With new names being added to the list of 2022 presidentiables everyday, there’s no reason we shouldn’t throw another one in. Enter San Miguel Corporation (SMC) President Ramon S. Ang. If a stellar public track record is what makes someone presidentiable, surely, the man is qualified for the job. Is Ramon Ang for President in 2022 an option Filipinos could be presented with? Is it even worth discussing? We believe so.
In August of 2020, people were asking him if he had any plans of running. Although he replied in the negative, it’s understandable why people are still fielding him as their presidential bet.
It’s not the first time big businessmen have been in the conversation of holding the highest position in the land. Manny “MVP” Pangilinan has been in the conversation for years. Even Ang’s old boss, Eduardo “Danding” Cojuanco Jr., ran for president back in 1992.
The premise of this discussion is simple. “Ramon Ang for President” mainly circles on one thing: he will make the Philippines his business. Will a savvy businessman/philanthropist be the key to growing the Philippines like never before?
An overwhelmingly generous response to the pandemic
Mr. Ang and SMC have made headlines in 2020 for their unprecedented and generous response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s really amazing how much they helped out. Instead of focusing on their performance in 2019, SMC’s 2019 Annual Report actually opted to show how much the company has helped during the time of COVID.
As early as June 25, 2020, SMC had already given ₱13.112 billion in response efforts.
They’ve also pushed for a food donation drive that is arguably the largest in the country’s history. Under San Miguel Foods Inc., they’ve been continuously bringing food donations to many locations and communities, in coordination with LGUs and other groups. At one point, they even bought excess carabao milk for donation, helping both the farmers and the communities they support.
Food is just one part. They converted some liquor plants to produce rubbing alcohol, to help alleviate the shortage of disinfectants. They continued all their infrastructure projects under ‘Build Build Build’, to ensure that the targets are still met. And they directly contributed to raising the country’s overall testing capacity for COVID-19 by donating test booths and actual PCR testing machines to hospitals.
Very protective of his own
All of this, under the leadership of Ramon Ang. He was even awarded the Lifetime Contributor Award for the private sector at the 2020 Asia CEO Awards – one of the most prestigious awards in Asia. And his unprecedented response to COVID-19 played a huge part in that.
It’s amazing, because SMC was able to help out, but at the same time prioritize their employees as well. In their Message to the Stockholders in the 2019 Annual Report, Ang said that their 70,000-strong workforce were all paid in full throughout the year. No layoffs, full salaries. That is a huge number of people and families who had that security during the time of the pandemic. They in turn could then focus on helping out the company and their relief efforts.
It would seem that Ramon Ang is very protective of his own, and his philanthropic nature shines through with every news that we hear about him him. He seems to have a genuine concern for the well-being of Filipinos, and the betterment of the country as a whole.
Imagine that kind of person heading the Philippines.
No stranger to politics
Ramon Ang is no stranger to politics. Who knows – he might have inherited his bosses’ political leanings. He even supported President Duterte in his campaign in 2016. Rather than supporting other candidates in 2022, why doesn’t he run himself?
However, a Ramon Ang for President in 2022 still seems highly unlikely. In a press conference earlier this year, reporters asked Mr. Ang if he had any plans of ruining for President. After a few seconds of mulling the question, he answered with a definitive ‘No.’
“I prefer serving the public in the best way I can, which is to channel my resources and help the poor. It is not in my best interest to run for office,” Ang explained. “Why expose myself and my loved ones?”
There’s wisdom in that, but we still have to ask – with his proven track record, why not?
Maybe he’ll change his mind and run. 2022 is neither too near nor too far. But whatever his choice, the Filipino people are lucky to have Ramon Ang.