Saturday, July 31, 2010

PBSP celebrates corporate citizenship

PBSP celebrates corporate citizenship

For the corporate sector, July was a busy month – and it was not over profit or selling. In celebration of CSR month, companies of all sizes partnered with Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP), the largest corporate-led foundation in the country, to express their social responsibility.

In the Visayas, various companies partnered with PBSP to help plant mangroves and indigenous trees, provide school supplies and share their expertise – all to help communities build self-reliance.

Education support from The Bellevue Manila
More than 300 public school pupils from the remote barangays of Bohol received school supplies donated by The Bellevue Manila. PBSP and the Bohol Integrated Development Foundation, Inc. helped distribute paper pads, pencils and sharpeners to the children of Malitbog's and Caluasan's farmers,
which were identified by PBSP as having the highest number of dropouts in the previous year. Providing free school supplies will encourage students to stay in school. “The assistance to these pupils is a great help since most of them used their school supplies from the previous year so their parents can save money,” says Malitbog Elementary School Principal Zosima Ampoloquio.

Cebu's reforestation caravan
Through the Cebu Hillylands Reforestation Caravan, PBSP is getting more people involved in the movement to save one of Cebu's major water and ecological resource. Since its kickoff on June 19, increasing number of companies have dedicated their Saturdays to either adopt a hectare for reforestation or send their employee volunteers to plant more trees.

The Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Ernesto Yu Foundation, Petron Corp., Dumaguete City Development Bank, QUALFON Philippines, Inc., DMC Busa Printers, Yamashin Filters Cebu Mfg. Corp., Cebu Dynamic Youth, MSM Cebu, Inc., EURO-CB (Philippines), Inc. and Virginia Foods, Inc. helped PBSP plant more than 17,000 tree seedlings In Cantipla, Cebu City.

Employees from Asiatown IT Park and members from the USC Lion's Club are also slated to join the caravan on July 31 and August 1.

The reforestation caravan runs from June 19 to September 25.

Organic farm tour with Bridges Town Square
Gaining more viable returns is also about bringing the market closer to your products. With Bridges Town Square and PR Works Cebu, PBSP organized a tour for print media representatives and Cebu's top bloggers to visit assisted farms with organically grown products.

The tour showcased Sudlon's salad crops and Tabunan's “pinakbet” ingredients, which can be directly bought in Bridges Town Square's Kumprahan Supermerkado.

Kumprahan Supermerkado is the first of its kind that allows farmers to sell directly to its consumers on a rent-free space, eliminating the middlemen and allowing farmers to sell their products for better returns.

Seaweeds training by MCPI
Twenty-four fishermen from Cebu and Bohol are now getting into the lucrative production of high-quality seaweeds with help from MCPI Corporation. The company recently held a training on integrated seaweeds farming for the fishermen at MCPI's Ocean Farming and Research Center in Danajon Reef, Bien Unido, Bohol.

The three-day training taught fishermen how to properly grow and harvest seaweeds as well as prevent diseases which may result to poor harvests. As part of the training, the fisherfolk will receive assistance in setting up a 2.5-hectare seaweed farm which will expand to eight hectares after three planting cycles.

The project, which is also in partnership with the German Development Service/Deutscher Entwicklungsdienst (DED) and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), aims to help to provide an alternative source of livelihood in the marine market as well as decrease the number of seaweeds imported from India and Malaysia. It is sponsored by MCPI, BFAR and DED's Strategic Corporate-Community Partnerships for Social Progress (SCOPE) Program.

Cathay Pacific's CSR getaway
Cathay Pacific showed that spending a weekend getaway on an island paradise can also be an opportunity to help out. While visiting the scenic island of Olango, Lapu-lapu City, employees from Cathay Pacific Cargo Philippines, U-Freight Philippines, Vascor Cebu, Centurion Security Agency, TGC, Kwe, DHL and YAS spent their time planting 1,000 mangrove trees with the grade one pupils of POO Elementary School.

Cathay Pacific Manager Camila Taylor, Centurion Security Vice President for Finance Jasmine Pages and DHL Vice President for the Visayas and Mindanao JC Cergneux led their employees in distributing school bags, notebooks, pencils, sharpeners and crayons to the pupils and engaging in story-telling with the children.

“We are very happy that they really spent their time to come to our school and give school supplies for my child. Now I can save more money to spend for his other needs,” said Cheryl Fernandez, 28, mother of 6-year-old Rainier.

Aside from the school supplies, the employees also sent personalized greeting cards for the children to encourage them to study hard.

Coffee table book on CSR
 Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is defined at its best through PBSP's coffee table book entitled “A Better Life, Stories of Corporate Social Responsibility.”

“A Better Life,” the first book published in the country dedicated to corporate social responsibility (CSR), features the CSR milestones of PBSP’s operations in the Visayas in the areas of livelihood and enterprise, education, health, and the environment. It also honors the projects of 32 Philippine companies, which makes the book a valuable resource material for companies, CSR practitioners, civil society, academe and individuals who wanted to know more about helping communities through CSR.

Each copy of “A Better Life” is P2,550.00, inclusive of 12% VAT, and is exclusively sold at PBSP's Visayas Regional Office in Cebu City.

Employee Volunteers Give
Aside from participating in various events, companies and employee volunteers are also helping build better lives through online giving. PBSP has joined Global Giving, an online platform that connects donors to project beneficiaries worldwide. Through the Global Giving site, employees and officers of various companies are pooling their online donations for the construction of more mini dams in Bohol.

The online campaign, which aims to raise $4,000.00 for the construction of six more mini dams, will end on July 31, 2010.

All these examples show how more businesses are working with PBSP to expand their role in society. Beyond CSR Month ends, PBSP works all year to engage more corporate citizens to help create better lives by participating in its roster of developmental projects. For more details, interested companies may contact PBSP through (032) 232-5270 and 232-5283 or send an email to pbspvro@pbsp.org.ph.