Person of the Year. It’s the first time Top Gear Philippines is handing one of these babies out as part of its annual awards event, and, as such, a lot of thought went into choosing the winner. We’d be lying, though, if we said finding someone worthy of the title was difficult.
Frankly, Ramon Ang has been a notable figure in the automotive industry for many years now—not just for bringing in sporty BMW cars and motorcycles, but for being a legitimate auto enthusiast in a sector of society more usually associated with being driven than, well, actual driving. In fact, Ang still makes it a point to care for his car collection personally whenever he has the time.
Ang’s prominence in the automotive community isn’t just the reason he’s receiving this award, though. It’s his work outside the industry in 2020 that truly caught our attention.
When COVID-19 hit last year, Ang and the San Miguel Corporation (SMC) didn’t just hunker down and build towering walls around its business interests. It built roads and expressways, and, more importantly, lifelines for those who needed it the most.
That SMC managed to complete the Skyway Stage 3 Project and ably handle the shift to cashless expressways during this pandemic is nothing short of monumental. And somehow, Ang and SMC still managed to squeeze in the initiative to help out the country in its fight against COVID-19, providing everything from food to test kits and helping ease the financial burden on healthcare workers by allowing toll-free passage for frontliners.
Congratulations, Ramon Ang. The country was definitely better off the past year thanks to SMC’s efforts. You can read Ang’s acceptance speech in its entirety below:
To the staff of Top Gear Philippines,
First of all, I would like to apologize for not making it tonight. This afternoon up to this evening, I’m scheduled to be at the Skyway Extension project to check on the progress of work there and afterwards, meet with a number of our people involved in that project. I’m happy to report we are nearing the opening of the northbound Skyway Extension. But that is also why I have to keep to our schedule.
I would like to thank all of you at Top Gear for this recognition. I consider it a very big honor since I also read Top Gear—from the time you had a print magazine, and even now, when you are one of my primary sources for automotive content and industry news.
Allow me to thank you also for all the support you have given us this past year. It’s been an eventful year, and I’m grateful that Top Gear is always there to report on us and the infrastructure industry.
This past year I have been blessed enough to have received a number of recognitions. Each of them is meaningful because they are a validation of the hard work and efforts of the whole San Miguel organization and San Miguel family.
I share this with the thousands of Filipino workers and engineers who helped us deliver on key projects, such as the Skyway Stage 3 and TPLEX last year.
This past year has been very challenging for all of us, even for San Miguel.
But one of the things that kept us going is the thought that many of our countrymen will benefit from our projects, especially when it comes to job and growth creation.
Good infrastructure enables so many industries: transportation, agriculture, tourism, manufacturing, almost everything relies on good infrastructure. Each of these industries creates jobs. And good jobs are what we need to pull so many Filipinos out of their difficulties.
That is why even if it costs a lot, even if we cannot immediately recover our investments, for us, it’s alright. Investments in infrastructure, not just roads, airports, but also on power, water, food manufacturing, and the like, are what our country needs to succeed, especially post-COVID-19. If our country succeeds, then we all succeed.
Our commitment will always be to help make into reality all these good things for our countrymen and do our part to make people’s lives better. Again, thank you very much, and stay safe!