Friday, February 20, 2009

The 21st Visayas Annual Membership Meeting: The Sounds & Images Part 1

21st PBSP Visayas Annual Membership Meeting
February 18, 2009, Casino Español de Cebu, Cebu City

Corporate Citizenship in the Face of Challenges

"Every year, we of PBSP in the Visayas go the distance to gather all of you in this annual occasion so we may honor your invaluable contributions to PBSP’s human development accomplishments. The VAMM is all about you. The challenging paths that PBSP has chosen to trek all these years became more bearable and the horizons we aimed to reach sparkled with inspiration because of you who have selflessly helped us along the way." Mr. Jose Antonio Aboitiz, Chairman of PBSP in the Visayas and Representative of Aboitiz & Company, welcomed the guests of PBSP's 21st Visayas Annual Membership Meeting.
In her acknowledgment of guests, PBSP Visayas Executive Committee Member and Partner of SGV & Co., Ms. Maria Madeira R. Vestil quoted a great statesman of the world, Winston Churchill, “If we are together, nothing is impossible. If we are divided all will fail.” Ms. Vestil further added that “throughout the years, PBSP has realized numerous possibilities, positive differences in the lives of thousands of families, because each and every one of you (member companies and partners) helped us meet our goals.”

Mr. Jose Levi S. Villanueva, Vice Chairman of PBSP Visayas Executive Committee and Senior Vice President of Union Bank of the Philippines, led the VIXCOM in welcoming three new member companies. Prior to the recognition of new member companies, Mr. Villanueva shared the Statement of Commitment crafted in 1970 by the 50 founding members of PBSP that closes in these inspired lines: “We hereby declare our commitment to the Philippine Business for Social Progress, which shall be private enterprise’s social development arm dedicated to the empowerment of the poor and the self-reliance of communities.”

The three new PBSP members are Espina, Perez-Espina & Associates, The Mayflower Inn, and Virginia Foods, Incorporated. PBSP’s roster of members is now 241.
Espina, Perez-Espina & Associates is a professional partnership composed of family members with expertise in architecture, engineering, planning, landscape architecture, and interior design.
Established in 1953, The Mayflower Inn Provides hotel quality service for businessmen and budget travelers and manages other popular Cebu City destinations such as Elicon House and West Gorordo Hotel.
Virginia Foods is Cebu-based meat processing company. It produces and distributes frozen processed meat and canned goods for consumers nationwide, and some of its popularly known products are El Rancho and Winner.

The three new member companies (from left): Architect Omar Maxwell Espina, Partner of Espina, Perez-Espina & Associates; Mr. Stanley Go, Vice President of Sales and Marketing of Virginia Foods, Inc.; and Mr. Jose Ma. Eliseo C. Lee, Chief Executive Officer of The Mayflower Inn.
“In my years as a journalist, I have had several encounters with real life challenges that have changed lives, altered history, and helped shape our ever evolving social consciousness. As a member of PBSP, I have had the privilege of getting front row seats to witness real people – farmers, fisher folks, urban poor workers, disaster victims, poor children, small entrepreneurs – overcoming life’s challenges to better serve their families and their communities.

“These are ordinary people. Their accomplishments are down to earth and simple. The challenges that they have faced are, in several respects, similar to the tests that have confronted many communities in our country and many societies in our world. But, their unheralded stories and unsung accomplishments have made positive differences in the places that they call home.”

Ms. Eileen G. Mangubat, VIXCOM Member and Publisher of Cebu Daily News, enlightened the 21st VAMM guests on the inspiring stories that will grace PBSP in the Visayas’ coffee table book project, “A Better Life, Stories of Corporate Social Responsibility,” that will come out in July 2009.

Ms. Mangubat asked the audience, “What color is your paddle?” For PBSP, the colored paddles that grace the 21st VAMM are symbolic of the corporate social responsibility projects engaged by Philippine business. The paddles – red for poverty reduction, green for environmental conservation, blue for health and water, yellow for education, and orange for enterprise development – have steered many communities and families to greater heights.

