Forty years of existence. Four decades of pioneering efforts to develop and commercialize clean energy in the Philippines. A diversified green power portfolio that amounts to more than 1,400 megawatts of geothermal, hydropower, wind and solar energy combined. Over 2,200 qualified and trained professionals, technical people and support staff who work with the highest regard for the environment, the communities and business partners.
All these and more were cited by renewable energy leader Energy Development Corporation (EDC) when it commemorated its founding anniversary at the Metrotent Convention Center in Ortigas Center on March 4, 2016.
The theme of the whole-day event was “Powering Infinite Possibilities” which encouraged employees to contribute innovative ways and practical ideas that EDC can use to grow its business or utilize its resources more efficiently. It was likewise a sobering reminder of how competitive the power industry has become and that everyone, regardless of their official role and rank, is being counted upon to help the company overcome such challenges.
The celebration began with a thanksgiving mass (that was held in both the Metrotent and in the EDC head office) for all the blessings and milestones that mark the rich history of the company.
This was followed by the annual Leaders’ Assembly (LA) which brought together the supervisors, managers and top executives in a formal gathering.
Aside from serious discussions about the “state of the business” and the commercial performance of EDC, the LA also serves as an opportunity to establish and strengthen the internal networks that these leaders rely on to effectively work with each other.
Senior EDC executives participated significantly in the assembly. Human Resource Management Group vice president Elizabeth Nasol welcomed the participants and facilitated the dialogues while senior vice president, treasurer and chief financial officer Nestor Vasay provided the financial updates.
President and chief operating officer Richard Tantoco set the tone as he detailed the various business scenarios currently faced by the energy industry. He called on everyone to keep a prudent mind-set that always thinks about “maximizing available resources at less cost.”
“I have zero doubt that EDC will weather this storm, and we will emerge much stronger, much leaner and more disciplined than ever before,” Tantoco said.
Saying that “crisis is part of business and life,” he recalled how First Gen Corporation overcame a series of obstacles when it purchased EDC from the government in the late 2000s. The 2008 global financial crisis further forced the hand of the Lopez Group to the point that it had to let go of certain assets.
“We believed then and we continue to believe that EDC is truly a crown jewel, for the government before, and for the Lopez Group now,” the EDC president stressed.
Importance of exponential technology
Federico R. Lopez (FRL) challenged EDC’s leaders to “think outside the present box” when looking for solutions to the current challenges they encountered. Given the fast-paced and competitive business environment of today, FRL stressed the importance of exponential technology as a major key to survival in the corporate world, citing the list of erstwhile corporate giants that succumbed from failing to take this into account.Chairman and chief executive officer
Select presenters Ferdinand Poblete (vice president and chief information officer), Erlindo Angcoy (supervisor) and Kenneth Faja (geochemist) shared inspiring stories of actual innovations and significant breakthroughs that their teams have implemented in EDC.
These examples were further highlighted by special guest Raymond Racaza who gave his own insights as well as the background on how he cofounded Xurpas, a successful technology company that creates digital products.
The assembly was capped by a leaders dialogue and call to action where EDC executives and the rest of the participants engaged in lively discussions which concluded with the gathering of commitments and specific actions that the leaders will take in pursuit of “powering infinite possibilities” for the company.
Still, the climax of the day was the 40th anniversary program.
EDC chairman FRL reiterated the need to evolve and be game changers as the life spans of top companies have been whittled down from about 70 years in the early 20th century to only 12 to 15 years in the current environment due to disruptive technologies.
“The technology solutions we choose to employ must not only bring down our costs and drive operational efficiency, they must also be sustainable solutions that will help us change the game and assure competitiveness in an era of falling coal prices, and even that of other competing renewable technologies. It’s a big responsibility, but if there’s anyone in the world who’s capable of doing this, it’s EDC,” he pointed out.
The Orchestra of the Filipino Youth raised the curtains with a spirited performance that included a memorable participation by 2012 First Philippine Holdings Corporation Music Icon Marjorie Salanga of Infopro Business Solutions Inc., who sang “Colors of the Wind.” This was followed by a creative representation of major events in EDC history that was performed through sand art by international performer Joseph Valerio.
It is extremely rare to find employees who can claim they have been with a company since its inception, more so if that institution has been around for 40 years.
EDC employees thus gave Ricardo Napoles the thunderous applause he rightfully deserved when he was given a special plaque of appreciation for such a distinction. A similar ovation was given to Geosciences and Reservoir Engineering Group senior vice president Manuel Ogena who was recognized for his pioneering works and leadership role.
Employee participation was not lacking as the homegrown EDC Chorale took the stage to perform a medley of Broadway hits from each of the four decades that the company has been in existence.
After a short message from Tantoco to formally close the program, the G-Sustained Band took over the task of generating more clean energy through their dance music which brought the employees to their feet.
Rubies are the popular symbol for a 40th anniversary celebration and March 4, 2016 was truly a gem of a day for EDC! (Story/Photos by: Germaine De Castro)