By Jason B. Neola NAGA CITY --- Celebrating its 30th founding anniversary, the Metro Naga Chamber of Commerce and Industry will honor its past presidents, partners, and other personalities who have helped shape and make stronger and prouder the chamber that it is now – a Hall of Fame awardee, one of the only three local business chambers that hold such honor for having been selected as outstanding local chamber for three consecutive years. Incumbent president Gilbert N. Albero, under whose term the highly successful 10-year old Bicol Business Week was transformed into bigger and longer Bicol Business Month in 2015 and who chairs this year’s pearl event, said the celebration will be a simple but memorable one because it will be dedicated to past chamber leaders, living or dead, under whose stewardship the chamber was able to articulate its role as the “Voice of Business” while unselfishly contributing to the enhancement of the socio-economic development of Metro Naga, in particular, and the Bicol Region, in general. Jose B. Perez, MNCCI’s VP for Chamber Management, explained the founding anniversary should have been held last year – being the 30th year – but had to be reset for 2017 because of the typhoon that hit Bicol during that period. “We were ready for the celebration a month after our 2016 Bicol Business Month in November but had to shelve the idea because of the disastrous typhoon; instead, we concentrated our energy and resources for “Tabang Bicol” to expedite relief operations to typhoon victims in Naga and selected towns in Camarines Sur.” The celebration will be ushered in with the unveiling of a marker in the morning of July 30, 2017 at Plaza Rizal highlighting the MNCCI’s 30th year of voluntary service and public-private partnership for community development. In the evening will be the program and tribute and awarding of plaques to the chamber’s past presidents and partners who have helped steer the organization’s colorful journey towards chamberism and unselfish community service. The MNCCI’s proud history will be retold by the awards to be given and the awardees who will receive them on that special night of tributes and memories. The following or their family representatives are to be given their Plaques of Recognition (in chronological order) during the awarding rites at Villa Caceres Hotel in the evening of July 30: Dr. Heracleo Guballa (posthumous)-- for his pioneering effort that saw the birth of the first business chamber in Naga City and Camarines Sur in the 1960s. His legacy is now being carried on with great sense of pride and honor as the new Metro Naga Chamber of Commerce and Industry which is committed to play its role as an influential policy advocate for the promotion of a sustainable economic development for the city and the province; Oscar M. Ravanera (posthumous) -- for his fruitful tenure as the second President of then newly-established Naga City Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCCI); Leopoldo D. Andal -- for his vision and inspirational leadership that saw the revival of the then Naga City Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCCI) as the sole ‘Voice of Business’ in the City of Naga and Camarines Sur. The NCCI has since been re-christened as Metro Naga Chamber of Commerce and Industry that eloquently articulated his dream of having a bigger and stronger chamber in the nearest future beyond his term. Adolfo ‘Aping’ Olivan (Past President 1987-1988) -- for his initiative in thrusting the then Naga City Chamber of Commerce and Industry (now renamed as Metro Naga Chamber of Commerce and Industry) into the stage of pro-active public affairs involvement. He further linked up with the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) for its school building projects. He also established the first Bicol Business Development Foundation (BBDFI) under the auspices of the Chamber, and henceforth began expanding the chamber’s membership program. Antonio Y. Concepcion (Past President (1989-1992, 1997) -- for formally adopting the promotion of Small and Medium Industries as the primary mission of the then Naga City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, establishing the NEED Foundation to extend financial support to members, even as he welcomed the active participation and involvement of sectoral and affiliate members into the chamber. Under his watch, he initiated the partnership with GTZ German Federation of Skilled Crafts (ZDH), which later paved the way to undertaking projects with foreign donors and government agencies. It was also under his term that the NCCI was officially converted and registered as Metro Naga Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MNCCI). Jesus J. Hernandez (Past President, 1993-1996, posthumous) -- for ably steering the Metro Naga Chamber of Commerce and Industry (then known as Naga Chamber of Commerce and Industry) in the promotion of small and medium scale enterprises by entering into partnership with USAID Regional Enterprise Development (RED) Project. This eventually led to the recognition of the MNCCCI as the first Outstanding Chamber in South Luzon and the third Most Outstanding Chamber throughout Philippines by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI). Jose C. Amaro (Past President (1998-1999, Posthumous) -- for sustaining the leadership of the Metro Naga Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MNCCI) in community involvement and strengthening enterprise development by partnering with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and the City Government of Naga in the implementation of the Community-Based Training on Enterprise Development (CBTED) in the 27 barangays of the City of Naga. Johnson C. Cheng (Past & 1st Millennium President 2000-2001) -- for continuing to strengthen the enterprising and pro-community role of MNCCI and opening its door to partnership with the National Youth Commission on Youth Entrepreneurship Program (YEP) for in the provinces of Camarines Norte and Camarines Sur. He also expanded the YEP mentoring program to potential youth entrepreneurs with its mission to encourage more small and medium enterprises