More laudable auto industry CSR projects

Apr 29, 2017

This is indeed a very long weekend as the country gives way to the all- important ASEAN Summit. We take this opportunity to welcome all the leaders of our neighboring countries and fervently wish that crucial issues affecting the region will be threshed out productively. With our Philippine President's turn to host this summit, we hope we can lead the way in creating more respect over each other's sovereignty in the South China Sea and the West Philippine Sea. This, I think, is the prayer of many Filipino families in these crucial times.

Many families also find this long weekend as the perfect time for a family getaway, and my educated guess points to a destination by the beach. The Philippines is certainly not short on this, and while our family made plans for a beach getaway too early on for a later date (not knowing about this very long weekend), we wish the Pinoy family a great bonding time, a great swim in our world-famous beaches, and lots of boodle fights on long tables laden with the ubiquitous adobo, inihaw na baboy/isda, itlog na maalat, manggang hilaw with bagoong and whatever else was prepared in your kitchen.

To everyone else who opted to stay in the metropolis during this long weekend, enjoy our traffic-free metro roads for these next few days!


I would like to share with my valued readers another great CSR program of one of the biggest automotive companies in the country that earned a Platinum Award in the recent 'Driven to Serve Awards' of the Society of Philippine Motoring Journalists (SPMJ) recently held at the Ceremonial Hall of theMarriotte within the Resorts World Manila complex.

Santa Rosa City in Laguna counts itself lucky to have Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) as one of its corporate citizens that have found a permanent home in this city. And Barangay Pulong Santa Cruz in Santa Rosa is luckier that TMP has chosen it to be the home of the Toyota Motor Philippines School of Technology or TMP Tech for short. For those not in the know, this is a world-class technical institution that provides specialized education to deserving and qualified young students.

The quality education offered at the TMP Tech is run by highly-trained instructors at this school which offers a two-year Toyota General Job Automotive Servicing Course and a two-year Specialized Toyota Automotive Training Program. What makes this more than a skills- only type of education is the fact that their curriculum includes the TESDA National Certification for Levels 1 to IV. General education subjects and foreign language training as well are added to the Toyota-specific technical courses, making for a more well-rounded curriculum.

This corporate social responsibility program of Toyota Motor Philippines has earned for it the Platinum Award in the first 'Driven to Serve Awards' in the Community Development category. The company also offers a liberal scholarship program to deserving scholars in partnership with the TMP Foundation, GT Foundation and the Toyota Dealers Association. To date, two hundred nineteen young Filipinos have been given these scholarship grants, whether as full scholars or recipients of financial aids.

The much-needed skills training and general education for two years is good news for any family whose child is lucky enough to be granted a scholarship at the TMP Tech or otherwise accepted as a student. But what does this really mean? Because these students are immersed in high-level Toyota technologies and value system, the graduates of a two-year course are given priority by TMP for employment by local and global companies in the Toyota dealer network. No wonder they have included foreign language training in their courses as well, just in case the lucky student graduate lands a job in any Toyota company or dealership in a foreign country. Upon graduation, they earn the opportunity to join not only a local dealer outlet in the Philippines, but also Toyota dealerships abroad. Just to be clear on this, graduates of the two year Specialized Toyota Automotive Training Program are already employed in Toyota's extensive dealer network in Saudi Arabia. This was made possible by the partnership agreement between Toyota and Abdul Latiff Jameel Imports and Distribution Co., Ltd. in Saudi Arabia.

While some two hundred nineteen students have received scholarship grants and/or financial aid from TMP Tech, the school has produced four hundred five graduates since it opened in 2013. Of this, two hundred eighty seven (287) are from the Toyota General Job Automotive Servicing Course and one hundred eighteen (118) are from the two-year Specialized Toyota Automotive Training Program whose graduates are ready for employment in Toyota's dealership network in Saudi Arabia.

The foreign employment is not limited to Saudi Arabia though. Toyota has recently added Australia, Canada and other Commonwealth countries to their expanding options for more foreign job opportunities through their recent partnership with the Chisolm Institute. This is an Australian-registered training organization and through this partnership, TMP is aligning its curriculum to Australian standards. Once the graduates attain the Australian requirements for competency, TMP Tech graduates may look forward to gainful employment in the aforementioned countries within Toyota's vast dealership network.

