MANILA, December 27, 2003  (BULLETIN) The newly elected and first woman president of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), Noemi Saludo, yesterday pledged more relevant leadership.

"I take pride in following the long trail of leadership of men in the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), and I am challenged as the first woman president who vows to make a difference," she said in a press statement.

The PCCI which recently celebrated the 100 years of chamber movement found a lady deserving of the leadership of the maledominated sector of any society.

"This is a tough job, and I am committed to dedicate this victory of women to the results I am passionate to deliver to the SMEs all over the country," she said. More than 95 percent of PCCI membership belongs to SMEs and they are scattered around the country, which Saludo cites as more in need of support.

"We have strategically reorganized the PCCI to be more synergistic on our strength," she assures citing that PCCI past president and now Chairman Sergio Ortiz Luis Jr., will focus on the Greater Manila Area, as PCCI chairman emeritus Mike Varela concentrates on International Affairs.

The Employers Confederation of the Philippines president and the PCCI Executive Vice President will focus on the national issues, especially those covered by the resolutions submitted to President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo during the 29th Philippine Business Conference (PBC).

Dr. Raul Hernandez will play significant role in the areas of productivity and quality as he oversees the roadmap he jointly authored with the PBC committee. PBC chairman Samie Lim continues as Vice President for tourism and retail. Other members of the board include Xavier Aboitiz, Ceferino Benedicto, Francis Chua, William Co, Eric Cruz, Francis Ferrer, Alegria Limjoco, Eduardo Ong, Benjamin Punongbayan, Jimmy Tang, along with regional area representatives Angelito Colona, Estrella Martinez, Renato Simbulan, Carlo Co and Antonio Santos.

"The above reorganization will allow me to have more time for the more that 110 chambers nationwide and to consult with some 124 trade associations," explains Saludo. She shall be a low profile leaders working in the frontline and getting closer to the SMEs, even the micro-enterprises. "I feel going where the actions are will enable me to make PCCI more relevant and responsive to their needs," claims Saludo as she opines that the "motherly" leadership is rooted from her being a woman.

"Women and men are created different but equal, and with differences in strengths and weaknesses making it necessary for both gender and for everyone to synergize and harmonize towards a common end," she stressed. Saludo notes that while men have dominated business in many societies, women have the difference to offer. "Caring and housekeeping are trademarks of women leadership, and that translates to responsiveness and order in my leadership.

Saludo's more that 25 years of immersion within the PCCI as active member, officer and board member must have given her a complete grasp of the culture, organization and systems of the PCCI.

"As part of the process of continuous learning, I shall keep those that work for results but I shall institute changes as may be necessary to achieve the end the PCCI has in mind," she assures. Cognizant of the powerhouse team of board of directors under her term, Saludo is optimistic that 'herstory' will be something that will make a difference in the Herculean tasks ahead.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

All rights reserved