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)