Atty. Hidelito Pascual, PBSP VIXCOM Member, Chairman of the Metro Cebu Workforce Development & Education Program, and Chairman of Organizational Performance Associates, Inc., introduced the Tabok Workers’ Multi-Purpose Cooperative. Tabok was formed in 1997 by Pacific Traders and Manufacturing Corporation and PBSP. Tabok is composed of skilled workers retrenched during the onslaught of the 1997 Asian Economic crisis.

The story of Tabok Workers’ Multi-Purpose Cooperative is a story of the triumph of the human spirit. Tabok embraced the challenge of Pacific Traders and PBSP by forming themselves into a cooperative. Today, they are one of the subcontractors of Pacific Traders, have over 1,000 members from the original 90, have their own building and workplace, and possess at least P10 million in assets. This triumphant story was delivered by Tabok’s Board of Director, Mr. Francisco Bakunawa, a founding member of Tabok.

The VIXCOM honored an outgoing PBSP member – Mr. N. Tolentino Gallares of First Consolidated Bank (FCB) for his six years of service. Accepting the plaque of appreciation is Mr. Dionisio Baseleres (center) of FCB and a new VIXCOM member. With him are VIXCOM members, Mr. Ricardo Santiago of PASAR Corporation & Mr. Aboitiz.

The path to a better life was also taken by a PBSP partner – the Center for International Education (CIE) via its Pearl Principle Formation School or PPFS. A PPFS is a provider of quality basic education for children ages four to eight years old. It is also a social enterprise because it will be managed by a cooperative, a community-based organization, or an NGO. Pearls stand for Passionate, Ethical, Action-oriented, Results-focused, Leaders of Society.

With the guidance of CIE and PBSP, a new PPFS will be administered by the Tabok Workers’ Multi-Purpose Cooperative. Signing the memorandum of agreement, from left, are Mr. Francisco Bakunawa of Tabok, Prof. Nelia Cruz Sarcol, Founding President of CIE; Mr. Jose Antonio Aboitiz.

21st PBSP Visayas Annual Membership Meeting: The Sounds & Images Part 2

More than 200 guests attended the 21st VAMM, majority of which came from the business sector – the heart of PBSP. Other guests represented the government, consulates, donor agencies, non-government organizations, community-based organizations, academe and media.

Mr. Wilsong Ng of Ng Khai Development Corporation – a PBSP member company – led his band, The Asian Troubadours, in delivering the Doxology and the Philippine National Anthem. The Asian Troubadours earlier treated the guests to renditions of modern classics.

The 21st VAMM exhibit at the lobby of Casino Español de Cebu was an elaborate retrospection of PBSP’s 21-year presence in the Visayas. Since PBSP first opened its Visayas Regional Office in Cebu City in 1988, more than 1,400 projects worth P498.9 million have been implemented in 13 provinces. Of the total projects, 75% focused on poverty reduction and enterprise development, while the other 25% were dedicated for education, health and water, and environmental conservation.

The efficient registration process was made possible by Ng Khai Development Corporation – a proud PBSP member company.

A Better Life: Stories of Corporate Social Responsibility

YELLOW means freedom from ignorance.
At PBSP, we empower children and youth through quality education.

BLUE means better health and cleaner water.
At PBSP, we secure access to clean water and quality health care for the poor.

RED means a little less poverty.
At PBSP, we provide sustainable livelihood to reduce poverty in many communities.

GREEN means giving back what we take out.
At PBSP, we go the distance to heal the environment.

ORANGE means growing healthy enterprises.
At PBSP, we pool technical and financial resources to spur the growth of small business.

