CCCI president banks on wide experience

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Sunday, March 16, 2014


A LOOK at Ma. Teresa Beltran-Chan’s business experience and one would see why she makes an ideal candidate for president of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Chan has worked in banking, real estate, poultry-raising, trucking, distribution, education, business process outsourcing and is partner of a coffee shop venture. Her wide experience in different sectors of business makes her a good representative of small and medium enterprises.

She has also been an active member of the CCCI since 1992 and has held several positions in the chamber since 1994. In 2008, she chaired the Cebu Business Month.

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Raised in Balanga, Bataan, Chan and her Davao-born husband moved to Cebu in 1987 to meet halfway. Today, she considers Cebu her home. “It was the second best decision he made. The first one was marrying me,” she jokes.

Though many felt her election as president last Feb. 28 was historical, as her term began on Women’s Month and she was the first female president in the organization’s
111 years, Chan does not want to make a big fuss out of it.

“I never felt gender was an issue because I’ve always had a voice. In fact, I salute the men who have led the chamber over the years.”

She said she has admired what the past presidents have accomplished for CCCI. “I appreciate that they did not consider gender in choosing me.

It’s a testament that gender is not an issue in Cebu.” She believes the Philippines is fortunate in that respect, as women are generally respected and revered.

Collaboration

As president, Chan wants to instill programs that will enable their members and Cebu business in general to become competitive, which is CCCI’s vision.

She said she is willing to collaborate with other organizations and expand their programs that will enable businesses to become more competitive.

Chan also wants to establish a way to make information from government agencies immediately available to members, especially when consultations for policy and regulation are being made. She explained that it is always better to find out any developments before things are promulgated or implemented so they can give their inputs first.

She hopes to establish stronger linkages with government agencies like the Bureau of Customs, Bureau of Internal Revenue, the local government units, the House of Representatives and House of Senate, which are the main agencies that enact laws or policies that directly affect business, and the Department of Foreign Affairs.

She added that there are so many government programs that can help entrepreneurs but most are unaware of these. She cited programs of the Department of Science and Technology that help entrepreneurs in packaging and labeling and in laboratory testing as some of the programs that are a big help to MSMEs.

Chan also hopes to continue existing CCCI programs like climate change mitigation and disaster preparedness, which have become a focus in the wake of recent calamities.

Though the formal induction and turnover ceremony will be on March 19 yet, Chan and the other officers are already functioning. She admitted her schedule has changed drastically since she began her term as president the day after being elected.

While a trustee is given the option to attend events, Chan said the president is expected to attend.

Used to doing many things

Chan, though, is used to doing many things. She graduated valedictorian in elementary and was salutatorian in high school and president of the student council. She completed her degree in accounting at the St. Scholastica’s College in Manila and then proceeded to get her master’s degree at the Asian Institute of Management, where she met her husband, David.

She is grateful for her husband’s support, saying he does not complain when her civic duties take her away from home or from their businesses. “He knows it comes with the position.”

Chan also raised three sons—David Anthony, 31, Michael Edward, 30, and Mark Alexander, 25.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 17, 2014.

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