Message from Chairman Emeritus Orlando P. Pena, DPM

Fellow PMAPers,

Good afternoon. We have just witnessed another transition of leadership. My role is to congratulate the newly elected officers and directors and acknowledge with appreciation the individuals that have significantly contributed to the Association’s success.

To the elected officers and directors, all of you are veteran PMAPers and HR professionals who deserve to be elected. Congratulations from us all.

Let me congratulate last year’s officers headed by President Michelle and the outgoing board for taking the giant step, and succeeding in changing the PMAP LOGO which was been a touch stone of the association for over half a century. The original logo was designed by many minds and many founders. It establishes and asserts that People is the most important factor in the success of any enterprise. Once upon a time, during the tenure of President Cacanindin, there was an attempt to change the logo and this almost broke the association. Some members who supported the proposed change, and lost, never returned. Even today some of those who believe that the old symbol still represents the importance of people management in an organization are still not convinced of the change. As we have already established the preeminent role of people management in an enterprise and PMAP as the most admired People Management Association in the world. I believe IT IS TIME TO CHANGE the logo to add vigor to PMAPs image to reflect its role today and tomorrow.

I wish to acknowledge the work of all the past presidents after me who have sustained their active interest and continue to unselfishly share their wisdom and time to build and preserve the association. Thank you.

I am grateful to the Committee Chairmen and members who are the backbone of the Association. As a four-term President and having chaired various committees, I know how difficult it is to balance official duties with the demands of PMAP work. Thank you for serving PMAP.

I also wish to acknowledge the tremendous efforts of the professional staff headed by our ED, PP Rene Gener for bringing the Association to greater heights. You have seen what they have done.

Lastly, I thank our guest speaker and inducting officer Mr. Del Rosario for joining us. He represents our member companies which is an important component of our Association. I wish we have more dialogues with our CEOs as we used to have in the past especially on matters of education, training and employment for the disabled, profit sharing, occupational health, community service to poor communities, gender issues in employment, governance and ethics, and management responsibilities of the HR Manager, etc.

Before I close permit me to express some thoughts about some matters which are important to consider:

1. While we remind ourselves that HR or People are important, let us not forget that we have to balance our job oriented system with work life.

On my first day of work, the Bank Chairman reminded me that my job as the Bank’s personnel executive was to make every job count and to just hire and fire people. You did not have to love them. "Trabaho lang yan, walang personalan." We had a sophisticated system of job engineering, to craft a job content but a simplified way of selecting people. We just got them from the government or directly hired from schools, and in my case from politicians who guaranteed the behavior of their recomenders. We trained people for the job but got rid of them quickly if they did not or could not perform within the six- or three-months probationary period. Thus, we had powerful unions that represented the people, while we represented the job. Our management philosophy was and still is job first before people. No Job, No Appointment. Hence our role as the PMAP is to strongly remind our members companies, the entrepreneurs, businessmen and every manager, and clients that HR MATTERS. But just as Finance Managers are responsible for returns on financial capital, HR Managers are responsible for returns on human capital. That is how important our job is.

2. We must not forget our national advocacies where our Association can contribute its expertise to national development. An advocacy is the soul of an association.

For the information of the younger generation, we partnered with the government in establishing NMYC the forerunner of the TESDA. We helped organize ECOP as chair of its predecessor, the Council of Employers Organization. We also helped in the crafting of the policy on overseas employment, in campaigning for SSS membership during its formative years, in spearheading the organization of a tripartite system of labor-management consultation, in the writing of the new labor code, and many other endeavors like our current HR teacher training project. No other organization is qualified to do these things.

3. We must make the term of the PMAP president more than one year. All Presidents want to do their nest but are not given the chance to do so with only one term.

4. We must design programs that consider other Asian HR Management practices like the Japanese and Chinese HR management systems. We have imbibed the Western system which is confrontative. For instance in the Japanese system, which practices lifetime employment with the HR head having the final say on many people management decisions. My book, Decision Making. For Asian Managers, will give you insights into Asian Management practices. PP Sonny Coloma's book also provides valuable information on our own management culture.

5. We should also endeavor to train CEOs and other managers on how to manage people and human capital. They are direct supervisors of people and have HR management functions in their areas of responsibility. I once helped facilitate a workshop on HR Management Innovations for European CEOs in Switzerland. From this evolved the thinking that people are not resources, they are human capital and as such should be considered as such.

6. It’s time to prepare for the emerging practice and employment of foreign professionals in accordance with the ASEAN treaty of reciprocity in employment. This will happen. This deserves attention given the influx of Chinese and other skilled workers from other countries to work in our country. PP JJ spent his whole term researching on areas of collaboration on this subject with other HR and government organizations in the ASEAN region.

7. Train HR managers to be trainers as part of HR development programs. Training is the development component of HR management. It has brought me after retiring as a banker to 25 countries on training and trainer engagement for the EDI of the World Bank and other institutions.

My area is training management trainers and executive decision makers and now I also am a Retirement Coach. I was inspired by President Gerry who was then a Trainer with a consulting company many years before I thought of becoming one.

8. To preserve and safeguard the Association’s assets and legacies I strongly recommend making the COPA a constitutional governance body. Considering that the Board members serve only one term and other than them, no one is responsible and accountable for this function.

With these thoughts, I wish the new officers and directors a Happy New beginning. As volunteers it is not going to be an easy journey but trust that all of us are behind you as ONE PMAP. Mabuhay ang PMAP.

Thank you.

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