in the province. Teodulfo L. Velasco (Past President (2002-2003, Posthumous) -- for his enterprising role in contributing to the promotion of the MNCCI vision as the premier enterprise development advocate in the Bicol region. Under his term, the MNCCI and the City of Naga hosted the 12th South Luzon Business Conference and the Regional SME Forum of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Employers Confederation of the Philippines. In behalf of the chamber, he entered into sisterhood agreement with Australia Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. in the hope of exploring wider business opportunities for Bicolano businessmen and investors. Nicolas Beda A. Priela (Past President 2004-2005, 2014) -- for his enduring leadership and vision that under his term the Bicol Business Week that successfully transformed into Bicol Business Month and the prestigious Halyao Awards, now on its 13th year, were established. He led the chamber to partner with the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) for the Project Enterprise Accelerated Regional Linkages (PEARL 2) and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) on Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SET-UP) that sought to enhance the growth and development of SMEs in Metro Naga. He was also instrumental in collaborating with the Naga City Government to give birth to the novel and innovative institutionalization of the Naga City Business Registry Databank (NCBRD). Engr. Emeterio L. Aman (Past President, 2006-2007) -- for ably steering the implementation of the Naga City Business Registry Databank (NCBRD) and Bicol SME One Stop Technology Center (BSOSTC) to assist micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Metro Naga and Camarines Sur in developing and nurturing their own business enterprises. Alberto N. Bercasio (Past President (2008-2010) -- for leading to pave the way for the MNCCI to be installed as a model chamber under whose watch the chamber was bestowed by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry the “Hall of Fame” Award after it won for three consecutive years the Most Outstanding Chamber Award for South Luzon and Most Outstanding Chamber Award for the Philippines. Also under his term, the chamber entered into partnership agreements with Trias Southeast Asia for the Local Economic Development (LED) in Camarines Sur; University of the Philippines Institute for Small Scale Industries (UP-ISSSI) for Enterprise Development Training Institute (EDTI); and Advocate for Philippine Fair Trade for the MaDe for FT program in Camarines Sur. He also led to institutionalize the chamber’s Enterprise Development Training Institute for Entrepreneurship Development of Member MSMEs and helped launch the 1st Great Naga Sale. Philip T. Imperial (Past President 2011-2012) -- for introducing innovative corporate management functions in the Chamber, such as Internal Strength, Membership Services, Partnerhip/Partnering Bond and Business Industry, which led to the improvement of chamber operations. Under his term, the chamber entered into partnership agreement with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for the Rural Micro Enterprise Promotion Project and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) for the Exclusive Breastfeeding in the Workplace (EBFW) and initiated strong collaboration with Metro Naga Development Council (MNDC) for the Local Government Support Project. It was during his term that the chamber was informed to have been selected as finalist to the World Chamber Awards in Doha, Qatar. Clarine P. Tobias (Past President, 2013) --under her leadership as first woman president of the chamber, the MNCCI was selected and hailed as finalist in the World Chamber Awards held in Doha, Qatar. The chamber, under her watch, successfully hosted the 22nd South Luzon Area Business Conference (SOLABC) and actively involved in the advocacies and programs of the National Competitiveness Council – Bicol and Bicol Regional Development Council even as she also brought the chamber to partner with Hansel and Gretel Foundation for the implementation of the German Dual System of Technical and Vocational Education for the Student Scholars. The occasion will also give due recognition to former Mayor Jesse M. Robredo and incumbent Mayor John G. Bongat, for their guidance, support and assistance to the various pro-community projects of the MNCCI. Jesse M. Robredo (Mayor, 1988-1998, 2001-2010) -- for his vision and inspiration that resulted to meaningful relationship and fruitful execution of Public-Private Partnership spanning two (2) decades of public service in collaboration with the business community; it was under his watch that the first Bicol Business Week and Halyao Awards in 2005 were established and henceforth sustained by the succeeding City Administration. City Government of Naga (thru incumbent Mayor John G. Bongat) -- As partner for the first ever Naga City Business Registry Databank and the First Great Naga Sale and for its unwavering support to the succeeding Bicol Business Week/Month Projects as jointly implemented by the Metro Naga Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MNCCI) with the City Government from 2005 to the present. Also to receive special recognition plaques are: Crisanto D. Guysayko (Past Director and 1st Chairman of Agi-Aqua Exhibit) - for his strong commitment in the furtherance of the Agribusiness Sector as manifested by his pioneering effort and successful spearheading of the Agri-Aqua Exhibit during the 1st Bicol Business Week. Carlo B. Buenaflor (Member, Board of Directors, MNCCI) -- for being appointed as Honorary Spanish Consul to Bicol, thus giving honor and prestige to the Metro Naga Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MNCCI) where he also served as its Executive Vice President. Reuel M. Oliver (Past Secretary-General, MNCCI) -- for his dedication and loyalty to the Metro Naga Chamber of Commerce and Industry where he competently served as its Secretary General for ten (10) years and contributed significantly to the enhancement of the organization’s goals and service delivery objectives.