He talks to us about the electric future
Rommel Juan, the businessman, is the chief executive officer of MD Juan, a company that has been manufacturing and importing bodies and accessories of military and civilian jeepneys for decades. He also heads the quick-service restaurant, Binalot. But the back of his business card says electric vehicles. His passion project.
Rommel Juan, the advocate, is the president of the Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines (eVAP). It all started with supplying locally made e-Jeepneys that now ply Makati roads. Rommel’s team pushed for locally made units of the Philippine transport icon. Why? Because electric vehicles are the future and of course, for the environment.
The difficult part of his advocacy, Rommel admits, is that the market is not yet ready for electric vehicles. Whatever traction electric vehicles had early on has died down. “Of course there was some sadness, pero hindi ka pwedeng ganoon sa negosyo,” Rommel says. “You have to be persistent, and because you’re doing an advocacy, you have to believe in it. Minor bumps will not stop you from proceeding.”
We ask if there were times when he felt the need to just drop his advocacy. He tilts his head and thinks for a moment. “Konting-konti lang,” he answers. A beat of silence, then he retracts his previous statement: “Hindi, hindi pa rin. Tuloy-tuloy lang,” he amends with a laugh. His advice for people who want to mix business and advocacy: “Do well, then do good.”