Socially responsible auto industry

I have been covering motoring and motor sports events for a good 30 years now starting at that time when there wasn’t much of a motoring beat to speak of, initially for the TV show Motoring Today and much later for Auto Focus. And midway during that span of time a number of automobile companies have started embarking on different socially relevant projects and programs, many of which were low profiled with not much or no publicity at all.

It is because of this general attitude of most automotive companies of not putting much emphasis on letting the public know about these laudable efforts that the Society of Philippine Motoring Journalists (SPMJ) a non-stock, non-profit foundation composed of editors, columnists, broadcast, print and online journalists covering the motoring beat decided on embarking on an ambitious project to recognize through yearly awards outstanding Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects of the local auto industry.

‘Driven to Serve’ is conceived to be a prestigious awards program, which would recognize the sincere efforts of the automotive industry to help enhance the lives of Filipinos through community development, promoting road safety, education and vocational training, disaster relief, caring for the environment and many more.

Next week, on Tuesday, January 17 to be precise will be the final judging for the fifteen plus entries for the maiden presentation of the awards. It will be held at the Palms Country Club in Filinvest, Alabang. It is noteworthy to say that all the entries were solicited from the automotive companies through the initiative of SPMJ.

The distinguished panel of judges is composed of (in alphabetical order) Ms. Millie Dizon (svp for marketing of SM Retail), Mr. Rod Franco (president of Manila North Tollways Corp.), Mr. Ed Lacson (honorary chairman of Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry), Mr. Sergio Ortiz-Luis (president of Philexport), Dr. Cristina Padolina (president of Centro Esolar University) and Monsigñor Pete Quitorio (head-media relations of Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines).

We have herewith the final list of entries for the different award categories.


1. Mitsubishi Motors Philippines:

Batad Restoration Project (2012 & 2015)

2.         Isuzu Philippines Corporation:  Annual CSR projects on environment from 2002 to 2013

3.         Columbian Autocar Corporation (Kia):  Coastal clean-up (2016); Reforestation with Haribon Foundation (2014)

4.         Toyota Motor Philippines: Penablañca Sustainable Reforestation Project (2,500 hectare open area; alternative livelihood through agro-forestry; forest maintenance)

5.         Honda Cars Philippines: Rainforestation project, a 10-year commitment  to reforest 20 hectares of land in Laguna and Metro Manila with Haribon Foundation.


1.         The Car Covenant Company (Chevrolet): One World Futbol Project (2014)

2.         Nissan Philippines, Inc.:  Shelter Rebuild Drive with Habitat for Humanity, built houses for 50 families in Samar (2014); Built houses in Payatas (2015-16)

3.         Toyota Motor Philippines:  GK Village in Sta Rosa, Laguna (donated P20M to build 160 houses) in 2012 & Toyota Classics funded building of multi purpose hall (2014 & 2015)

4.         Ford Philippines: One Better World project— improved access to water in  the village of Villaba which was hit by typhoon Yolanda in 2013.; assisted Gawad Kalinga community.


1.         Honda Cars Philippines: Teensmart, educated students on proper use of roads and driving; 1-M Blue Eco-safe Driving Campaign conducted fuel efficiency and driving seminars to some 2,000 public vehicle drivers in 12 cities, with the DOE, UP National Engineering Center

2. Auto Central Enterprises (Volkswagen):  Child Safety Initiative (2015-2016) introduced safety awareness to children ages 4-8 and to parents.

3.         Ford Philippines: Driving skills for Life: Re-educate both new and experienced drivers on road safety, green driving and other relevant topics related to driving safely on the road.


1.         Auto Hub Group:  Auto Hub Institute of Technology with TESDA (2014-2016)

2.         Berjaya Auto Philippines (Mazda):  Automotive Technology Course supports Meralco Foundation Inc. (2014)

3.         PGA Cars:  Porsche Training & Recruitment Center Asia (PTRCA) with Don Bosco (started in 2008 and ongoing for 8 years). Auto training with DonBosco; mechanical training with PTRCA; job placement with PTRCA.

4.         Toyota Motor Philippines:  Toyota Motor School of Technology (TMP Tech) started in 2013; offers 2 year regular automotive course; with TESDA.

5.         Isuzu Philippines Corporation:  TESDA-Isuzu Auto Mechanic Training Center in Tacloban

6. Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc.: Hyundai New Thinkers Circuit (HNTC), a one-year learning and community development program where outstanding high school students are inspired and trained to become future climate science experts who can help the country adapt to and mitigate the negative effects of climate change. 

7.         ACC-BMW: Jose Ch. Alvarez “Study Now, Pay Later” Grant and Apprentice Program

The Driven to Serve CSR Awards are being presented by SPMJ, the Society of Philippine Motoring Journalists in cooperation with MNTC, the Manila Tollways Corporation with major sponsors, Petron and Motolite.

The awarding is set in February with the venue to be confirmed.   

Mitsubishi Montero findings are finally out 

Our friends from Mitsubishi Motors Philippines have informed us about a very positive development regarding the long drawn safety issue that involved the Mitsubishi Montero Sport 2010 – 2015 models. And permit me to pass on to you ‘verbatim’ the report of Horiba Mira Ltd, an automotive engineering company based in the United Kingdom that has found no technical cause that explains SUA (Sudden Unintended Acceleration) incidents. Horiba Mira reportedly started its investigation in June 2016 and released its formal findings in September 2016, and the report states:

“The investigation has found only one plausible root cause for sudden unintended acceleration, and inability to stop the Mitsubishi Montero Sport vehicle. Our hypothesis is that these incidents were caused by the driver mistakenly applying the accelerator, believing that they were pressing the brake pedal.

“Other root cause hypotheses have been excluded because they would require simultaneous, but temporary, malfunction of both the engine control and the vehicle braking system without fault conditions being logged by any vehicle systems and DTCs (Diagnostic Trouble Code) being recorded. Since these are independent systems, the possibility of simultaneous failure is extremely low.

“There are other potential causes for undemanded acceleration that have not been ruled out by the investigation, but none of these would affect the braking system. If such a failure occurred, the driver would still have the opportunity to control the vehicle using the brakes or by disengaging the transmission.

A suite of EMC (Electromagnetic Compatibility) screening tests were performed on a vehicle that had previously been involved in a SUA claim. The results showed that the vehicle is extremely resilient at very high test levels of EMI (Electromagnetic Interference). … No adverse behaviour was observed during testing with levels corresponding to EU regulations and ISO standards.”

MMPC also stated that the third party investigation now complete, assures the public that the previous generation Montero Sport model (2010-2015) is neither defective nor unsafe to use.

Motoring Today TV show’s new airing schedule

If you failed to watch Motoring Today last Sunday at 4 o’clock in the afternoon, it was simply because its airing has been transferred to 10 o’clock in the evening, also on Sundays to give way to the clamor for a better time when most of its regular viewers are already at home resting on a Sunday evening in preparation for another full week of work ahead.

Motoring Today stays on its home channel, Solar Sports, Channel 70 on the Sky Cable Network.

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