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Thursday, February 29, 2024

Investing for the future

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“SMC’s noble purpose and commitment to invest in the Filipino future is commendable”

Every  year one learns about performances of companies not only in the Philippines but also worldwide from articles based on studies by organizations that review these.

These are helpful information to investors, businessmen, and even to students of finance and financial management services.

These annual reviews have become customary; and for those companies in the top tier these are testaments to their best business practices.

This month, the new annual TIME World’s Best Companies list for 2023 featured 750 companies throughout the globe. The list was a result of the partnership with Statista that had 150,000 participants from 58 countries.

With the nation grappling with the adverse effects of high fuel prices and increasing prices of basic commodities, it is refreshing news to learn that six Philippine corporations are among those in the list namely: Ayala Corporation, San Miguel Corporation, Jollibee Foods Corporation, PLDT, Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co., and BDO Unibank, Inc.

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As a Filipino, it is my great pride and pleasure to congratulate these companies. They have demonstrated that Filipino companies are world-class and globally competitive.

Two of these, Ayala Corporation and San Miguel Corporation, which are topnotchers in the list of Filipino companies, are among the oldest companies in the country, having been around for more than a century.

Founded in 1890 as a brewery in the Philippines, SMC has evolved to be among the most diversified companies in the country.

Its business portfolio covers food manufacturing, fuel and oil, poultry, power generation, packaging and infrastructure.

San Miguel Corporation was ranked No. 347 with an overall score of 83.08. It had a very high growth rate and employee satisfaction rank of 67.

“We are honored to be one of six Filipino companies that made it to TIME Magazine’s World’s Best Companies of 2023,” SMC President and CEO Ramon S. Ang said.

According to him, being included in the list is more than just a company achievement. “It’s a testament to Filipino excellence,” he added.

Cultivating excellence has become the driving force for companies to become competitive in the global stage.

It is not surprising that SMC got high employee satisfaction rating. SMC earlier on was recognized as Top Employer of the Year at the 2021 Asia CEO Awards. It won over other companies based on criteria that included “outstanding leadership, improving employees’ professional careers, providing recognition, talent development, and social commitment and promoting work-life balance.”

It was also ranked 35th with a score of 8.99 among 300 companies in The Philippines’ Best Employers list which was a result of a project by Philippine Daily Inquirer and Statista.

According to PDI “based on the research, the most important factors for employers to get a high rating from employees are benefits, trust and opportunities for personal development.”

As with other businesses worldwide, SMC’s earnings during the pandemic were affected.

But post-pandemic, SMC earnings bounced back with the increase in consolidated income with San Miguel Food and Beverage and SMC Infrastructure among the leading growth drivers.

Through SMC Infrastructure, the conglomerate has undertaken projects to provide seamless travel.

It operates the Metro Manila Skyway, NAIA Expressway, South Luzon Expressway, Star Tollway, and the Tarlac-Pangasinan, La Union Expressway.

SMC recognizes that intermodal infrastructure projects will further boost the country’s economic development.

Currently it is undertaking the MRT Line 7 and the New Manila International Airport in Bulacan with MRT 7 nearing completion.

According to the website MRT 7 involves an elevated railway line with 14 stations running from MRT 3 North Avenue in Quezon City to San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan.

It also has a road component involving a “22-kilometer asphalt road from Bocaue Interchange of the North Luzon Expressway to the intermodal terminal in Tala.

The road component will divert northern provincial buses operation to San Jose Del Monte, thereby decongesting EDSA.”

Meanwhile, SMC stated that site clearance for the airport is at 98.3 percent, land filling works at 66.59 percent and ground improvement works at 66.54 percent. SMC intends to commence commercial operations in 2026.

Over the years, SMC has actively contributed to the growth of the country’s economy.

Its food and beverage products have become household names, among others.

It has participated and invested heavily in infrastructure projects to ensure economic progress can proceed smoothly.

RSA has previously stated that common to all projects across the conglomerate is SMC’s stronger push for nation-building and towards greater sustainability.

SMC’s noble purpose and commitment to invest in the Filipino future is commendable.

(The author, a book writer, is publisher of coffee-table books with a least 40 titles to his name. He is also the president and executive director of the Million Trees Foundation Inc, a non-government outfit advocating tree planting and watershed protection.)

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