Palace exec bags Arangkada Lifetime Achievement Award for helping PH businesses survive pandemic

Published December 1, 2021, 3:33 PM

by Ellson Quismorio

Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion, the man who was instrumental in helping contain the Delta variant of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), has been awarded the Arangkada Lifetime Achievement Award by the Joint Foreign Chambers (JFC) of the Philippines.

Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship and Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion receives the Arangkada Lifetime Achievement Award from the Joint Foreign Chambers of the Philippines in a virtual ceremony held last Dec 1, 2021. (MANILA BULLETIN)

The award was given by the JFC in ceremonies held online on Wednesday, Dec. 1. The JFC is a coalition of the American, Australia-New Zealand, Canadian, European, Japanese, and Korean chambers, and the Philippine Association of Multinational Companies Regional Headquarters, Inc. (PAMURI).

Concepcion was feted for his contribution in promoting inclusive economic growth by advancing the development of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the Philippines.

The Go Negosyo founder was also cited for his exemplary leadership in helping local businesses cope with and recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It was Concepcion who led the private sector last August in calling for the imposition of the strictest lockdown protocol possible in Metro Manila as a way to handle the entry of the more tranmissible Delta variant.

The preemptive action susppedly led to the significantly lowered fresh daily cases and active cases of COVID-19 today.

Evelyn Ng, President of PAMURI, presented the award, saying Concepcion’s “service to the Filipino people goes beyond his work in the private sector,” and cited his consistent and energetic leadership in the private sector, as well as his incessant present throughout the pandemic.

In his acceptance speech, Concepcion said that his desire to help MSMEs is borne out his own experience as an entrepreneur. “I’ve seen the level of poverty in this country, and many MSMEs belong at the bottom of this pyramid yet comprise 99 percent of businesses,” he said.

“I felt that it was very important to share the prosperity…especially with MSMEs who are the backbone of our economy. If we see them move up the ladder, we all will do much better,” he said.

Concepcion has been Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship under two Philippine presidents,. Some 16 years ago, he founded the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship.

For nearly two years now, he has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by leading efforts of the private sector to accelerate testing, and procuring millions of COVID-19 vaccines through the “A Dose of Hope” program. The program was the world’s first tripartite agreement between the private sector, government, and vaccine manufacturers.

His efforts also extended to bringing together government, data, and medical experts, and the private sector to achieve a safe reopening of the economy through the “Bakuna Bubble” strategy.

Concepcion thanked the foreign chambers and the government, whose cooperation made it possible for the country to find a roadmap to coexisting with the virus and safely opening the economy.

“This teamwork between the private and public sector is key in paving the way to saving the economy and saving lives. I share this recognition with the private sector for its teamwork with the public sector, specifically with the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force), in supporting all our initiatives in saving lives and livelihoods,” the Palace official said.

The awards were given during the Arangkada Philippines Forum. With the theme “Pathways to a Better Future”, it gathered more than 50 private and public sector leaders to identify policies and programs to put in place during the decade of the 2020s and beyond.