CEBUANO entrepreneur Stanley Go never dreamed of leading a 300-member business organization, but heeding the advice of his co-trustees, Go finally decided to step up to the plate. He is now president of the Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI), a business organization he has actively supported since 2006.
“I never planned to serve as president of MCCI. My fellow trustees constantly pushed me to accept the challenge, but I always declined. I like working behind the scenes, but Philip Tan insisted it was about time. He said everybody has to step up and serve,” said the 41-year-old vice-president for sales and marketing of Virginia Foods Inc.
“If I will not accept this, I know I would do this later,” he added.
Tan is the past president of MCCI. Go was inducted last month and is the sixth president of MCCI since the chamber’s revival during the leadership of Eric Ng Mendoza.
He was then elected as one of the trustees of MCCI after meeting then MCCI president Eric Ng Mendoza on his first flight back to Cebu.
“We were seatmates then and we had a chit-chat during a plane ride back to Cebu. I told him I was coming home for the induction and there I learned he was MCCI’s president,” Go recalled.
As an MCCI trustee, Go’s first assignment was to take care of the chamber’s membership.
From there, Go handled other aspects of the chamber’s operation, including organizing the chamber’s yearly Mandaue Business Month (MBM) and overseeing MBM’s business summit for two years, while juggling his corporate responsibilities.
Go was the chamber’s vice president for internal affairs under former MCCI president Glenn Anthony Soco’s leadership prior to his election as the chamber’s new president.
He said technology has it has made communication easier. He shared that some discussions and decisions with the chamber’s officials often take place on Facebook’s group Messenger or Viber applications.
Asked what the business community can expect under his leadership, Go said he wants sustainability. Specifically, he aims to grow the chamber’s membership from 300 to 650 member-companies through engagement and sustain open communication between the business community and the government.
“I’d like to see the chamber connect the needs of its members as well as maintain a healthy relationship with the government,” he said. “I believe that maintaining an open discussion with our government leaders will help businesses become competitive.” Go noted competition in the local level remains healthy but local businesses need to transcend and beat foreign brands coming and eating up their market share.
The MCCI president announced that Mandaue City Mayor Luigi Quisumbing has plotted in his monthly schedule a time to engage with the business community to discuss current issues and plans both of the government and the chamber.
While there are various concerns affecting different industries, what tops Go’s list is the impact of the government’s Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law, which took effect at the start of the year.
Second on Go’s list is the long-standing problem of traffic, which affects productivity, logistics, and the business’ overall performance.
“I believe that when business and the government work together, that will actually give competitive advantage to your business. So, if we have better infrastructure, it would cost less for us to deliver our products to and from our factories and customers, then our products would be competitive,” he said.
Go also announced he is brewing new projects for the chamber. He, however, declined to discuss them yet, as these still need the nod of the board. Go hinted though that these programs will give the business community and investors a fresher look of Mandaue City as an ideal business haven.