Doing the Right Thing: Business and Ethics Can Co-Exist; (Acceptance Speech Delivered at the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) Awarding Ceremony, 31st January 2006, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Makati City.)
Byline: MANUEL V. PANGILINAN Chairman of the Board
MAP 2005 president Mon Paterno and 2006 president Evelyn Singson, members of the selection committee especially its cochairman Nick Jacob, members of the MAP, honoured guests a" good evening. Kung hei fat choi to everyone!
An organization reveals itself by the men it honors, the people it remembers. In its entire 38 years of giving this award, the MAP has bestowed this privilege to only 27 men.
Indeed, no one could fail to be moved by a tribute such as this, coming from a profession I have served so long, and from peers I most respect.
Many have made this award possible tonight a" but it is difficult to name them all. To my father, who instilled discipline and my love for sports. To my mother, who softened that paternal rigor with her gentle love. To my brother and sister, companions to my lifeas journey. To Anthoni Salim, who has been a friend these past 28 years. And to all the men and women of First Pacific, PLDT, and Smart a" thank you most sincerely.
Kayaat tinatanggap ko ang inyong parangal ngayong gabi, para sa lahat ng mga taong tumulong sa akin. At a" higit sa lahat a" para sa ating mga kabataang nagmamahal sa ating bayan, na balang araw a" isa sa kanila ay tatayo din dito, upang tanggapin ang inyong malaking karangalan.
The First Pacific story
One of the many blessings Iall always be thankful for are the lessons I learned as we built First Pacific.
The story of First Pacific a" and that of PLDT a" rest on the very basic prescription that you can succeed by "doing the right thing," even in an awkward environment like the Philippines. It also does mean that business and ethics can co-exist in this country.
Ethics in business
Yet the concepts of "business" and "ethics" do not easily sit together in our country. One local journalist has said that "business ethics" is an oxymoron a" like "jumbo shrimp," or that wonderful military expression a", "friendly fire."
To be sure, there is the dilemma about "doing the right thing." Because ethical behavior is not always rewarded, and unethical behavior is rarely punished.
One of the object lessons of my First Pacific experience was that those who choose to conduct business in an ethical way will, in the long run, perform better than those who donat.
The First Pacific values
A few years back, I was asked to return to the Ateneo to make the commencement address in its centennial year. I found myself talking about my past and the young graduatesa future. And I had to let them in on the greatest secret of all a" that when it comes to success, there are no secrets.
I told them that success can only spring from oldfashioned values, values that are transcendent, and endure well beyond the context and circumstance of our time.
Those principles are as fundamental as being honest and truthful a" especially with yourself. Being diligent, committed, and hard working will also serve you well in the long-term.
The growth of any institution a" especially a corporation a" can not be sustained without the commitment, talent and industry of its people. Thatas why it is always our aim to create a team of the best people available to manage our businesses. After all, quality decisions are made by quality people.
As an important corollary, we make our managers, owners of their businesses because as managers and investors, they will commit themselves more to the companyas success.
Although our form is corporate, our attitude is collegial. This promotes an open and honest style. Openness breeds fresh ideas and enables the organization to renew its vigor, the ability to relate and communicate is important to us a" we donat like surprises.
Finally, the challenge to management must be to create a corporate culture that encourages and rewards integrity as much as entrepreneurship. …