Jan 11, 2017

Socially responsible auto industry

I have been covering motoring and motor sports events for a good thirty years now starting at that time when there wasn't much of a motoring beat to speak of, initially for the TV show Motoring Today and much later for Auto Focus. And midway during that span of time a number of automobile companies have started embarking on different socially relevant projects and programs, many of which were low profiled with not much or no publicity at all.

It is because of this general attitude of most automotive companies of not putting much emphasis on letting the public know about these laudable efforts that theSociety of Philippine Motoring Journalists ( SPMJ) a non stock, non profit foundation composed of editors, columnists, broadcast, print and online journalists covering the motoring beat decided on embarking on an ambitious project to recognize through yearly awards outstanding Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects of the local auto industry.

'Driven to Serve' is conceived to be a prestigious awards program, which would recognize the sincere efforts of the automotive industry to help enhance the lives of Filipinos through community development, promoting road safety, education and vocational training, disaster relief, caring for the environment and many more.

Next week, on Tuesday, January 17 to be precise will be the final judging for the fifteen plus entries for the maiden presentation of the awards. It will be held at thePalms Country Club in Filinvest, Alabang. It is noteworthy to say that all the entries were solicited from the automotive companies through the initiative of SPMJ.

The distinguished panel of judges is composed of (in alphabetical order) Ms. Millie Dizon (svp for marketing of SM Retail), Mr. Rod Franco (president of Manila North Tollways Corp.), Mr. Ed Lacson (honorary chairman of Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry),Mr. Sergio Ortiz-Luis (president of Philexport), Dr. Cristina Padolina (president of Centro Esolar University) and Monsigñor Pete Quitorio (head-media relations of Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines).

We have herewith the final list of entries for the different award categories.


1. Mitsubishi Motor Philippines: Batad Restoration Project (2012 & 2015)

2. Isuzu Philippines Corporation: Annual CSR projects on environment from

2002 to 2013

3. Columbian Autocar Corporation (Kia): Coastal clean-up (2016);

Reforestation with Haribon Foundation (2014)

4. Toyota Motor Philippines: Penablañca Sustainable Reforestation Project

(2,500 hectare open area; alternative livelihood through agro-forestry;

forest maintenance)

5. Honda Cars Philippines: Rainforestation project, a 10-year commitment

to reforest 20 hectares of land in Laguna and Metro Manila with Haribon Foundation.


1. The Car Covenant Company (Chevrolet): One World Futbol Project (2014)

2. Nissan Philippines, Inc.: Shelter Rebuild Drive with Habitat for Humanity,

built houses for 50 families in Samar (2014); Built houses in Payatas (2015-16)

3. Toyota Motor Philippines: GK Village in Sta Rosa, Laguna (donated P20M to

build 160 houses) in 2012 & Toyota Classics funded building of multi purpose

hall (2014 & 2015)

4. Ford Philippines: One Better World project- improved access to water in

the village of Villaba which was hit by typhoon Yolanda in 2013.; assisted Gawad

Kalinga community.


1. Honda Cars Philippines: Teensmart, educated students on proper use of roads

and driving; 1-M Blue Eco-safe Driving Campaign conducted fuel efficiency and

driving seminars to some 2,000 public vehicle drivers in 12 cities, with the DOE,

UP National Engineering Center

2. Auto Central Enterprises (Volkswagen): Child Safety Initiative (2015-2016)

introduced safety awareness to children ages 4-8 and to parents.

3. Ford Philippines: Driving skills for Life: Re-educate both new and experienced

drivers on road safety, green driving and other relevant topics related to driving

safely on the road.


1. Auto Hub Group: Auto Hub Institute of Technology with TESDA (2014-2016)

2. Berjaya Auto Philippines (Mazda): Automotive Technology Course supports Meralco Foundation Inc. (2014)

3. PGA Cars: Porsche Training & Recruitment Center Asia (PTRCA) with

Don Bosco (started in 2008 and ongoing for 8 years). Auto training with

DonBosco; mechanical training with PTRCA; job placement with PTRCA.

4. Toyota Motor Philippines: Toyota Motor School of Technology (TMP Tech)

started in 2013; offers 2 year regular automotive course; with TESDA.

5. Isuzu Philippines Corporation: TESDA-Isuzu Auto Mechanic Training Center

in Tacloban

6. Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc.: Hyundai New Thinkers Circuit (HNTC), a one-year learning and community development program where outstanding high school students are inspired and trained to become future climate science experts who can help the country adapt to and mitigate the negative effects of climate change.

7. ACC-BMW:Jose Ch. Alvarez "Study Now, Pay Later" Grant and Apprentice Program

The Driven to Serve CSR Awards are being presented by SPMJ, the Society of Philippine Motoring Journalists in cooperation with MNTC, theManila Tollways Corporation with major sponsors, Petron and Motolite.

The awarding is set in February with the venue to be confirmed.

Mitsubishi Montero findings are finally out

Our friends from Mitsubishi Motors Philippines have informed us about a very positive development regarding the long drawn safety issue that involved the Mitsubishi Montero Sport 2010 - 2015 models. And permit me to pass on to you 'verbatim' the report of Horiba Mira Ltd, an automotive engineering company based in the United Kingdom that has found no technical cause that explains SUA (Sudden Unintended Acceleration) incidents. Horiba Mira reportedly started its investigation in June 2016 and released its formal findings in September 2016, and the report states:

"The investigation has found only one plausible root cause for sudden unintended acceleration, and inability to stop the Mitsubishi Montero Sport vehicle. Our hypothesis is that these incidents were caused by the driver mistakenly applying the accelerator, believing that they were pressing the brake pedal.

