Makati Business Club
The Makati Business Club or MBC is a private non-stock, non-profit business association organized in the Philippines as a Forum for Constructive Ideas. As a forum, the MBC is dedicated to addressing economic and social policy issues which affect the development of the Philippines. The main thrust of the MBC is to foster and promote the role of the private business sector in national development efforts, both in the planning and the implementation of policy.
The Makati Business Club is composed of over 800 chief executive officers and senior executives representing almost 450 of the largest and most dynamic corporations in the Philippines. Over the years, the MBC has become the leading forum for business and government leaders to address. Issues discussed before the MBC have included trade and investment policy, monetary and fiscal matters, labor and employment, energy, education, health, media control, foreign policy, politics, elections and governanace.
Enrique Zobel, known to many as "E.Z." gathered together a few business friends and associates to a discussion which would have far-reaching implications on the Philippine business community. He felt that the business community should speak out as a single solid voice, not to lobby for its own corporate or sectoral interest, but to support or oppose policies which affected national life. It was felt that to be relevant any criticism should be constructive.
Thus was born the Makati Business Club as a Forum for Constructive Ideas in 1981.
An Executive Board was constituted with Enrique Zobel as Chairman, Rogelio Pantaleon, Bernardo Villegas and Joe Romero as members. Then a Board of Advisers was formed consisting of James Collins (Citibank), Jaime Ongpin (Benguet Consolidated), Antonio Ozaeta (PCIB), Washington SyCip (SGV & Co.) and Jaime Zobel de Ayala (Ayala Corporation), with Cesar A. Buenaventura as Chairman. The top 1000 corporations were also invited to join the Club and many of them, including multinationals, responded favorably.
The MBC was launched at a press conference on October 29, 1981 at Nielsen Tower. Mayor Yabut spoke against the formation of MBC, saying it is an "elitist group" and that there was already a Makati Chamber of Commerce. Later, the MBC got a call from General Fabian Ver to furnish the PSG with a directory of MBC's members, and this was refused.
The first General Membership Meeting was held at the Intercontinental Hotel on Nov. 9, 1981 with then-Prime Minister and now Chairman of RCBC and Trustee of the MBC, Cesar Virata.
During the snap elections in 1986, the first campaign speeches by both candidate Corazon Aquino and incumbent President Ferdinand E. Marcos were delivered before the MBC on January 6 and 21 respectively. These were landmark events in their time. Later on Cory Aquino would return to address the MBC as President of the Republic.
Today, MBC continues with its original mission of being a Forum for Constructive Ideas. However, in keeping with the times and the advent of globalization, MBC for several years had advocated the adoption of a free market economy and embarked on investment promotion activities.