MELANDREW T. VELASCO: SMC @ 132: ‘Iba ang may pinagsamahan’

This year marks the 132th founding anniversary of San Miguel Corporation. It was in 1890 when San Miguel Corporation’s forerunner, La Fabrica de Cerveza de San Miguel was founded by Enrique Ma. Barretto y de Ycasa.

Due to inclement weather, the newly established brewery was opened on October 4 instead of the scheduled September 29, the feast day of Saint Michael the Archangel.

For beer drinkers throughout the archipelago, the catchphrase “Iba ang may pinagsamahan” is easily equated to San Miguel beer, the beer that has become the country’s pride and remains the top selling beer brand in the country.

Since then, the first brewery in Southeast Asia has evolved.  From beer manufacturing it expanded to become a food and beverages company. Today, it is one of the most diversified conglomerates in the country with its subsidiaries involved in packaging, fuel and oil, power, banking, and infrastructure businesses.

On the occasion of San Miguel Corporation’s anniversary, its President and CEO Ramon S. Ang said: “A lot has changed since San Miguel started in 1890. We have expanded and evolved from a food and beverage company to a diversified conglomerate that builds and operates major roads,
airports, mass transport systems, modern power generation plants, state-of-the-art fuel refining
facilities, and various manufacturing plants that today drive our economy’s growth and help enhance our country’s competitiveness.”
Indeed, SMC’s role in the economic development of our country is very palpable. And, it has been and continues to be a partner in nation-building.  It is providing the climate for better employment to thousands of Filipinos for them to enjoy improved living standards and foster
economic growth.  Its products have become part of the Filipino life from processed food, poultry, and beverages among others. It has provided the physical infrastructures for progress.

Through the years, San Miguel Corporation has been guided by same Filipino values and principles. Among these is malasakit. Simply, the word means concern or empathy.  It means caring for others without asking for anything in return.

World War II ushered a turbulent time in the country’s history and San Miguel’s operations were affected.  But after the war years, it began a massive rehabilitation and, even at that time, malasakit was already evident. Aside from rehabilitation, it started acquiring more facilities and enabled the generation of more employment for the Filipinos, providing businesses to it suppliers and business partners while helping in the country’s economic recovery. It was a manifestation of malasakit for the Filipino people who were struggling to rebuild their lives amid the hardship brought by the war years.

This malasakit was again very evident when the country was placed under strict quarantine classification at the height of the CoVid-19 pandemic.  SMC immediately mobilized its available resources to help the government and Filipinos adversely affected by hunger because of lost jobs.

It paid advance taxes to the government to help the treasury during the challenging times and donated PPEs and vaccines to public hospitals.  Moreover, it deployed medical professionals to assist in the vaccination program. It waived toll fees for vehicles transporting health workers passing through the new Skyway 3. These SMC did without neglecting the welfare of its
employees and their dependents.

Likewise, malasakit has been ingrained in the company through its CSR programs for the social good.
Each of the conglomerate’s subsidiaries has their CSR programs which among others aim to protect the environment and mitigate the effects of climate change.

A noteworthy initiative of SMC is its reforestation drive. Since 2019, it has planted 3.8 million trees especially in communities that host SMC businesses.

Under the leadership of RSA, SMC has completed the clean-up of the Tullahan River. Another project is the rehabilitation of the Pasig River. Costs in undertaking the projects are borne solely by SMC.

RSA is a visionary leader. He is driven to bring SMC to greater heights. He is a leader who knows that planting and nurturing comes before harvesting.  He is aware the success of SMC will benefit not only the company but also his fellow Filipinos.

RSA does not trumpet SMC’s accomplishments. There would be times when he mentions what
SMC has done for the country at no cost to the government.

On such instances, these are to draw
the attention of other business entities to do their share and contribute in building a better world and a better future for all.

As RSA thanked those who have been part of SMC’s continuing journey, I would like to express my appreciation to him and SMC for supporting our advocacy at the Million Trees Foundation.

Cheers to SMC. Iba ang may pinagsamahan!