News and Events

MAPping a culture of integrity

Posted: 2011-01-30
Category: In the News

MAPPING THE FUTURE, Philippine Daily Inquirer
By Felino Palafox Jr.
January 30, 2011


THIS gathering is an international, interdisciplinary, inter-faith, and public, private, and civil society leaders.

I gratefully appreciate the vision and leadership of the 61 previous presidents in bringing the organization as the premier Management Association of the Philippines. I would like to thank the members of the Management Association of the Philippines as well as the 2011 MAP Board of Governors for choosing me as President, the first Architect/Urban Planner to lead this premier management organization of CEOs, top executives, business and civic leaders. Let us also thank and recognize the MAP Secretariat headed by Arnold Salvador. I would want to thank my family: my wife, Wilma, my children Katrina, Karima and Philip; also our architects, planners, designers, engineers, consultants and clients who have helped me build Palafox Associates to what it is today.

I would like to thank lawyer Ebot Tan for his effective leadership and once again the members of the 2010 MAP Board of Governors for their steadfast dedication and valuable contribution to the goals and objectives of MAP, during the challenging year.

I have been part of four previous MAP Boards?under Mon Dimacali in 2002, Evelyn Singson in 2006, Albert del Rosario in 2007, and Ebot Tan in 2010. I observed and benefited tremendously from their various leadership and management skills. I am humbled to serve, manage and lead this prestigious organization.

The Philippines is a country with unfulfilled high development potentials.

Let us revisit the high development potentials of our country and its beautiful sceneries and wonders of nature. We are the first in the world in terms of marine biodiversity and also considered first in having the best musicians and sailors. I am now told that we are the first in BPOs, having just surpassed India, third in the longest coastline, some countries going to war to claim longer waterfronts like Iraq invading Kuwait, and Dubai making reclamations. We are fourth in gold, fifth in all mineral resources and No. 12 in human resources. The Filipino expatriates are the popular choice of kings, queens, sheiks, presidents, prime ministers, developers, hospitals and schools, among many other international employers.

Let us focus on the Philippines? additional competitive advantages?its strategic location for one. The Philippines was the international hub in the Asia-Pacific region of Spanish Europe for 350 years, the trade between Spain and the Philippines, the Manila-Acapulco trade and Manila-Shanghai-Acapulco trade routes for almost 350 years, then the Asia-Pacific hub of the Americans for 100 years. Pre-Spanish times, we traded already with the Chinese, Arabs, Indians and the rest of Asia. The center of trade and commerce started at the Mediterranean Sea, in the 21st century to this day. We enjoy the wealth of these influences infused into our heritage, culture as well as architecture. The center of trade and commerce started in the Mediterranean Sea, then until the last century, the Atlantic Ocean, the 21st Century will be Pacific Ocean or the Asian-Pacific Century. The Philippines is right in the strategic center of the Asia-Pacific.

Our global competitiveness continued during the 1920s to the 1950s, when we ranked second in Asia after Japan. However, at present, we lag behind our Asian neighbors and it is time to refocus on the issues at hand to plan for a better future.

The Philippines is more than 400 times the size of Singapore in terms of total land area. It is almost 350 times the size of Hong Kong, about eight times the size of Taiwan and three times bigger than South Korea. In fact, Singapore?all 71,000 hectares of land, can fit into our 90,000-hectare Laguna Lake. We can be a great globally competitive 400 Singapores, 350 Hong Kongs, eight Taiwans, three South Koreas?all 7,107 islands of beauty and excellence. This should encourage us to make the most of our strength on the land, our people, and our natural resources with which the Philippines has been gifted by God.

Therefore, as a nation, we must work twice as hard to achieve our goals. We must strive to reach the global benchmarks to be worthy of the respect we must have for ourselves as well as from other countries.