For a very young CSR program that started only about four years ago, so many positive developments have been introduced in the TMP Tech program. Sta. Rosa, Laguna is where TMP operates with a world-class manufacturing plant where the very popular Vios car is made and assembled. Most if not all of their employees are from the area, so the company considers Sta. Rosa as their community. The TMP Tech in Barangay Pulong Sta. Cruz in the city of Sta. Rosa is the company's commitment to their corporate social responsibility in the area where they operate. It is an important landmark that is a testament to the symbiotic relationship that they fostered here.

Mabuhay!!! Be proud to be a Filipino.

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About the Author

Ray Butch Gamboa graduated from the College of Arts and Letters of the University of Sto. Tomas. It was a course that should have been preparatory to a law degree, but the call of broadcasting aborted his plans.

At the age of 16, while still a student, Butch tried his hand at disc jockeying, landing a job at Mareco Broadcasting Network's AM stations DZBM and DZLM. From there, Butch moved on with his illustrious career as a popular disc jockey, riding the airwaves of Bob Stewart's middle-of-the-road music at DZXX, and ending his disc jockeying career at ABS-CBN's DZYL and DZQL.

From there, he stayed on with ABS-CBN, covering live the proceedings at the Manila Stock Exchange and eventually entered into the world of television sales as an account manager for the premier channel of ABS-CBN Channel 2.

In the early 70's, at the outbreak of Martial Law, Butch was one of the thousands of professionals who woke up jobless when then President Marcos declared the new status of the nation. With the closure of ABS-CBN, Butch ventured into different fields outside of broadcast. He tried his hand and with ease and success at export (Costume jewelry), real estate (brokerage), and restaurants (fast food).

In 1987, after the revolution, with the broadcast industry back to its free state, and with its irresistible call ringing in his ears, Butch made his inevitable comeback and pioneered in a local motoring show, producing Motoring Today on Channel 4 and co-hosting with local motor sports' living legend Pocholo Ramirez.

After 4 years, he ventured into another pioneering format by producing and hosting Business & Leisure, which was originally aired on ABS-CBN's Channel 2. The format eventually espoused similar ones in other different channels. But the clones in due course faded away leaving the original staying on airing on Channel 4 and eventually on Shop TV on Sky Cable's Channel 13.

The following year, the pioneering spirit in Butch spurred him to produce another TV show, Race Weekend, also on Channel 4, covering circuit racing at the Subic International Raceway after the motor sport's hiatus of 17 years. But when similar shows with duplicated formats sprouted, he decided to give way and ended the program after a year, although still enjoying unparalleled viewership.

In 1998, when the local automotive industry was in a slump, Butch contributed his share to help the ailing industry by producing another popular motoring-related show, this time exclusive to the automobile and its industry—Auto Focus, which became a vehicle for local automotive assemblers and importers to showcase their products and dwell on the industry's latest technological developments.

In 2003, Butch teamed up with his brother, Rey Gamboa who was a former Shell executive and presently one Philippine Star's business columnist to co-produce and co-host the TV show Breaking Barriers on Channel 13. It is a talk show that features guests who are in the news and in the middle of controversies. The program ventures to draw deeper insights into current issues to learn how they impact to our daily lives.

Today, Motoring Today on its 28th year of service to the general motoring public still enjoys its unprecedented loyal vierwership nationwide while Auto Focus, after 16 years has firmly established its niche viewership among automobile enthusiasts and on the other hand Business & Leisure is on its 24th year dishing out current business issues and lifestyle features.

Today, aside from writing weekly columns for the Philippine Star (Motoring Today on Wednesdays and Business & Leisure on Saturdays) and executive producer / host of weekly TV shows (Motoring Today, airs Sundays on Solar Sports Channel 70, Business & Leisure, airs Tuesdays on Shop TV, Sky Cable Channel 13 and Auto Focus airs Thursdays on Shop TV, Sky Cable Channel 13, Ray Butch Gamboa is currently the Chairman and CEO of Sunshine Television Production and Marketing Services Corp., President of Gamcor Management and Development Corp., Chairman of Asia-Pacific Realty Corporation, President and Chairman of Socio-Communication Foundation for Asia and Founding Chairman of the Society of Phil. Motoring Journalists (SPMJ)