Concern, care and collaboration. These are the three imperative Cs that were discussed and agreed upon by the business chamber and the Academe during the signing of the agreement between STI West Negros University (STIWNU) and the Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MBCCI) on June 28.
MBCCI Chief Executive Officer and concurrent Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry-Visayas Vice President Frank Carbon was straightforward when he raised his concern for the seemingly scarcity of professionals who have genuine care for others and their country to STIWNU Executive Vice President Mark Molina and Vice President for Academic Affairs Mima Villanueva. Carbon pointed out that the income gap between the rich and the poor continues to widen, the poverty level continues to rise and food inflation is soaring.
“The economy cannot feed and give jobs to its growing population. The main reason? Ninety percent of wealth is with the 10% of the population, and the 90% are in the subsistence level. We just stopped caring for each other. We are also abusing our planet, the environment. We need more caring professionals and political leaders,” said Carbon who lauded the university’s initiative to reach out to the business sector and government agencies for collaboration. He believes schools play a vital role in developing and molding future leaders.
“The Commission on Higher Education and CHED schools are opening their doors to the business chamber for collaboration. They are now seeing themselves as manpower providers for the needs of industries. I am glad they are now asking the business sector what kind of knowledge and skills we need from graduates and future professionals. Hopefully, the mismatch problem will slowly disappear,” he added.
For his part, Molina strongly believes in working and collaborating with government and the various sectors in order to enrich, strengthen and make the curricula relevant to the current needs of industries amid a rapidly changing business and labor landscape.
“We just can’t stand alone. We need the expertise of MBCCI to guide the way we educate our students in Business. This will help us ensure that the competence we teach are aligned with what the industry needs, to realize our mission of producing quality graduates who will not only join the workforce soon, but will become leaders of the organizations they will belong to,” explained Molina.
He added that the agreement the university signed with the MBCCI is a step toward the realization of STIWNU’s dream for the College of Business Management and Accountancy to be a Center of Excellence.
Meanwhile, business leaders from different chambers in the Visayas are scheduled to gather, last week of the month to discuss ways they can work with government and the Academe to strengthen the agriculture and tourism industries.
Carbon said their sector is focused on helping developing tourism and agriculture as these two are the economic drivers in the Visayas.
Business chamber representatives had an initial virtual meeting July 1 and discussed how management of their chambers can be improved. They also brought to the discussion table ways they can partner with local government units, national government agencies and the academe. According to Carbon the virtual meeting was a prelude to the Visayas Area Business Conference.
Power and digitalization, which are both vital for businesses, will also be among major topics that will be discussed during the 32nd PCCI Visayas Area Business Conference on July 27 to 28 in Panglao, Bohol.
WESTERN VISAYAS’ BEST DRESSED
Twenty-eight professionals, personalities, entrepreneurs and government officials were named Best Dressed Men and Women of Western Visayas, Sunday.
The awardees, three from Bacolod and Negros Occidental, had their moment on the red carpet as they were introduced to a cheering crowd in a shopping mall in Iloilo City.
The awardees from Sugarlandia were Sangguninang Bayan Member Mark Vargas of Ilog, Negros Occidental, and entrepreneurs Cecille Smith and Edith Robillo.
The best dressed awardees from Panay were led by Mayor Mark Palabrica of Bingawan, Mayor Arvin Losaria of Lambunao, Vice Mayor Mark Cordero of Estancia and SB Member Grace Parreno of Pototan, Iloilo.
Astrophel Tabanera of Boracay Foundation and General Manager of Island Cable, Kalibo, Aklan and Dr. Cesar Yap, Jr., a former councilor of Roxas City, Capiz were also among the awardees.
Also hailed best dressed in Region 6 were Arlene Martin, Jonelyn Navarra, Charlene Rosco, Thensa Alquiza, Dr. Johanna Mae Ormas, Shirley Laurente, Elena Tingson, Elma Montagot Po, Maria Veronica Insular, Faith Nonato, Ann Gregori, Debbie Amper, Virma Yasa Apostol, Ma. Celia Ganzon Lapascua, Jeanette Lloyd, Denise Yap, Dr. Neneth Pador, Putli Fuerte and Darwin Haro.
Jorge Favila Lopera aka Boy Jorge, producer of the event said the awardees were all nominated and thoroughly screened.
“When we got the nominations, we screened the nominees by checking out their profiles, lifestyle, including how they are, not only in social gatherings and community events, but also how they are at home. Of course, how well they dress up which enhances their personality is very important. How they are able to maintain a very positive aura and manage to age gracefully, are all part of the criteria. Let me also emphasize that our awardees are distinguished and accomplished professionals, leaders, icons and influencers in the region,” he said.*