across the country. We must invest in major sea ports and airports, cross country highways so goods can move freely and cheaply from Filipino producers and businesses to Filipino families. We must never stop calling for this until it is cheaper to ship fruits and vegetables from Mindanao to Manila and Luzon than from Taiwan or China. We must never stop calling for better and visionary leadership until it is faster to get from Cagayan de Oro to Manila than from Quezon City to Makati. And we must never stop calling for better and competitive airports for movement of cargo and tourists. This spurs business, gives more buying power to our people, and so on. This is what we shall be demanding from the next batch of national leaders.
Laurel Media president and CEO Roni Merk said the awarding should not be construed as a competition but rather as a collaboration.
“It is a win-win for all businesses since they will learn from each other’s best practices,” Merk, who is also a BPI consultant and an IABC Philippines adviser, said.
The following were the awardees – Mega Entrepreneur Jose Alvarez, Darling Foods Corporation (Food Production and Marketing), Ecoverde Homes (Housing and Realty Development), MASS-SPECC Coop Development Center (Cooperatives), N Hotel (Hotel Industry), Thai Me Up (Outstanding Franchisee), Botoy’s Lechon Manok (Outstanding Franchisor), Apple Tree Resort & Hotel (Resort and Entertainment), Gama Foods Corporation (Agro-Industry Leader) and Vjandep (Micro Entrepreneur).
Special citations were given to the following: Tieza general manager Mark Lapid (Outstanding Tourism Leadership), DOT 10 director Catalino Chan III (Tourism Promotion), Apple Tree Resort & Hotel (Tourism Development), RR Family Spring Resort (Outstanding Tourism Destination), jointly the city government of Tangub and the municipal government of Maramag, Bukidnon (Outstanding LGU in Tourism Development), the city government of Ozamiz (Outstanding LGU in Economic Enterprise Development), Mimi Parrel-Pimentel (Outstanding in Fashion Industry), jointly the provincial governments of Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental (Outstanding LGU Healthcare Program), jointly Paglaum Multi-purpose Cooperative and NARCICO of Compostela Valley (Cooperative Development), Holcim (Social Responsibility Program), Johndorf Ventures Corporation (Housing Industry Development), Primavera Residences (Green Condominium), MCDC and Ecoverde Homes (Socialized Housing) and Tesda Misamis Oriental provincial director Leo Velez (Business and Industry Integrator).
Sudaria said he can fully relate to entrepreneurs’ process of starting up a business, a company or other organization, because he started his own from being one among them.
“Entrepreneurs go through the process of having business plans, acquiring human and other required resources, and are fully responsible for their success or failure. One of the reasons we have the Mindanao Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs Awards, which is on its fourth year now, is because we are with you — businessmen and entrepreneurs — all through these years, and we celebrate in every step you make to success. Let me and BusinessWeek lead you exactly there.” Sudaria said.
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