Oct 25, 2017

Let's not rush this

We can't completely blame the transportation groups for their violent reaction of staging transport strikes to the government's poised firm resolve to modernize public transport by banning the use of 15-year old vehicles and the eventual phase out of the iconic jeepney.

Although I am a staunch and unflinching advocate of such a culture-changing move, I see very challenging times ahead for the government to successfully implement it, what with a large political sector composed of jeepney operators and drivers literally facing a blank wall to look at for a glimpse of what the future holds for them when the PUV modernization is finally pushed for immediate implementation.

Press releases, power point presentations, 6 o'clock news sound bites and the President's stern announcement that the PUV modernization would be implemented no matter what, undoubtedly further increase the anxiety and uncertainty among these transport groups. And to top it all it is now evident that the government doesn't have any firmed up timeline for its implementation based on how it was unclearly resolved during the last Senate hearing. The transport sector's questions now range from, "What's really going to happen and when?" The operators ask, "Are you going to confiscate my jeepney?" And the drivers ask, " If so, what am I going to drive to put food on the table?"

My take on this is that the plan is great but it was poorly planned and wantonly rushed. It's undoubtedly a very bitter pill to swallow for those who would be immediately affected, or those who would see and experience things first getting worse before it gets better.

Let's do this, but let's spend more time preparing for it.

It's not only going to be a game-changer but also a life-changer for some.

The media makes its choice

Members of the Philippine motoring media trooped last Wednesday afternoon, October 18 to the offices of Sunshine TV, producers of Auto Focus, the country's premier auto news and features TV and online electronic magazine to register their choices for this year's Auto Focus Media's Choice Awards.

Started eight years ago to run in tandem with the 13-year old Auto Focus Automobile of the Year-People's Choice Awards, which is the annual search for the country's most popular automobiles separate for standard and for premium/luxury models, the Media's Choice Awards is the yearly exercise that has become quite an important reference for car owners and buyers seeking models with the best features and performance attributes based on the media's learned choices.

The Media's Choice Awards consist of the following:

1. Best Engine Performance - awarded to the vehicle with the best power output, engine response, gearing set up and fuel efficiency.

2. Best Design - awarded to the model that has the most attractive and stylish exterior and interior.

3. Best Safety Features - awarded to the automobile with just not the most number of safety features, but also the one with the most sophisticated active to passive safety features.

4. Best Value for Money - awarded to the car that delivers the best dynamic performance at the most affordable price.

To be certain that no winner wins by just a slim margin but instead a clear choice of the motoring media the "clear majority rule" has been invoked by the organizers. This means that a particular model can only be declared a winner by virtue of a majority or unanimous decision-it has to garner more than 50% of the media votes cast in its particular category. This makes it possible that no winner would be declared in categories where the model that got the highest number of votes did not get enough for a "clear majority" win.

Considering that the voting day coincided with some other industry event previously committed to by some members of the media and coupled with the daily prohibiting unpredictable metro traffic, online voting was allowed and encourage among those who didn't make it to ensure a wider base of votes and a more conclusive results.

Considering that it's not very often that competing industry players get the chance to get together in events with the media, a slew of top executives from the automotive sector braved the always-expected midweek traffic gridlocks to bond with their motoring journalists friends to share a sumptuous merienda and shots of premium whiskey and glasses of French wine.

The winners of this year'sAuto Focus Media's Choice Awards distinct for Standard and Premium/Luxury models shall be given recognition together with those of the 2017-2018 Auto Focus Automobile of the Year-People's Choice on November 9 at the Valle Verde Country Club.

TV streaming "on demand"

The best of both worlds for all motoring and car enthusiasts with any of these two websites, www.motoringtoday.ph or www.autofocus.com.ph

You can watch the 'streaming' of all the weekly past and present episodes of the TV showsMotoring Today and Auto Focus in their entirety.

Or if you don't have that much time you can just zero in on the latest news about transportation and traffic management, the auto industry or the latest car reviews and head-to-head comparisons of the latest models and other motoring or auto features selectively by its individual web page.

All those news and features-only a click away.

Happy Motoring!!!

For comments & 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)