MAP has adopted ?MAPping a Culture of Integrity? as its theme for 2011. This encompasses dominant matters of progress, managing for change and inspiring business excellence and environmental sustainability. Eleven alternative themes that were put forward by the 2011 Board of Governors were as follows:

  1. Addressing the Challenges of Corruption, Criminality and Climate Change
  2. Building a Nation without Corruption
  3. Country above Self
  4. Creative Leadership: Management for Change
  5. Execution: The Right Path to Progress
  6. Inspiring Business Sustainability
  7. Management Excellence for a Better Nation
  8. Managing an Architecture of Integrity for Our Country
  9. MAPping the Right Path to Progress
  10. Moving the Nation Forward with Transparency, Accountability and Good Governance
  11. Vision beyond the Present

The above recommended themes evolved into our 2011 theme of ?MAPping a Culture of Integrity? which the whole 2011 MAP Board unanimously approved.

As members of MAP, we must steadfastly adhere to the highest ethical standards, good governance principles and management excellence, while courageously confronting the growing complexity of managing businesses in an ever challenging environment.

Our core values in the MAP remind us that integrity not only entails honor, transparency and accountability, but also completeness with all the valued components of the main theme taken into consideration to work efficiently as a whole.

This year, we hope to address the challenges of corruption, criminality and climate change.

Corruption, as I learned from the seminary, comes from two Latin words 'cor', which means heart, and 'rupture', which means break. So we seem to live in a country or society with a broken heart.

The competitiveness of our country continues to decline, preventing us from addressing poverty, housing, public health, transportation, traffic, climate change and the environment, among others.

MAP supports the Coalition against Corruption. We also fully support the Integrity Initiative of the Asian Institute of Management (AIM), the Makati Business Club (MBC), the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) and the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham). Three-hundred plus companies have already signed up for a pledge of the Integrity Initiative which aims to promote integrity and accountability in business. MAP members are strongly urged to commit to ethical business practices and good governance. We should be exemplars, not the exempted.

MAP members must lead by example in the fight against corruption by managing their business ethically and with integrity, paying the right taxes, taking care of their stakeholders and the environment, not tolerating bribery, and not just talking about corruption but also reporting and exposing it.

For a business perspective, we encourage you to read the Arangkada Philippines 2010 by the American Chamber of Commerce and other foreign chambers, European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Canadian Chamber of Commerce, the Australian-New Zealand Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, the Japanese Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, the Korean Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines and the Philippine Association of Multinational Companies Regional Headquarters, Inc. (Pamuri).

In this century, MAP looks toward creative and new ideals. We continue to advocate good governance, management excellence, corporate social responsibility, and environmental sustainability. Let us forge various communities in the society for this century, which my professors at the Harvard Graduate School of Design considered as the 'Re-Century:' Renew, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Replace, Reengineer, Redevelop, Repair, Rejuvenate and Revitalize. Hopefully, I would like MAP to carry out actions that are immediately possible. For a renaissance to happen, management should be open to new ideals that are creative and artistic, progressive and effective, short-term as well as long-term and visionary that must follow this new age of constant change.

The MAP Communications Committee is mandated to review all external communications and use the available platforms (columns, GMMs, annual conferences, MAP Executive Academy) to project a more active and relevant management organization and attract, or give a higher profile to its members.

The Board has approved the Communications Plan done by the Communications Committee whose goal will be to project MAP as the premier association of top management executives.

Our strategies will include the following, among others:

  1. Make the monthly GMMs (general membership meetings) more interesting and engaging by:
    1. Inviting speakers who are key contributors
    2. Encouraging government officials to actively participate in tackling relevant national issues, utilizing the GMM as the initial venue to share his/her views on the subject at hand
    3. Requesting a television network or the media to provide the moderator for the GMM discussion of the two sides of a specific management issue preferred by MAP members
    4. Requesting the media to feature the GMM discussion

  2. Focus the MAP columns ("MAPping the Future? in the Inquirer every Monday, ?MAP Insights? in Businessworld every Tuesday, and ?MAP Statement of the Week? in Businessworld every Monday) on management issues.

In order to propagate best management practices, the Board has agreed to reactivate the MAP Speakers Bureau.

The Map Speakers Bureau provides the venue for members to share their wisdom and expertise with their fellow MAP members and also with other business or professional organizations, schools, students, and other management practitioners and educators.

We continue MAP's Thrusts for 2011 with three pillars as follows:

-Good Governance
-Corporate Social Responsibility
-Environmental Sustainability

MAP intends to showcase in its monthly GMM?s selected men and women of expertise and integrity to talk about their professional, personal and corporate advocacies and initiatives.

