“All’s well that ends well!” would be an appropriate tagline for the fourth Virtual General Membership Meeting (VGMM) of the Association of Carriers and Equipment Lessors (ACEL).
Originally scheduled for November 13, 2020, the meeting, which had as the main item on its agenda the election of the Association’s directors for 2021, was cancelled because of Typhoon Ulysses. Carrying the international name “Vamco,” Ulysses was a Category 4 typhoon that made landfall in Quezon province near midnight of November 11 and wreaked havoc on Central and Northern Luzon. Although it merely skirted Metro Manila, it nonetheless brought heavy rains which caused the worst flooding in the metropolis since Typhoon Ondoy in 2009.
Although it was a virtual meeting that attendees could join without leaving the safety of their homes, the ACEL leadership decided to postpone the event because of the spotty internet connections throughout Metro Manila that the typhoon caused. Some parts of the metropolis also had no power. And due to the devastation Ulysses brought about, the Association opted to give priority to the extension of assistance to the typhoon victims. Thus, on November 14, just three days after Ulysses hit Luzon, ACEL, in partnership with the Philippine Constructors Association (PCA), launched “Taskforce Rolly+Ulysses.”
Named after the two powerful typhoons that ravaged Luzon in November, this was a clearing operation that helped remove the thick mud and the piles of debris that covered and blocked many roads after the floods receded. Implemented in Marikina, one of Metro Manila’s cities that was hardest hit by Ulysses, the clearing operation was successfully conducted using the various heavy equipment that several ACEL member-companies quickly and generously lent.
Once the situation in the Metro normalized, the Association’s leadership once again turned their attention to holding the fourth VGMM and the election of the 2021 directors. Rescheduled to November 27, 2020, the meeting, conducted via the Zoom online platform like the three previous VGMMs, was hosted by Abigail S. Mancilla, an ACEL director and the vice president of First Philippine Skills and Testing Corporation.
The election, meanwhile, was conducted by the Association’s three-man Comelec Committee that was chaired by Kit Angeles of JV Angeles Construction Corporation who served as ACEL president in 2001 and 2004. He was assisted by two past presidents of the Association: Lito Garcia of Livan Trade Corporation and Peter Pancho of C.M. Pancho Construction Inc.
Since there were only 11 nominees, the exact number of the seats in the ACEL Board of Directors, all the nominees were automatically deemed elected. These were Jovic Basilio of Basilio Rentals and Sales Corporation, Jojo Perez of JAP Construction and Development Corporation, John Manalo of J.E. Manalo and Company Inc., Abi Mancilla of First Philipple Skills and Equipment Testing Corporation, Tony Coronel of International Container Terminal Services Inc., Enzo Banzon of Higantis Contractors Corporation, Arlan Vergara of RMD Kwikform (Phils.) Inc., Dio Angeles of Olympic Engineering and Sales Corporation, Francis Cruz of Frey Fil Corporation, Ronald Yao of Civic Merchandising Inc., and Nicole Warren of Pacific Orient Winds Corporation.
While normally no raffle draws are done during ACEL elections, this year, the Association officers decided to make an exception. A raffle draw was held where prizes that included food vouchers, wifi routers and whiskeys were awarded to lucky VGMM attendees. ACEL explained that it was its way of thanking its members who have continuously and loyally supported the Association’s events throughout the year. And it was certainly an appropriate way of putting a happy ending to what has been a very challenging 2020.