A Leader Like RSA

By Melandrew Velasco

A popular topic next year aside from the COVID-19 vaccine will be the 2022 presidential elections. Today, months prior to the filing of Certificates of Candidacy in October 2021, many names have been floated around to succeed President Rodrigo Duterte.

In the recent issue of BizNews Magazine, publisher Tony Lopez listed several presidentiables that included Senators Ping Lacson, Grace Poe, Manny Pacquiao, Bong Go, and Cynthia Villar; Davao City Sara Duterte; Vice President Leni Robredo; and former Senator Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. One other prominent name that was among the presidentiables is San Miguel Corporation President and COO Ramon See Ang, popularly called nowadays as RSA.

Should he decide to run, he will become the second honcho of one of the country’s largest and diversified conglomerates to throw his hat into the ring. His mentor and friend, the late SMC Chairman of the Board and CEO Eduardo Cojuangco, Jr. was a presidential candidate in 1992.In the event that he throws his hat in the presidential race and wins, RSA who is a mechanical engineer, will become the second engineer by profession to become the country’s chief executive after former President Fidel V. Ramos, a civil engineer. RSA has proven himself an exemplary business executive. He is responsible for the phenomenal growth of San Miguel Corporation from a purely food and beverage company to a business entity with varied investments and interests. He has the foresight and decisiveness to guide SMC to the stature it now enjoys. Despite the pandemic, SMC remains aggressive with its investment projects, not putting on hold its expansion.

“You separate the men and the boys,” he had said.

According to RSA, in a crisis there is always an opportunity. The expansion projects generate more job opportunities for the people who are in dire need of livelihood. If a business organization is a microcosm of the Philippine society, then a person like RSA is what it needs to achieve its goals. This leadership challenge is now more pronounced with economic recovery being the lynchpin for 2021 and beyond brought about by the global financial crisis brought about by COViD 19.

The strong determination of a leader is needed to undertake reforms that meet strong resistance. Under RSA, SMC leads other private organizations in the assistance it has given government and the public during this difficult time. It has spent over P13 billion in to support government to contain the pandemic. It has provided food packs, distributed nutria-buns, donated medical equipment and supplies, conducted blood donation drive, and put up testing booths. “For as long as there’s a pandemic and, we will not stop looking for ways that San Miguel can help out,” RSA said. The compassion RSA has for his fellowmen was again evident when strong typhoons devastated parts of Luzon last month. SMC sent food donations to Cagayan, Isabela, Bulacan, Pangasinan, Pampanga, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Sorsogon, Batangas, Laguna, Quezon, Rizal, Marinduque, Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Albay, and Romblon.

Malabon, Manila, Marikina, and Navotas were also recipients of its food donations.

“We want our kababayans to know that we stand with them, and we will do everything we can to help,” RSA said.

“It’s a challenge to reach many areas, but with help of our employees, partners, and local
government units, we’ve been able to send out our assistance,” he added.

Accountability, a leadership quality, was noticeably displayed by RSA when a girder between two Skyway extension project posts fell, killing a motorist and injuring occupants of vehicles that were hit. SMC is the concession holder of the Skyway extension project.
Even with a contractor handling construction, the concession holder will still take responsibility for taking care of the victims,” RSA stated. “I would like to personally apologize to the victims and their families, as well as to our larger community in Muntinlupa.”

According to RSA, SMC and its contractor EEI, would make sure that stricter measures are in place at the project site. “We will find out where lapses occurred and do whatever is necessary to make sure they don’t happen again.”

There are few leaders who have the courage to accept responsibility. We read of leaders who refuse to adhere to the principle of command responsibility. They have eroded people’s confidence in government.

Our country needs a leader who is decisive and compassionate; a leader who can be accountable; a leader like RSA.

Despite clamor for him to run, RSA maintains he has no political ambitions with no plans of running even for barangay captain.

For his supporters, they are upbeat despite RSA’s reluctance to join the political fray and nothing is certain until October 2021.

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