In 2002 a number of motoring journalists came to realize that they seem to find themselves together most of the time while covering car launches, test drives and other events of the auto industry, mostly the last to leave on such occasions always not having enough time to talk about a slew of topics of common interest. So one day over bottles of beer, whiskey and wine the group while on an out of town trip as a “barkada” to exotic Boracay beach just decided to officially bond together and that saw the birth of the Society of Philippine Motoring Journalists or SPMJ.
But upon becoming an officially named organization, this closely knit group composed of motoring editors, columnists, TV hosts and broadcast journalists one sober night agreed that there should be more to their group’s existence than just shooting the breeze, crossing swords while engaging in intellectual discussions, having a good time and a lot of booze while being together. To put more meaning to the beat that they all love to cover and be part of, SPMJ became resolute to promote road safety as an advocacy.
The group then engaged the services of UP-NCTS or National Center for Transportation Studies to come up with a teaching module for teachers to be able to teach their students to be safe while on the road. To support the stiff logistic requirements of the advocacy the members organized golf tournaments among the different companies composing the auto industry. It was well received, as there was none of such at that time. Besides, playing golf while supporting an advocacy in which they were natural stakeholders was something the auto industry players would not go against. And as the old adage goes—the rest is history.
After some years of hibernation as a lot of its members have been more engaged in their work either by being promoted or have moved to other media organizations with bigger responsibilities or have been involved in continuing time-consuming industry related projects, SPMJ has decided to be in the thick of the scheme of things again—with some significant changes. From being the founding chairman and president, I have stepped down as its president although maintaining its chairmanship. I felt that the baton should be passed on so that others would have the chance to lead the organization to better heights. Ms. Pinky Concha Colmenares has been appointed president in a recent SPMJ meeting. Currently the executive editor of the Manila Bulletin, my very good and dear friend, Pinky was its motoring editor for many years and as such had gained the utmost respect from the auto industry.
Aside from deciding to open its once exclusive membership to other distinguished members of the motoring media, SPMJ has now decided to go beyond motoring but also of equal importance and significance—the auto industry’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) endeavors. The group is now preparing to recognize projects implemented by companies in the automotive industry and its peripheral sectors that have left an impact on the community, the environment and on the populace. Projects to conserve the environment, provide education to open opportunities for advancement, entice livelihood skills and related projects on community development will be evaluated for the best and most effective Corporate Social Responsibility or CSR projects.
By the end of each year, SPMJ members shall prepare a shorter list of screened candidate companies for submission to a panel of independent judges composed of experts in the field of CSR to declare the best and most effective in the year’s bunch for proper recognition in simple but appropriate ceremonies.
The industry has just recently been informed of the exercise and we are now in the process of managing the submission of their projects’ documents.
I’ll keep you posted on the developments of this socially relevant undertaking.
CAMPI inks involvement in road safety
“The Chamber of Automobile Manufacturers in the Philippines, Inc. or CAMPI is not only about manufacturing or selling safe automobiles, we are also very much concerned about the safety of the general motoring public and all road users” forms part of the statement of CAMPI president Atty. Rommel Gutierrez during the official signing of the MOA or Memorandum of Agreement confirming the participation of CAMPI in the Young Street Smart (YSS) Road Safety School Tour for school year 2016-2017.
After pausing for the Christmas school break, the YSS Road Safety School Tour goes to Lourdes School of Mandaluyong this Friday to continue the advocacy of Sunshine Television in tandem with Socio Com Foundation Asia to promote road safety by teaching the youth to become safe and responsible road users through a series of seminars and workshops conducted for free to graduating high school students.
CAMPI now joins other benefactors who have been supporting the advocacy like the Manila North Tollways Corp. (MNTC), Chevron Philippines, Toyota Motor Philippines, Felix Ang and Greg Yu of Auto Nation Group, Inc. and Cats Motors, Chevrolet Philippines, Mitsubishi Motors Philippines, Toyota Motor Philippines.
“As a major organization of the auto industry, CAMPI is likewise a major stakeholder in the promotion of road safety and the YSS Road Safety School Tour is one of the most effective ways to teach young students the basics of how to be safe while on the road as a driver, a commuter or a pedestrian. Supporting the road safety advocacy is a natural corporate and social responsibility of all CAMPI members,” added Mr. Arnel Doria of Volkswagen Philippines, a CAMPI member who was present to officially witness the confirmation of CAMPI’s participation in the project.