Relevant leadership
MAPping the Future

Relevant leadership


There are present realities that we must face as a country today, and no single institution can tackle these alone. From mitigating the impact of climate change; reducing or even eliminating social and economic inequities; to elevating the Filipino’s living standards to a level that we all deserve, there is an implicit call for all of us to address these, collaboratively and in a value-generating manner. I am encouraged that this thinking is gaining tremendous momentum here and overseas.

Globally, there is the Council for Inclusive Capitalism. It started with tremendous support from the Vatican and has since expanded to count the largest global companies and faith groups as members. Another coalition is the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). WBCSD’s goal is ambitious, comprehensive and specific: to ensure that 9 billion people will be able to live well, within planetary boundaries, by 2050. Lastly, within WBCSD is an entity called the Business Commission to Tackle Inequality (BCTI). This global alliance of businesses aims to address the S of ESG (environment, social and governance metrics). We hope that more Filipino companies can be part of these coalitions.


On this point, I recall that in 2020, the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) spearheaded the launch of the Covenant for Shared Prosperity, supported by almost all Philippine business groups. I hope that MAP will revisit this covenant and see how we may use it as a platform for meaningful impact.


I believe that this is at the heart of relevant leadership— to help alleviate pains and enable aspirations to be achieved. This also makes tremendous business sense—enterprises cannot succeed, let alone exist, when the environment is severely degraded and social tensions remain high. In fact, we believe that there are significant business opportunities and operational efficiencies to be unlocked when an organization aligns itself with relevant leadership.


We need not look far to see the power of relevant leadership. Recall that during the pandemic, there was no playbook on how to deal with a deadly virus that resulted in an economic shutdown and social isolation.

In fact, the pandemic challenged our long-held notions of how businesses should operate. We have all been taught about the primacy of fierce competition for success. However, the pandemic revealed that it was cooperation that creates the most value.

Dr. Ciel Habito has extensively written about this, using the term “co-opetition” to achieve higher value creation and impact.

To illustrate, the Philippines can and should be exceptionally proud of how different institutions—government, civil society, the business community and the Church—came together to tackle this massive challenge head-on. Task Force T3 and Project Ugnayan were massive successes and effective templates for others to adopt during emergencies. Relevant leadership grounded on cooperation is strong and alive in our country.


As a closing note, this year, Ayala will be celebrating its 190th anniversary. Entering this milestone year, we embarked on an initiative to refresh and further deepen our understanding of our stakeholders, as well as revisit our purpose and values as an organization.


We have rediscovered that our purpose at Ayala Corp. is to build businesses that enable people to thrive—a purpose that is quite aligned to relevant leadership. This is the common thread that ties together our heritage, all our subsidiaries and employees over many years.

Most significantly, this will be the anchor from which our future initiatives will be founded on.

Moving forward, Ayala intends to intensify investments in several meaningful areas. On sustainability, we remain on track to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions across all scopes and across the group by 2050. We are taking this journey step by step. Our largest subsidiaries have completed their respective baseline studies and their road maps toward 2050 and will be embarking on projects to reduce and better manage emissions.

Aligned with our commitments to the BCTI, we are developing a view on social impact and equity action, focusing on diversity, equity and inclusion; and investing heavily in community and leadership development. All these will lead up to what will be a comprehensive sustainability strategy, which we are excited to share soon.

Our newest investments, health care and electric mobility, will continue to receive significant support from the Ayala Group. We remain highly excited about the ability of these sectors to generate sustainable value, contribute meaningfully to enhancing the health and well-being of our population and upgrade our transportation infrastructure.

We are grateful for the trust that we have received from our stakeholders and host communities, our investors and shareholders and our friends and partners across Philippine business, especially from MAP.

There is still a lot more to be done, and I look forward to reconnecting with all of you to see how we can resolve these persistent challenges.

I hope that we can work together toward building a more equitable and progressive Philippines, where all Filipinos are healthy, educated and are included; can enjoy the benefits of a modern economy and an enhanced standard of living; and ultimately, be their best selves and thrive. INQ

This was lifted from the speech delivered by the author as the guest of honor during the 76th MAP inaugural meeting 2024.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

He is the chair of Ayala Corp. Feedback at [email protected].

TAGS: Business, leadership

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.