A Better Life honors Corporate Social Responsibility. The dimensions of A Better Life are 12 x 12 inches and 12 x 24 inches when spread. There are 200 full color pages. Proceeds of A Better Life will fund reforestation projects in the Central Cebu Protected Landscape and Olango Island. A Better Life is coming out this July 2009!

Be part of A Better Life. Be a Cebu Flowerpecker sponsor at P100,000. Flowepeckers get two (2) pages and a one-hectare reforestation site named after the company. Or be a Cebu Black Shama or Siloy sponsor at P50,000. Siloys get one page and will be involved in the PBSP’s reforestation caravans. Sponsors will receive complementary copies of A Better Life and will be featured in the project’s promotional activities.

For more information, please contact Jessie Cubijano (jmcubijano@pbsp.org.ph) or Malu Largo (mblargo@pbsp.org.ph) at (032) 232-5270 or 232-5283. Visit PBSP in the Visayas at the 4/F PLDT Building, Juan Luna Ave., Mabolo, Cebu City.

Be part of A Better Life!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Firms urged to do CSR

Sun.Star Cebu
February 19, 2009

THE chairman of the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) Visayas executive committee is encouraging more homegrown companies to implement corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs.

PBSP Visayas executive committee chairman Jose Antonio Aboitiz said that if more local companies implement CSR projects, the community would reap more benefits.

Aboitiz, who represents the Aboitiz group in the PBSP, said out of 54 PBSP member companies in Cebu, 45 are local firms while the others are branches of multinational corporations.

But this number is only 25 percent of the 241 total member-base of PBSP nationwide.

Aboitiz, in an interview during the PBSP Visayas annual membership meeting yesterday, said recruitment for new members was “fairly good” last year.

New members

Yesterday, PBSP welcomed three new members, all homegrown Cebuano companies. These are Virginia Foods Inc., Mayflower Inn and Espina, Perez and Espina, a professional service provider for architecture, engineering and planning. The companies committed to allot a part of their income to social development.

Stanley Go, vice president for sales and marketing of Virginia Foods, told Sun.Star Cebu that the company was first interested to adopt a school near its plant in Compostela town through the “Balik Baterya Program.”

Under the program, the adopted school will receive P40,000 in school supplies once the host company collects a certain number of batteries for recycling.

“It will allow us to give back to the community where we are operating,” he said.

Go heard that PBSP’s programs are aligned with what Virginia Foods intends to do. “So we (decided to) course (our project) through PBSP since we don’t have a foundation,” he added.

Despite present financial conditions, Aboitiz said, PBSP will not cut its budget for different programs. Instead, the group will focus on expanding its flagship Area Resource Management (ARM) program, he added.

At present, there are 10 ARM areas nationwide, eight of which are based in the Visayas. The ARM program aims to provide basic health services, education and access to clean water, as well as raise awareness on environmental protection among underprivileged communities in the country. (DME)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

21st Visayas Annual Membership Meeting

21st Visayas Annual Membership Meeting
Wednesday, February 18, 2009, Casino Español de Cebu, Cebu City

Corporate Citizenship in the Face of Challenges

Cebu Daily News
18 February 2009

The Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) in the Visayas is holding its 21st Visayas Annual Membership Meeting (VAMM) today, February 18, 2009, at the Salon de España, Casino Español de Cebu, Cebu City. The theme of the 21st VAMM is “Corporate Citizenship in the Face of Challenges.” PBSP is a private and non-profit foundation dedicated to promoting business sector commitment to social development.

More than a decade ago, the Philippines was also gripped by the Asian Economic Crisis, which retrenched thousands of workers. At that time, PBSP was implementing the Metro Cebu High Growth Area Program. Our goal then was to equip Cebuano workers with skills that would match the requirements of new industries, majority of which focused on exports. The financial crash turned the city’s priority on its head with the issue no longer on the quality of workers, but the availability of jobs itself.

