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Reasons to be thankful

The end of the year is a good time to express gratitude to those who have made life better for others. At Ateneo where I spent a good eight years (from high school to college; we had no senior high school then) the Jesuits always taught us to be women and men for others and to not expect anything in return. Just do good, help uplift those who are downtrodden, do the right things so that others are not put at a disadvantage, support nation-building and just care enough to make a difference, not for yourself, but for others.

While I do believe in the quiet service espoused by my alma mater, I must say that I am a bit fed up with how thankless it has become to do good. So, in this little opportunity that the Makati Business Club and my mentor, Ramon del Rosario, still affords me once in a while to write for the Inquirer, I would like to express some sincere thanks. And, as this is a Business Matters column, my gratitude list goes out to those in the business community that have been thanked too little.

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First, I express my most sincere gratitude to Manila Water and Maynilad. I grew up in Marikina from 1979 and the memory of resorting to, at first, a manual deep well and later a pump-driven one, because the government-run water company just could not get its act together, remains too vivid a memory. And when there were pipes, I remember staying up late every night with my wife to fill our pails in the bathroom by fetching water from the faucet nearest the gate of our rented home, because the water pressure was not enough to get the water to flow out of our bathroom faucets. Manila Water and Maynilad, very soon after they were awarded their respective concessions, changed all that for possibly millions in Metro Manila and Rizal, while at the same time sending us bills for vastly improved services at much lesser cost. At times, I couldn’t believe it. While prices were going up all over the place, water bills were going down. Salamat, Manila

Water at Maynilad!

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Second, before leaving the Makati Business Club, I was elected to the executive committee of the Bishops-Businessmen’s Conference or the BBC. I was asked to continue on the excom as a representative of a member company, Phinma. While there is still much to be done to bring the BBC’s stature up to the levels it had during the martial law era, I would like to express gratitude to this business-church partnership and its livelihood, feeding and drug dependence rehabilitation programs that are making a difference among the poorest of the poor, bringing them hope and comfort. The bishops and business folk working together have shown what synergies are possible in our continuing fight against poverty, the root of possibly 90 percent of society’s ills.

Third, I want to say “maraming salamat po” to ABS-CBN, including its news channel and radio network. Resurrected after the People Power Revolution of 1986, it has played a critical role in delivering the news that matters, encouraging discussion and debate and exposing red flags in both the public and private sectors. At the same time, it has raised the standards of entertainment, delivering telenovelas that highlight social problems and encourage people to become part of our democracy by, at the very least, calling out corruption in government as well as excesses by private entities. Its foundation has also often been at the forefront of relief operations, working side by side with nongovernment organizations as well as government agencies.

There are many more that need to be thanked. GoNegosyo and its biggest ever mentoring program, Catholic and other religious university networks as well as private sector investments that have been making quality education more and more accessible to our people, all the corporate foundations running their own programs or working with NGOs, communities and government—the list goes on.

There is more reason to say thank you than to rant. Try it. Your Christmas and New Year celebrations shall only get better and better.

Peter Angelo V. Perfecto is public affairs director of the Phinma group and former executive director of the Makati Business Club. Business Matters is a project of the Makati Business Club ([email protected]).

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TAGS: 2019, ATENEO, Club, end year, Makati Business, Manila Water, Maynilad
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