The Grey Chronicles


Before: The Government-Owned NSC, 1974 – 1994, Part 1

National Steel Corporation was an amalgamation of several domestic long and flat steel companies. It became a Government-Owned and Controlled Corporation under the aegis of National Development Corporation in 1984, from the foreclosed assets of Iligan Iron and Steel Mills, Inc. (IISMI) in 1981. The latter succeeded the National Shipyard and Steel Corporation (NASSCO) authorized by RA 1396 to set up pig iron smelting plants in 1951 (Henares, 2006). In 1983, NSC purchased the ELISCON tinning lines in Pasig, Metro Manila then acquired the billet making facilities of the Philippine Blooming Mills, Inc. in 1984, and lastly Visayan Integrated Steel (VISCO) cold rolling equipment in 1985. (NSC News, 29 February, 1992)

By taking over the business operations of these distressed corporations; NSC absorbed 98% of the total IISMI workforce, and 90% of ELISCON’s employees. Between 1981 and 1990, (San Pedro, 1994) an additional 230 employees were recruited from the top ten (10%) per cent of engineering graduates nationwide—dubbed as the “cream of the crop”, younger blood with impressive academic credential but hardly any work experience. This new blood was from Industrial Engineering (IE) then later transformed to Engineering Management Training (EMT) program where NSC internally trained them in all aspects of plant operations. IE pioneers and 11 batches of EMT graduates occupied key supervisory and technical positions in operations, maintenance, support, and project management groups.

There were also personality changes at the helm of the company from E. Rodriquez and Arrizabal (corrected from the original Larrazabal)) (political appointees) to Jose Ben Laraya (professional/technical) which brought about the change in management systems, including financial and budgetary controls.

In 1980s, NSC became prone to various sub-cultures in its many work groups caused by diversities in academic backgrounds, work experiences, geographic origins and age levels of its hired and assimilated employees. This prompted the adoption of management by objectives (MBO) as the basis for corporate planning and budgeting system. NSC managers then codified the corporate MBO which later evolved into the NSC Corporate Philosophy (refer to Appendix U). In 1986, after the EDSA Revolution, NSC launched an Organizational Self-Renewal Program, anchored on NSC’s human resource philosophy: “A change in men, rather than of men . . . at all levels, in all divisions, covering all facets of the corporate operations, in a manner that unites rather than divides the NSC organization in the pursuit of its corporate mission.” After that program in 1986, the Corporate Philosophy officially became part of the NSC Mission Statement, which cemented the congruence of goals among NSC’s various publics while harmonized the interests between employees, the corporation and the country (Narciso, 1992) .


Henares, Hilarion M. Jr. (2006), “National Steal Corporation,” Give and Take. Book 9. Manila: Philippine Folio, 2006. back to text

Santos, Bayani Jr. (ed.) (1992), 18th Anniversary Supplement: Milestones. NSC News. Makati: Corporate Communications, NSC, 29 February 1992. pp. 46-47. back to text

San Pedro, Angelo A. (1994) It Was Twenty Years Ago Today . . . NSC News, XIX: 2, Makati: Corporate Communications, NSC, 28 February 1994. pp. 4-5. back to text

Narciso, Rolando S. (1992), “In pursuit of NSC’s reason for being” Speech delivered during the “In Search of the Asian Manager for the year 2000” Conference, Makati: Asian Institute of Management, March 1992. Excerpts published in NSC News, XVII: 3, Makati: Corporate Communications, NSC, 31 March, 1992. pp. 19-22. back to text


1 Comment »

  1. National Shipyards & Steel Corp (NASSCO) was mandated by RA 1396 to spearhead the development of the shipbuilding and iron/steel industries. It successfully established the Mariveles Works (shipbuilding), the Engineer Island Works (ship repair), then the Iligan Works (steel plant with electric arc furnace for melting scrap and rolling mill for making reinforcing bars, supposed to be integrated backwards with an electric smelting furnace to process local ores), and finally the J.Panganiban Smelting Plant in Camarines Norte (small blast furnace for smelting pig iron from local ores). All these plants were constructed and operated by Filipino workforce, engineers and technical personnel with assistance of foreign consultants only during the start up/commissioning stages. All were subsequently privatized; Mariveles & Engineer Island Works to BASECO, Iligan Works to IISMI (Jacinto group) and JP Smelting Plant to Philippine Smelters Corp (Marcelo group).

    During the term of Pres. Cory Aquino she appointed then DOST Sec Antonio Arrizabal (Ph. D. Metallurgical Eng’g, Carnegie), not Larrazabal,as NSC CEO (the appointment can be considered political, professional, technical), and Rolando Narciso (NSC professional, technical) as COO.

    Comment by Estefanio Gacad — 2010.May.23 @ 15:25 | Reply

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