PBSP responded to the challenge and launched the Metro Cebu Workforce Development and Education Program (MCWDEP). PBSP organized the retrenched workers into workers’ cooperatives. Today, assisted coops continue to earn income through production of furniture, fashion accessories and house wares, food processing, and community-based enterprises. MCWDEP is one of eight poverty reduction programs managed by PBSP in the Visayas.

Promoting Corporate Citizenship in the Visayas

The commitment of the Visayas business sector to PBSP’s efforts in the region became indelible with the creation of the Visayas Executive Committee in 1987. The following year, the PBSP Visayas Regional Office was opened. By 1989, PBSP partnered with the Cebu City Government and Cebu business sector for the Cebu Hillyland Development Program to address two challenges – poverty and environmental degradation in the hillylands. Through the years, 12 more provinces in the Visayas were reached through 1,400 projects worth P498.9 million.

Poverty reduction in Cebu

In the Cebu hillylands, the Cebu Watershed Management Program is making positive changes in the lives of 2,500 families. Before, hillylands residents were unaware of the high value crops that can be yielded by their vast agricultural lands. With PBSP’s assistance, they now produce high value vegetables, cutflowers, abaca and organic fertilizers,and raise livestock to augment their income.

More than 5,000 hectares have been reforested through partnerships with business, government, donor agencies and communities. In 2008, the Save the Buhisan Watershed Project was launched. PBSP aims to rehabilitate Buhisan, provide income opportunities for its poor residents, and transform it into an eco-tourism destination.

The Metro Cebu Workforce Development and Education Program (MCWDEP) continues to assist workers cooperatives and community-based organizations. Under the quality education advocacy of MCWDEP, PBSP supports the high school division of the Science and Technology Education Center, which pools together the best elementary graduates and provides them with information and communication technology (ICT)-based instructions recommended by the business community.

Meanwhile, Coalition for Better Education brings together representatives from business, academe, government and civil society to improve the education curriculum, hones teachers for competence in ICT for education, in teaching Science, Mathematics, English and values, and involves the larger community as education stakeholders.

PBSP further responded to poverty and environmental degradation in Olango Island. Through the Olango Island Development Program, PBSP provides family health services such as medicines, consultations, feeding and family planning counseling while sanitary toilets and potable water systems were constructed. Twenty hectares of mangrove sites have been reforested while environmental education is taught in the island’s public elementary schools.

In 2008, PBSP in partnership with the Philippine Amateur Swimming Association and Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort & Spa, held the first Olango Challenge: Swim for A Cause. Seventy-three swimmers crossed the five-kilometer wide Gilutungan channel to vie for gold, raise funds for livelihood and education projects, promote environmental conservation and educate the public about the importance of swimming.

Rebuilding lives through sustainable disaster response

In 2006, the landslide in St. Bernard, Southern Leyte almost buried the dreams of people in the village of Guinsaugon. PBSP and its donors and partners helped the landslide survivors spring back to life through productive activities such as the production of concrete hollow blocks and bamboo-based furniture, skills training on masonry and carpentry, vermiculture, growing of vegetables and ornamental plants, and processing of food and virgin coconut oil. Water, education and other basic social services were channeled to the rehabilitation site so the survivors are encouraged to start their lives anew.

The Southern Leyte Rehabilitation Program also made mariculture a viable livelihood option in the community. Today, Guinsaugon survivors have made St. Bernard an important supplier of large quantities of milkfish and high value fish species in Region 8.

In August 2006, a massive oil spill in the island province of Guimaras affected its primary source of income: fishing. PBSP provided alternative livelihood projects such as vegetable growing and hog raising. The people now also grow and market seaweeds to areas like Cebu.

In June 2008, Typhoon Frank ravaged Iloilo. Among the ravaged areas were the rice bowls of the province. In response, PBSP provided immediate relief assistance. As a long-term support, PBSP provided rice farmers access to financial assistance for training, technical support, and marketing of farm yields.

