"He chooses life over money."
By Melandrew T. Velasco
One of the news that was a breather to an otherwise gloomy business environment was the awarding last month of the winners of the 2020 Asia CEO Awards.
The awards honor individuals in their respective fields as well as their willingness to serve their stakeholders. It is the largest business awards event in the country and one of the largest in the Asia Pacific region.
This year’s roster of awardees includes San Miguel Corporation's president and chief operating officer Ramon S. Ang (RSA). He was honored with the Lifetime Contributor Award for the private sector. He garnered the award for his visionary leadership, contributions to the country, and response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He joins the list of Filipino Asia CEO Awards Lifetime Contributor awardees that includes former President Fidel V. Ramos and SM founder Henry Sy Sr.
“To be given the same Lifetime Contributor award that was given to titans such as former President Fidel Ramos and the late SM Chairman Henry Sy Sr. is a distinction I will always be grateful for,” RSA said.
Indeed, RSA’s visionary leadership in turning SMC into one of the most diversified conglomerates in the country has received the nod not only from the Asia CEO Awards Board of Judges. He has been honored by other award-giving bodies in the past including the 2019 Ten Outstanding Filipino Award (TOFIL Award).
From a food and beverage corporation, RSA has engineered its successful diversification branching into infrastructure, oil refining and marketing, packaging, power and energy, properties/real estate, and other businesses that cover banking, retirement funds, and shipping, among others.
SMC’s business ventures have created employment opportunities—helping families improve their lives. Its infrastructure projects are also helping stimulate the economy.
One of these projects is the Bulacan airport that will create millions of jobs not only during the construction phase but also after completion. The new airport alone is expected to generate 30 million tourism-related jobs, apart from other job opportunities.
Another infrastructure project is the Skyway Stage 3 elevated expressway in Metro Manila that was recently completed. The Skyway Stage 3 connects the North Luzon Expressway (NLEx) and South Luzon Expressway (SLEx) and cuts travel time from North to South Luzon and vice versa. It will be opened to the public by December with month-long free toll fees.
“We’re very proud and excited about this project because it will truly make a big difference to so many people’s lives—especially with our economy slowly opening up and with more vehicles coming back to our roads,” RSA said.
As one of the corporations helping the government in its campaign against COVID-19, SMC through RSA’s leadership has launched for its 130th anniversary a quarterly blood and convalescent plasma drive among its employees, the first private company to undertake such an initiative with the Red Cross.
Forthright in choosing life over money, San Miguel Corporation has spent over P13 billion to help the government in the drive to contain COVID-19. It also operates the Better World EDSA, a COVID-19 testing lab.
Plans are afoot for the construction of a state-of-the-art hospital that will specialize in infectious diseases research and provide outpatient care to disadvantaged Filipinos. This will be built as the maiden project of the newly established RSA Foundation.
SMC’s active involvement in the campaign against the pandemic and efforts to mitigate its harsh effects on the common tao has been lauded by many. “What other bigger purpose is there, than to help save lives? What other goal is more worthwhile than helping our country and making it better? What kind of Filipinos would we be if we do not show malasakit towards each other in this time of great need?” he said.
RSA’s concern for the needy is once more demonstrated with the onslaught of Typhoon Rolly as SMC mobilizes its resources to extend help to those in Bicol and Southern Luzon who were hit hardest by the super typhoon.
“At this time of great need, every effort goes a long way for our countrymen,” RSA said.
Filipinos are fortunate to have business leaders like RSA who look beyond the businessman’s perspective and nurture their fellowmen.
Velasco is the official biographer of the FVR family and a prolific book author who has over 50 titles, mostly coffee-table books, to his credit.