MAPping the Future

Column in INQUIRER

The road to bridging and building a progressive future

written by Atty. BENEDICTA DU-BALADAD - December 18, 2023

The Management Association of the Philippines’ (MAP) mission of promoting management excellence for nation-building was captured in our 2023 theme, “Bridging snd building a progressive future.” The core strategy is to harness collective strengths to enhance internal fundamentals and leverage this to help in BUILDING a national future in shared prosperity. The acronym BRIDGE captured the priorities to execute the plans.

• Build and bridge our internal strengths

• Resilience and recovery

• Innovation

• Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI)

• Growth and people development; and

• Environment, social and governance or ESG.

“Bridging and building a progressive culture” can best be achieved when what we do benefits our businesses and the economy, and are meaningful to society and the country by enabling a more sustainable and inclusive development. Thus, flagship programs were undertaken along with the other regularly undertaken activities of MAP.

MAP’s flagship programs are initiatives that can positively impact a larger part of the economy and society because they can enhance business competitiveness and have the potential to support social development agenda to provide a better future for the next generation.


Last March, Campaign against Malnutrition and Child Stunting (Camacs) was launched as the first major flagship program because malnutrition and child stunting have come to the point where urgent steps need to be taken to arrest the deterioration of the physical and mental capacity of our children. It is to protect our human capital because from these children will come our country’s future workforce and leaders, who will shape the future of competitive businesses and innovative enterprises.

MAP provided a platform where all those working on various initiatives can contribute, harmonize and complement so that we can collaborate with the government agencies to finally put this crisis to bed. Focus areas are communication, policy reforms and actionable research, as well as fostering collaboration and linkages.

These are the accomplishments since its March launch:

• We increased public awareness with our communications campaign and succeeded in igniting a conversation across sectors about this issue.

• We issued a public statement last June 19, urging the government to declare the campaign against “malnutrition and child stunting as a priority agenda” and providing the needed resources to make its eradication achievable.

• We successfully convened 70 organizations with their commitments to either subsidize, support or provide services to the Camacs.

• We validated the oft-repeated underlying causes of malnutrition and child stunting by undertaking a dipstick survey and the findings were used as basis for conceptualizing and framing the educational materials that will soon be released. These include a series of TikTok videos and the publication of a handbook on the ‘First 1,000 Days of a Child’ for pregnant mothers.

• In a series of meetings with Social Welfare Secretary Rex Gatchalian and his team, we identified where MAP and its partners can assist. These are in 1) Water, Sanitation and Hygiene or WASH and Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD)-related interventions. MAP Research and Development Foundation committed an initial funding of P1 million for WASH projects in Bicol, the most challenged region in malnutrition. MAP also signed a partnership agreement with Globe and the Social Weather Stations to undertake quantitative research study for impact assessment of the Food Stamp Program and its effectiveness among beneficiaries.

• MAP also partnered with Department of Health and its lead agency, National Nutrition Council, in addressing maternal, neonatal and child health care in a health service delivery network—health being vital in achieving a holistic solution.

• We ensured the continuity and sustainability of the project with the board approval for the transfer of the Camacs project to the MAP Research and Development Foundation and earmarked funding from pooled donations and sponsorships for this project for the next five years.

Helping in national recovery

Malnutrition and child stunting are not standalone problems. They are symptoms of deeper imbalances in societal conditions, with poverty the biggest among the contributing factors. We in the business sector play a crucial role in correcting them and we identified areas where we can pave the way.

• Advocating shared prosperity: The much-touted growth rates of Philippine economy over the years have done very little in addressing income inequality. The income of families has not kept pace and wealth remains concentrated in the hands of the few while the rest live in the marginal fringes. Studies have shown that ‘inequality directly affects growth and growth in turn influences poverty’ (Elise Gould). MAP initiated a Summit on Shared Prosperity to underscore the critical role that business can play in poverty alleviation by reducing income inequality. The summit was held for stakeholders to commit to certain actions that companies can take to help in social development.

• Investments and enterprise development: MAP initiated a three-part Investment Forum Series to help develop an ecosystem that can support new businesses intending to locate in the Philippines through access to a robust value chain. More importantly, they can serve as gateways for micro, small and medium enterprises to access bigger markets through these new investors and the sunshine industries. The series includes: Mapping the Investment Ecosystem with Department of Trade and Industry and Board of Investments to develop the ecosystem of support for investments; Business Opportunities in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) to encourage businesses to seek opportunities and expand their business outside the country); and MAP Tourism Investment Summit with the Department of Tourism and Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority, which highlighted the tourism sector and the incentive packages available for investors.

• We continued to get our tech startups ready to scale up, guiding them through the intricacies needed to transition.

• Improving the ease of doing business: We addressed this through increased collaboration with concerned agencies like the Department of Information and Communications Technology, Anti-Red Tape Authority and Department of the Interior and Local Government and formalized this through a memorandum of understanding where MAP committed to provide technical assistance through capacity-building programs for local governments.

For good governance, MAP already agreed in principle to partner with the Mayors for Good Governance (M4GG) for local government-based development programs in critical areas, such as agriculture, disaster risk reduction and management, digitalization of local government services, education and public health.

• Advocacy for national branding: MAP advocated for the development of a strong, unique and well-crafted Philippine country brand and released a strong position with an appeal sent to the President on the need for a Philippine country brand.

Expanding international presence

MAP initiated meetings and a landmark memorandum of partnership and cooperation with the Singapore International Chamber of Commerce and the Thailand Management Association was signed last Sept. 12 in the presence of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) secretary general. This is envisioned to pave the way for the future formation of an association of Asean management organizations. This move can potentially elevate MAP’s role in the international sphere and be an active voice in development discussions.

The author is 2023 MAP president and the founding partner and CEO of Du-Baladad and Associates or BDB Law. Feedback at and