The Podium

Moving Forward Together – There is No Other Way

by J. Luigi L. Bautista

We are on our 6th month since the crisis first began in March. While it is not getting better with more individuals getting infected every day, we have adapted to the situation. Last August 4, NCR reverted to modified ECQ, stricter than the last 9 weeks of GCQ that started on June 1. The virus is still around and we are definitely learning to “live with the enemy”.

I cannot ascertain if the “new normal” will be better – what is definite is that we WILL move forward, whatever happens.

With 4 months to go until the end of the year, what do we expect? Better still, what do we expect from each other?

I enjoin everyone to focus on our people – the health, safety and well-being of our employees. In the same manner, we give special attention as well to our customers and the rest of our stakeholders. Let us continue to deploy our so-called “CARS” that stands for convenience, asset preservation, reliability and safety. Our customer’s experience will have to continue to improve by way of the ongoing improvements in our ETC systems in anticipation of the wider use of RFID. We are supporting the government’s program to promote contactless transactions.

We will not forget our company’s financial health – grow traffic to meet our revised targets. The rest of the year will be very challenging as we aspire to meet our V-shape recovery plan. With the re-imposition of MECQ in NCR and nearby provinces, it will be an uphill climb. I urged our management team to seek ways to earn additional revenues and even go to the extent of resorting to cost cutting measures, where possible.

For our projects, we are set to complete our SFEX Capacity Expansion Project by the end of the year. On the other hand, we are ensuring the ramp-up of our Connector Project. Under the MECQ guidelines, we are happy to note that construction activities will not be affected.

To better prepare for future risks, such as disasters and pandemic, we have revisited our Risk Management and Business Continuity Plans and re-activated our Disaster Management and Recovery Program. If we cannot fully insulate the company from risks and disasters, we better be more prepared so that business will continue to operate.

In my video message last April, I remember saying this: “Ang kasalukuyang banta sa ating mga plano ngayong taon ay mas higit na mahirap. Hindi ko masasabi at maipapangako kung saan, kailan at paano ito matatapos. Ang isang sigurado lamang ay sa abot ng ating makakaya, sama-sama nating alagaan ang ating kumpanya, kasama na dito ang mga desisyong mabigat at higit na kakailanganin.”

Mga kasama, yan pa rin ang panawagan sa ating lahat. Sama-sama nating harapin ang pagsubok na ito. Sabi natin: “NLEX Tayo, nag-iingat at nagsisilbi!”. Ibig sabihin, kasama dito ang pagiingat sa personal nating kalusugan kasama na rin ang sa kapwa nating empleyado. Huwag mag-kanya kanya, bagkus kanya-kanya tayong gumawa ng nararapat para sa isa’t isa at sa kumpanya.

We have no other desire but to move forward together – there is no other way.

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