According to the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu, the journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step. Indeed, this is what Ferring Group has done with the establishment of the Philippine Representative Office last 2013. The representative office is the newest addition to the Asia Pacific region. The office opened its doors on November 25 in the Ecotower building, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.
Last April 29, the formal inauguration was graced by the President of the Executive Board and Chief Operating Officer, Michel Pettigrew, with other esteemed Ferring executives namely Ralph Diehl, trusted Consultant, Alex Chang, Senior Vice President for Asia Pacific, BingMei Hao, Regional Finance Controller, Jareen Yao, Associate Director of Business Excellence, and Ming Yip, Regional Senior Director for South East Asia. The event was also attended by several medical doctors and important business partners, as well as representatives from the City Government of Taguig and the Pharmaceutical & Healthcare Association of the Philippines (PHAP).
The ribbon cutting was done by Mr. Pettigrew, Jane Villablanca, the General Manager of the Phil. Rep. Office, the Ambassador of the Embassy of Switzerland, Ivo Sieber, and Mr. Chang. One of the highlights of the afternoon was the grand reveal of two art pieces in the new office. The first is a brass sculpture, commissioned especially for Ferring, by the Filipino artist Michael Cacnio. Aptly named “Buntis” – which means pregnant in English – the sculpture symbolizes the commitment of Ferring to female healthcare.
The second art piece called Colors of Pioneers is a collage of the individual canvasses painted by the employees during the 2nd Cycle Meeting last April 14. The idea is for the employees to showcase a piece of themselves so that the art in the office is made more meaningful and personal.
The inauguration was followed by cocktails and dinner at Donosti Pintxos y Tapas, where Mr. Pettigrew delivered his special, heartfelt message. On behalf of the Executive Board, he gave a gift to Ms. Villablanca, a representation of the sculpture to be shipped to the PH office. Doctors, who are key-opinion leaders for GI, Urology, IVF and Obstetrics, and other stakeholders also joined the dinner and partook of the delicious Spanish dishes.
The next day, the Ferring executives went to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) and met with the Undersecretary of the Department of Health, Dr. Teodoro Herbosa for a short discussion on the status of healthcare in the Philippines and how it is improving under the Universal Healthcare Program. There is increased health financing, advancement of healthcare facilities and wider PhilHealth coverage with better benefits.
This was followed by the Town Hall Meeting where Mr. Pettigrew, Mr. Chang and Mr. Yip all addressed the Phil. Rep. Office employees to express their support and confidence in the newly-formed sales and marketing team. There is an expectation for Ferring PH to be a strong player in the PH market and in all the markets that they participate in.
The 2-day event and the opening of the new representative office are indeed manifestations of how Ferring is becoming a world leader in the pharmaceutical industry. This may be a single step of a thousand more but success is in the horizon and the best thing is that the global headquarters, the partners and the stakeholders are giving their full support to the Ferring Pharmaceuticals Ltd. - Philippine Representative Office.