By Leony R. Garcia
In choosing our leaders, we generally prefer those who have solid track records of governance and those who have strong evidences of good performance. However, we also reserve some spots for newbies who are willing to serve with all their good intentions and sincerity.One of them is Michael L. Romero, Ph.D., more popularly known as Mikee Romero, a businessman and sportsman who is the current team owner of Global Port Batang Pier in the Philippine Basketball Association. Romero will run as the 1st nominee of the 1-Pacman Partylist in the Philippine House of Representatives in the 2016 national elections.
1-Pacman stand for One Patriotic Coalition of Marginalized Nationals whose battle cry is to improve on sports, education, and jobs for the Filipinos.
Mikee’s immediate goal as partylist representative is to provide for the next three years 1 million jobs for all sectors of Phililippine society. He swore on this. “You can monitor me on a year-to-year basis and on the third year you would surely find out if I reneged on my goal or not.”
Mikee obviously walks his talk. He is the son of construction magnate Reghis Romero II, who has made a name for himself after all away from the shadow of his father. Mikee first worked in venture capital in Singapore before returning home in 2002 to seize country’s infrastructure opportunity. He converted family’s reclaimed land into Harbour Center Port Terminal, now country’s biggest bulk and breakbulk port. He listed his port assets in 2011, with a reverse takeover of listed MIC Holdings, renaming it GlobalPort 900, Inc. He said he wants to build a ‘seaport highway’ across the Philippines archipelago. He also has 65 percent stake in Manila North Harbour, country’s biggest port, where San Miguel is a partner. Other interests include mining, hotels, a 20 percent stake in Air Asia Philippines and 15 percent in Alfred Yao’s Zest Airways.
For his Midas touch in business, he made it to the 2013 Forbes’ Asia List of the “Philippines’ Top 50 Richest and ranked no. 26 with a net worth of $ 490 million. Earlier in 2007, he has been given the distinction as “Godfather of Philippine Sports” by the Philippine Sports Writers Association for his myriad contribution and support to various sports including those sent for Olympics abroad.
Six-footer Mikee was a varsity basketball player in his junior and senior years at the De La Salle University, where he completed his degree in Management. With drop dead good looks, soon he conquered the ramp modeling for Inno Sotto, Randy Ortiz, Arturo Go, and other top designers in 1986.
Not resting on earlier laurels and to pursue business success, Mikee took up his Masters Degree in Business Management at the Asian Institute of Managament, which he completed in 1997. He pursued further studies at the International Academy of Management and Economics-Philippines and De La Salle University, where he earned his two Doctorate degrees in Business Administration and Political Economics in August 2006 and September 2008, respectively, with Academic High Distinction.
Another platforms advocated by Mikee is to advance the cause of filmmaking in this country by making a government policy to allot at least 10 billion pesos a year for the movie industry in general, out of which also allots 1 to 2 billion pesos a year for indie filmmakers.
It’s no exaggeration that Mikee’s heart bleeds for the marginalized sector of the country’s movie industry, including the indie filmmakers, because he has always been ‘behind the cameras’ having the iconic Eddie Garcia as stepfather. “Nakikita ko napapanood ko lahat. Alam ko rin na walang social security ang karamihan rito tulad ng Phil. Health and other insurance benefits especially for those who have been left jobless dahil sa pagtamlay ng mainstream movie industry.”
With this statement, the entertainment press were on in asking, ‘Bakit nakatuon ang kanyang plataporma sa problema ng movie industry?’
“The issues that are close to my heart which are also our advocacies are sports, education, and jobs. This includes providing jobs for the marginalized sectors of the movie industry because I have been exposed to the milieu kahit behind the scenes lamang,” said the No. 1 nominee of 1-Pacman.
With his long list of highly successful ventures to date, in hindsight he is a breath of fresh air in politics. A young blood in his early 40s equipped with business success and fresh idealogy, he deserves a chance to serve. After all, our young people also deserves leaders who walk the talk.