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Thursday, October 15, 2009


The Philippine College of Physicians (PCP) was to hold their annual convention here in Baguio City from Oct 23 to 25. After Pepeng's wrath, officers of the PCP have decided to cancel said event and pool the resources reserved for the convention for relief efforts instead.

Dr. Raymond Oribio, the Chairman for this year's PCP Convention had relayed to me that a top honcho at the Camp John Hay (where a number of attendees had booked reservations) had personally called him on his mobile phone to reconsider the cancellation of the event. Dr. Oribio had expressed that "to push through with the convention is a moral and ethical issue in light of the destruction that Pepeng and Ondoy have brought." The Camp John Hay official was steadfast in his negotiations, trying in vain to persuade the doctor to reconsider. It is understandable that the convention would indeed bring much revenue to Baguio's hotels and restaurants for the duration of the event. Dr. Oribio however was firm with the PCP's decision and finally said "We all condemned PGMA for her 1 Million Peso dinner in New York, if we were to push through with this convention, we would be doing the same."

Apparently, one dinner slated for the convention of more than a thousand attendees had a budget of 2.5 M Pesos -- a big sum that could be well spent for the victims of Pepeng. Dr. Oribio along with the other officers of PCP have been rallying their sponsors (Big Pharma) to instead donate their pledges for the convention to the PCP's relief efforts instead. Most Pharma sponsors have willingly donated (in cash) to this endeavor. Dr. Oribio had even admonished one representative of one Pharma Company not to donate medicines because the victims are not sick. "What will we do with millions of (name of pain reliever) when the victims are not sick. They need basic things to start their lives again." And so, the PCP intends to ask Big Pharma to purchase for them blankets, kalderos, plates, glasses, utensils, etc. for each family that was affected by Pepeng in Northern Luzon.

While other sponsors have offered cash, the PCP is now studying whether it is more viable to purchase these goods in Manila or perhaps to source some of these in the city of Baguio instead, (think of those inabel blankets in the market) in that way contributing to the local economy as well. The PCP had pre-ordered kits for the convention delegates -- a woven bag, ballpens, paper, etc. -- which will all be donated to schools in the affected areas.

As soon as relief goods arrive, (drop off point will be at the SLU Hospital) these will be packed and will be distributed next weekend when the PCP Convention would have taken place. Along with local Barangay Officals these goods will be distributed not only in affected areas of Benguet but also in other parts of Northern Luzon. Kudos to the PCP Convention Officers and members. What they have decided and will undertake is a class act indeed!

Meanwhile, the Philippine Ad Congress has reportedly moved their event this November from Baguio City to Subic. Now reader, the AD Congress happens every two years and officials of major cities in the Philippines have been known to kowtow to the organizers of the Ad Congress to hold this event in their respective cities. The amount of revenue involved in the staging of the Ad Congress is staggering -- and would definitely benefit any host city. Think Olympics for the Creative Industry.

The Ad Congress' move to Subic is a big loss for the city of Baguio -- not only for the hotels and restaurants but to the local economy as a whole. This despite the fact that two days ago, it was reported that Marcos highway was already open to traffic and should be stable by the time the Ad Congress happens in November.

I am sure the Corporate Sponsors of the Ad Congress have done their part in relief efforts for Ondoy in Metro Manila. Now this is what I propose the creatives take up in the upcoming conngress:

1) They should demand that Unilever and other Companies that sell shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, gel, etc. be marketed in recyclable packaging. Let go of sachets that clog up drains. Reward the consumer who purchases these recyclables by giving them discounts. That way, every Juan, Pedro and Maria will quit buying "sacheted products". I say big companies should set-up refilling stations for their products instead. Make buying sachets more expensive than when consumers refill their beloved products instead.

2) To Mcdonald's and Jollibee; Ditch the styro packaging. Encourage dining-in instead of taking-out. Make take-out more expensive -- this will force customers to dine-in instead. Don't use plastic forks when they dine-in.

3) The Ad Congress SHOULD demand from big companies to make bigger and more lasting efforts with regards to saving the environment -- through education, recycling, etc. Steps are being done in the west. Read the latest TIME Magazine (Heroes of the Environment), Make multinational companies accountable for the trash they generate and the carbon they spew.

Then maybe in the next Ad Congress, hopefully to be held up in Baguio, we will all breathe in green.

Read my lips, it's the basura, stupid!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Martin,

    I was googling Ad Congress cancellation posts and I love this one the best -- thanks for some great suggestions!