Mar is my choice

On Monday, May 10, Filipinos will elect a new President, Vice President and other officials in government. With the computerized election being done for the first time, we hope it will really work and generate the results faster than the usual.

Go Negosyo advocates have their own choices of candidates, as the views of each vary as to who will run the country better. But, what is common among entrepreneurs is the choice of a leader who will find a solution to corruption and will create a negosyo climate that will help them grow and expand their business.

At the onset, as we consider the candidates for Presidency, I am confident that having Mar Roxas as our VP would be a very reassuring situation. He will be a hardworking pro-Negosyo VP that could team-up with and complement any would-be President.  I will expound shortly.

Meantime, let me say a few words on each of the Presidentiables, who I am quite familiar with. There is Manny, Noynoy and Gibo.

On Manny Villar, he is a very successful and inspiring entrepreneur who fought poverty through sheer hard work and determination. He has the programs that can lead the country from poverty to progress. He definitely has the touch in business and has gone through tough business situations and survived and even did better. Manny’s wife is a kind-hearted and smart social entrepreneur and public servant who walks her talk in initiating sustainable community social enterprises that help solve community problems. Cynthia is a hard working congresswoman who is able to balance family time as a mother to three responsible children and as a mother to her native town of Las Pinas. You can see from how they live that they have maintained a low profile and a simple life, in spite of the wealth and fame. I see the Villars as sincere in helping the Filipinos through real public service. We see them doing this already, and Manny said that he will be able to do more for Filipinos through the Presidency, that’s why he is running.  Manny is also a devoted husband. He has no vices, does not smoke and just loves our Mojito drink. These, to me, are very important tests of strong moral character and leadership. For many years, Cynthia and Manny have been advocating entrepreneurship and Go Negosyo – even long before he had thought of running for president. This is why I have a soft heart for the Villars, as they walk their talk.

Noynoy, on the other hand, centers on an anti-corruption platform. If he does get elected as President, he could also do well as he promised towards a clean and honest government. Noynoy carries with him the goodwill and positive values of his parents. There is no question about the family background and their continuing advocacies to empower the people as their way of giving back to the people power that helped install Tita Cory to Presidency in 1986. While still single, he has managed to keep a good reputation as a bachelor and now has an interesting relationship that could blossom in the near future.  His team-up with Mar seems to be working well as it enables them to address concerns pertaining to the economy and development.

Meanwhile, Gibo has proven to be a very competent candidate. He has earned the respect and following of more and more Filipinos, particularly the youth.  He has projected well his niche positioning as the candidate with “Galing at Talino”  He also has definitely become a charismatic leader, as his supporters grow by the day, although the survey shows he still needs a lot of points to catch up. I think he will also make a good President, if not today, in the future.

With these Presidentiables in mind, I am confident Mar would be a very good VP to any of them. Mar, as a former Trade and Industry Secretary and a very active legislator, will be the key to ensuring that the economic programs that have worked in the past will be continued. Go Negosyo has been working with DTI as its private sector partner for four years now. His former colleagues in DTI like Usec. Merly Cruz and some Regional Directors have very good words for him. He also understands that entrepreneurship is very important – that in creating more negosyos, more employment will also be created. To achieve this, we must create a healthy positive mindset among the Filipinos. He has given importance to entrepreneurship development and Go Negosyo such that I remember seeing him in at least three of our big forums.  Mar was a former investment banker and knows what foreign investors want to see.

Mar comes from a very respected and patriotic family. His grandfather Manuel Roxas was the first President of the Philippine Republic. His late father, former Senator Gerry Roxas, who was also a Liberal Party stalwart, and mother, Judy Araneta Roxas, have passed on a legacy of competency, integrity and love of country, which has molded their children very well. Tita Judy herself has also been kind enough to grace some of our forums and caravans. I would also like to mention that his cousin Gaita Fores has been a strong advocate of Go Negosyo since day

If Villar wins as President, Mar will still make a good vice president. They both understand that the economy is what drives this country forward and that the answer to poverty is negosyo. Both have worked in congress together.

If Gibo Teodoro manages a come-from-behind win, as he is the touted underdog, Mar will also still make a good vice president.

If we are to push for a Go Negosyo climate, the common denominator is Mar Roxas. Whoever you vote for, whether Villar, Gibo or Noynoy, Mar Roxas is a must. Mar will guide whoever the next president may be in his economic agenda.

We need to look at our country like a corporation called Philippines Inc. We are the shareholders. On May 10, we are going to have a shareholders’ meeting. We will be electing the CEO and COO of Philippines Inc. As shareholders of the Philippines, we must entrust our country to capable leaders who have a good track record and who have the experience of making tough decisions.

Whatever the outcome may be on May 10, the people’s choice must be respected and supported.  For me, this is the most important point – to promote unity and not divisiveness. The winners should be magnanimous in victory, humble and should be able to unify the citizens. The success of Philippines Inc. will rely on the right leadership. More importantly, it will rely on his ability to harness all political forces after election, despite differences in political color, towards one objective – economic prosperity and development for all – a better future for the Filipinos.

I pray that we will have a peaceful, honest and successful election on May 10. May God bless our country.