Innovative marine and upland technologies

Bohol used to be one of the poorest provinces in the country and the limited knowledge in farm productivity was one of the main causes of poverty. PBSP responded by implementing projects on palay trading and rice farming, which transformed the farmers into net rice exporters. Vegetable growing, livestock raising, agroforestry and consumer store operations were also introduced while households have accessed water for irrigation and domestic use.

Samar is the home of PBSP’s innovative Coastal and Upland Technology Testing and Verification Center. The center is located along Maqueda Bay, which provides food to 14 towns in Western Samar. The center has a multi-species hatchery containing fish fry and fingerlings that have high market values. Counteracting the depletion of Maqueda Bay, the center tests and validates culture systems of high value marine species. Tested technologies are adapted by fisher folk yielding for them better income.

Planting the seed of Corporate Citizenship

The eight ARM programs in the Visayas reached 27,000 families in 2008 alone. After 21 years in the Visayas, PBSP commits itself to more years of business empowering the poor. In the face of challenges, PBSP will continue planting the seeds of corporate citizenship to realize a collective goal – a better life for all Filipinos.

The establishment of PBSP in 1970 was a revolutionary move by the Philippine business community---strategic response to the socio-economic turmoil of the times. Fifty of the country’s top business leaders consolidated their efforts to uplift the quality of life of the Filipino poor through PBSP. Since then, PBSP’s programs on livelihood and enterprise development, health and water, education and environmental conservation have reached four million Filipinos.

In 2008, PBSP’s membership grew to 238 companies from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. PBSP members contributed P75.84 million, which were leveraged to generate additional P247.60 million from donor agencies and other partners. More than 200,000 poor Filipinos benefited from PBSP’s grants and financial assistance in 2008 that reached P300.92 million.

PBSP’s Area Resource Management (ARM) Program

The Area Resource Management (ARM) is PBSP’s flagship poverty reduction program. ARM provides sustainable livelihood opportunities and enterprise development support to disadvantaged groups---landless rural workers, sustenance and marginal farmers and fisherfolk, disaster victims, and urban poor.

To ensure sustainability, ARM employs an integrated approach involving provision of access of the poor to basic social services, environmental conservation, livelihood generation, and creation of cooperatives and community-based organizations that will eventually implement the projects on their own when PBSP phases out.

Eight ARM programs are currently implemented in Cebu, Western Samar, Bohol, Guimaras, Southern Leyte, and Iloilo.

Message of Her Excellency, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo



Congratulations to the Philippine Business for Social Progress as you hold your 21st Visayas Annual Membership Meeting!

PBSP has shown that corporate citizenship can indeed improve lives. For nearly four decades, your 238 member companies and corporate social responsibility partners have vigorously implemented projects to fight poverty in the Philippines. Your programs on poverty reduction, health and water, education and enterprise development have improved the quality of life of many Filipinos in the Visayas, most especially in the provinces of Bohol, Cebu, Guimaras, Iloilo, Samar, and Southern Leyte.

The theme of this year’s gathering, “Corporate Citizenship in the Face of Challenges,” demonstrates once again PBSP’s firm commitment to human development amidst the global economic crisis. More than ever, it is during these times that your corporate social responsibility would manifest their relevance. Our people, especially those in the depressed areas, would need your continued support.

Together, let us continue to enrich more lives and give hope to our people.

Mabuhay ang PBSP!


18 February 2009

Thursday, February 05, 2009

21st Visayas Annual Membership Meeting

PBSP's 21st Visayas Annual Membership Meeting will be held this February 18, 2009, 11:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M. at Salon de España, Casino Español de Cebu, V. Ranudo St. Cebu City. The Keynote Speaker is respected economist Prof. Solita Collas-Monsod.

For more information about PBSP's 21st Visayas Annual Membership Meeting, please call the PBSP Visayas Regional Office at (032) 232.5270 or 232.5283. You can also email at jmcubijano@pbsp.org.ph or mblargo@pbsp.org.ph.