The MAP Executive Academy will continue to serve as the umbrella brand for all educational activities for MAP members as well as the venue for continuing education and sharing of the latest technologies and information of management and leadership.

We have not increased the dues this year but we will see to it that members? benefits will be enhanced. Other initiatives will be announced as well via electronic circulars.

MAP will continue to be more relevant, responsive with challenges of a rapidly changing environment here and elsewhere in the world.

MAP's programs for management excellence include the following, among others:

  1. the 9th Annual MAP International CEO Conference to be held on September 13, 2011 with the Working Theme: 'Future Trends: Business, Leadership in a New, Convergent World'
  2. the Search for 'Management Man of the Year for 2011'
  3. the MAP's Teachers Training Program-Management Educators? Workshops (MEW) and Seminars for Management Educators (SME) in partnership with Asian Institute of Management (AIM).
  4. the 2nd MAP CSR Leadership Challenge which aims to promote CSR as important and integral part of good management practice, inspire MAP members and other top executives to improve their practice and set the bar for the practice of CSR in the country, and recognize companies that exemplify what it means to be a true corporate citizen through their CSR programs.

MAP continues to be a member of the AAMO, the Asian Association of Management Organizations, which is the umbrella association of management organizations in the Asia-Pacific to share actively and leverage resources to achieve their respective missions. Countries represented at AAMO includes the Philippines, China, India, Australia, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore and Qatar, among other countries in Asia.

We have various committees to cover management excellence, environment, infrastructure, ICT, agribusiness, trade and industry, CSR, good governance, among others.

The National Issues Committee will have special task forces to be more proactive in putting forward reforms, instead of just reacting to issues or recommendations.

I call upon each and every one of you to please support the Board?s efforts to assist and participate in the various activities of MAP this year. I am very confident that with our very strong, highly qualified teammates, Elizabeth 'Beth' H. Lee, COO of Universal Motors Corp. and president of the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. (Campi), as vice president; Eduardo 'Ed' V. Francisco, president and CEO of BDO Capital and Investment Corp., as treasurer; Pacita 'Chit' U. Juan, co-chairperson of Philippine Coffee Board Inc., as secretary.

We also have the following Governors: Francisco 'Popoy' F. Del Rosario Jr., president and CEO of Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP); Lydia P. Sarmiento, advisory board member of League of Corporate Foundations (LCF) and consultant of CSR Institute; Francisco 'Frankie' C. Eizmendi Jr., president of Institute for Solidarity in Asia (ISA) and former president of San Miguel Corp.; Gregorio 'Greg' S. Navarro, president of Carl Jung Circle Center; and James G. Velasquez, president and general manager of IBM Philippines Inc.

Their fervent efforts, along with those of the past officers and Board, push us beyond mere hope. We have been yearning for a Philippines able to hurdle seemingly insurmountable negativity. It is now time to take action. If we put all our minds and hearts to the task, there is nothing we cannot achieve.

Finally, I would like to thank the MAP general membership and the 2011 Board of Governors for affording me the rare honor and privilege of serving as MAP President for this year.

This would pose another challenge for me and our colleagues in the government sector, the business community, civil society, non-government organizations, inter-faith groups, various professions, and all sectors of society to be more active in the essential steps of the various responsibilities called upon us.

Confidently, we look toward this year for us to actively participate in repairing, rejuvenating and revitalizing our country. While MAP will have its challenges, I look forward to forging a bond among the business, the public, and the private sectors to realize the goals of our country?s great development potentials.

Again, one must look to our past only to modernize the future for the betterment of society.

"Some men see things as they are and say: Why? I dream things that never were and say: Why not?? " Sen. Robert Francis Kennedy

"Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men's blood. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will never die." -Daniel Hudson Burnham

God Bless MAP! Mabuhay Philippines!


(Inaugural address delivered recently by the author as 62nd President of the Management Association of the Philippines. Architect Palafox is Principal Architect-Urban Planner/Founder of Palafox Associates. Feedback at For previous articles, visit .)



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