The Philippine economy is steadily racing to be among the competitive markets in Asia. New investors are coming in, and more countries are expressing confidence in our economy. But despite these developments, the gap between the rich and the poor remains the same. Equal opportunities for mobility and economic stability are still an unattainable ideal.

Guido Delgado is one of the few who recognizes the need for this to change. “The current economic and political system will not answer the all-inclusive growth we all hunger for. We need to find creative and even revolutionary ways to address the disparity between our rich and our poor. This wealth gap is not just felt in the Philippines but the whole world over. We must admit the status quo will not cut it,” he said.

Born and raised in Mindanao, Guido Alfredo Delgado witnessed how his family and fellow citizens struggled to fend for themselves in a tumultuous environment.They lived within the armed conflict zone between rebels and military forces, with the frequent clashes between these groups freezing the region’s economic development.

With luck and hardwork, Delgado was able to finish his studies in the University of the Philippines – Los Baños. After graduating cum laude with a Bachelor’s Degree in Agricultural Business, he came back to Mindanao to fulfill his promise of helping his fellowmen achieve economic stability, even in a perilous environment, by helping them put up small and medium businesses.His desire to help others advance their lives and sustain a living has started his long and fruitful journey in development banking and microfinance.

Delgado was moved by the tenacity of small and medium business owners who have managed to grow in the challenging business environment that is Mindanao. What they lacked, however, is access to credit. Hence, he paved the way for small-scale business owners in Mindanao to have a better lending option. During his time as head of the Northern Mindanao Development Bank (NMDB), he convinced shareholders to lend to farmers, market vendors, and owners of small businesses. He developed creative lending programs to ensure effective payment schemes while answering the needs of small clients.

working

Delgado’s wide range of expertise covers the fields of investment banking, management development, and finance. He’s also well-versed in rural banking, strategic financial advising, and microfinance. He laid the foundations to the microfinance lending programs we have today. From the beginning of his career, he knew he had to use his knowledge to make life better for his less-privileged countrymen.

His aim to address the lack of liquidity of human capital pushed further when he became program director for Special Zone for Peace and Development Social Fund (SZOPAD) Accelerated Enterprise Development program, which served as part of the USAID and led the Growth with Equity in Mindanao Program.

After helping his fellowmen in Mindanao, Delgado went on to create a bigger change in the country through his service in the energy sector. He was the head of the National Power Corporation from 1994-1998 and implemented programs that improved not just the agency’s internal organization but also the entire power situation in the country. He was one of the key figures in the implementation of major transmission lines such as Masinloc Coal Plant, Pagbilao and Sual Coal Plants, and Leyte Geothermal Associated Lines. On top of these, he also spearheaded other power infrastructure programs, natural gas projects, and a Hydro BOT program.

Delgado introduced reforms in the power industry and NPC by realigning the risk-sharing between private and government sectors and revisiting buyout provisions to ensure lower risks for government without affecting the project financing. He instituted tariff reforms and established a Privatization and Restructuring Group as well asa Marketing Group within the organization. Most of all, he enhanced technical programs related to ISO certification, zero outage, heat rate improvement, and hot line maintenance.

At present, he continues to advise power and energy sectors in developing renewable energy products. He also assists companies in the Philippines regarding asset purchases and dispositions, consulting, restructurings and reorganizations, and mergers and acquisitions.

In recognition of his outstanding accomplishments in development banking, Delgado received The Outstanding Young Men of the Philippines award, presented by the Junior Chamber International (JCI) of the Philippines, in 1992.

Aside from the TOYM, the University of the Philippines College of Economics also recognized his brilliance by awarding him asthe Most Outstanding Alumnus.

The Outstanding Young Men of the Philippines has once again started its search for the next global leaders. For the first time in its 56-year history, nominations can now be done online. If you know an exceptional young man or woman who has contributed significantly to the welfare of the country, you can head over at http://toym2015.org/ to nominate.

For aspiring future nation leaders, Delgado leaves this advice: “Hang on first of all to your moral compass so you do not go astray. Work passionately on your talents and skills and share these with your countrymen wherever you find yourself – in business, government service, or civil society work. Use your God-given talents to address the gap between our rich and our poor. It won’t be easy, but nobody said being an outstanding young person, a global leader, ever was.”