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Ormoc Chamber holds elections, now the biggest chamber in EV

Incoming EV Chamber governor Atty. Roy Bernard Fiel inducts the new board directors (L-R) Diomedes Gillesania, Raymund Tan, Lalaine M. Jimenea, Dr. Angelica Sandra F. Chiong, Ernesto B. Rizarri, Iñigo Larrazabal and Angel Ignacio Veloso III.

ORMOC CITY –  The rejuvenated Ormoc City Chamber of Commerce and Industry had its general assembly, election of officers, and Christmas Party on the evening of December 13, 2011 at the Dustria Dance Bar.
Elected were seven directors who will serve for the next two years. Among them is Ernesto B. Rizarri, president of the EBR Group of Companies and one of the biggest businessmen hereabouts. Rizarri has committed himself to serve the chamber, saying that he now has time for it.
Other new faces on the board are Dr. Sandra Fiel-Chiong, director of the OSPA- Farmer’s Medical Center, Angel Ignacio Veloso III and Raymund Tan. Diomedes Gillesania, who’s served as director around six years ago, is back on board.
The remaining two are Iñigo Larrazabal and Lalaine M. Jimenea, who served respectively in the previous board as vice-president and corporate secretary, respectively.
The remaining six members of the board are president Joel Brazil, Jose Rodriguez, Romeo Ocampo, Atty. Nolitz Quilang, Vincent Rama and Atty. Roy Bernard Fiel.
An election of officers among the directors followed. In a unanimous vote, Joel Brazil was re-elected as president. He was first elected to the position in June after the chamber suffered a lull.
In a short time, he reinvigorated the chamber. Recent issues facing the business community woke it up from a stupor that it could not afford not to have a solid voice concerning business, and its number has grown since to become the biggest chamber in Eastern Visayas.
The other officers are VP for chamber management Atty. Nolitz Quilang, VP for membership development Jose Rodriguez, VP for business development and services Ignacio Veloso III, VP for external affairs and relations Iñigo Larrazabal, Romeo Ocampo as treasurer, and Lalaine Jimenea as corporate secretary.
The board suspended the election of the Executive Vice President to a later time, until its roles and functions are well defined.
The new officers were sworn into office by Atty. Roy Bernard Fiel, a past president and incoming Chamber governor for Eastern Visayas.
A short program followed after the election of officers.  President Brazil rendered a short report and noted that “for the first time in many years, the general assembly mustered a huge attendance”.
He reported that when he was elected in June, the direction of the new officers was to immediately do housekeeping and put the Chamber’s affairs in order.
He also bared that after recruiting quality members into the fold, his strategy for the coming year is an inclusive leadership. Various committees have been formed under each vice-president which would be manned by the members themselves, not by the officers alone.
He urged the members present to lend their support, saying that the Chamber officers are doing their best but could use the help of extra hands. Right now, he said, the officers’ hands are full with the issue on the city revenue measure that it was asking to be put to another round of public consultations and an impending 77-centavo increase in power rates petitioned by Leyeco V.
Brazil also enumerated some of the programs initiated by the Chamber like the forum with city licensing officer Emil Tingson, the seminar on labor laws, its participation on the investment roadshow organized by the City and the Board of Investments, and the continuing Lake Danao tourism development program in cooperation with the AFOS.
As for its advocacies, the Chamber submitted its position paper to Congress about the proposed P 125/day across-the-board legislated wage increase; initiated a dialogue with the police on the rising criminality in the city. The Chamber also had stickers of emergency numbers distributed among its members.
In closing, EV Chamber governor Atty. Roy Bernard Fiel, president Joel Brazil and corporate secretary Lalaine M. Jimenea gave away three plaques of appreciation. One to Atty. Iñaki Larrazabal for giving the Chamber a home after it was booted out from the Ormoc Superdome, another to Cong. Lucy Torres-Gomez for giving the Chamber financial assistance for its development programs, and the third to businessman Warren O. Chu for his positive response to the Chamber’s program to give the four police stations in the city a dedicated cellphone number and one year free load from Sun Cellular.
Chu donated four cellphone units which will be turned over to the Ormoc City Police chiefs after the Chamber’s legal team shall have finalized the Memorandum of Agreement.
Meanwhile, VP Iñigo Larrazabal urged each member to spread the word that the chamber is back on its feet and working for their welfare. “Spread the word”, he said, “and invite them to become members. The bigger we are, the stronger and louder our voice is”.

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