"Other root cause hypotheses have been excluded because they would require simultaneous, but temporary, malfunction of both the engine control and the vehicle braking system without fault conditions being logged by any vehicle systems and DTCs (Diagnostic Trouble Code) being recorded. Since these are independent systems, the possibility of simultaneous failure is extremely low.

"There are other potential causes for undemanded acceleration that have not been ruled out by the investigation, but none of these would affect the braking system. If such a failure occurred, the driver would still have the opportunity to control the vehicle using the brakes or by disengaging the transmission.

A suite of EMC (Electromagnetic Compatibility) screening tests were performed on a vehicle that had previously been involved in a SUA claim. The results showed that the vehicle is extremely resilient at very high test levels of EMI (Electromagnetic Interference). … No adverse behaviour was observed during testing with levels corresponding to EU regulations and ISO standards."

MMPC also stated that the third party investigation now complete, assures the public that the previous generation Montero Sport model (2010-2015) is neither defective nor unsafe to use.

Motoring Today TV show's new airing schedule

If you failed to watch Motoring Today lastSunday at 4 o'clock in the afternoon, it was simply because its airing has been transferred to10 o'clock in the evening, also on Sundays to give way to the clamor for a better time when most of its regular viewers are already at home resting on a Sunday evening in preparation for another full week of work ahead.

Motoring Today stays on its home channel, Solar Sports, Channel 70 on the Sky Cable Network.

Automobile enthusiasts' haven on the net

Anything and everything about the automobile and the automotive industry like car reviews, head-to-head comparisons, car launches, test drive and the latest industry news are on www.autofocus.com.ph

And for motoring concerns and issues click on to www.motoringtoday.ph.

Happy Motoring!!!

For comments and inquiries (email) sunshine.television@yahoo.com


Ray Butch Gamboa graduated from the College of Arts and Letters of the University of Sto. Tomas. It was a course that should have been preparatory to a law degree, but the call of broadcasting aborted his plans.

At the age of 16, while still a student, Butch tried his hand at disc jockeying, landing a job at Mareco Broadcasting Network’s AM stations DZBM and DZLM. From there, Butch moved on with his illustrious career as a popular disc jockey, riding the airwaves of Bob Stewart’s middle-of-the-road music at DZXX, and ending his disc jockeying career at ABS-CBN’s DZYL and DZQL.

From there, he stayed on with ABS-CBN, covering live the proceedings at the Manila Stock Exchange and eventually entered into the world of television sales as an account manager for the premier channel of ABS-CBN Channel 2.

In the early 70’s, at the outbreak of Martial Law, Butch was one of the thousands of professionals who woke up jobless when then President Marcos declared the new status of the nation. With the closure of ABS-CBN, Butch ventured into different fields outside of broadcast. He tried his hand and with ease and success at export (Costume jewelry), real estate (brokerage), and restaurants (fast food).

In 1987, after the revolution, with the broadcast industry back to its free state, and with its irresistible call ringing in his ears, Butch made his inevitable comeback and pioneered in a local motoring show, producing Motoring Today on Channel 4 and co-hosting with local motor sports’ living legend Pocholo Ramirez.

After 4 years, he ventured into another pioneering format by producing and hosting Business & Leisure, which was originally aired on ABS-CBN’s Channel 2. The format eventually espoused similar ones in other different channels. But the clones in due course faded away leaving the original staying on airing on Channel 4 and eventually on Shop TV on Sky Cable’s Channel 13.

The following year, the pioneering spirit in Butch spurred him to produce another TV show, Race Weekend, also on Channel 4, covering circuit racing at the Subic International Raceway after the motor sport’s hiatus of 17 years. But when similar shows with duplicated formats sprouted, he decided to give way and ended the program after a year, although still enjoying unparalleled viewership.

In 1998, when the local automotive industry was in a slump, Butch contributed his share to help the ailing industry by producing another popular motoring-related show, this time exclusive to the automobile and its industry—Auto Focus, which became a vehicle for local automotive assemblers and importers to showcase their products and dwell on the industry’s latest technological developments.

In 2003, Butch teamed up with his brother, Rey Gamboa who was a former Shell executive and presently one Philippine Star’s business columnist to co-produce and co-host the TV show Breaking Barriers on Channel 13. It is a talk show that features guests who are in the news and in the middle of controversies. The program ventures to draw deeper insights into current issues to learn how they impact to our daily lives.

Today, Motoring Today on its 28th year of service to the general motoring public still enjoys its unprecedented loyal vierwership nationwide while Auto Focus, after 16 years has firmly established its niche viewership among automobile enthusiasts and on the other hand Business & Leisure is on its 24th year dishing out current business issues and lifestyle features.

Today, aside from writing weekly columns for the Philippine Star (Motoring Today on Wednesdays and Business & Leisure on Saturdays) and executive producer / host of weekly TV shows (Motoring Today, airs Sundays on Solar Sports Channel 70, Business & Leisure, airs Tuesdays on Shop TV, Sky Cable Channel 13 and Auto Focus airs Thursdays on Shop TV, Sky Cable Channel 13, Ray Butch Gamboa is currently the Chairman and CEO of Sunshine Television Production and Marketing Services Corp., President of Gamcor Management and Development Corp., Chairman of Asia-Pacific Realty Corporation, President and Chairman of Socio-Communication Foundation for Asia and Founding Chairman of the Society of Phil. Motoring Journalists (SPMJ)