Tuesday, January 18, 2011

PNoy to grace PBSP's 40th gala

PNoy to grace PBSP's 40th gala
By Jose Rodel Clapano
The Philippine Star
January 18, 2011

MANILA, Philippines - President Aquino will grace the 40th anniversary gala dinner of the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP), whose members include the country’s top corporate leaders and chief executive officers, in Makati on Jan. 25.

PBSP media relations officer Mitchel Confesor said the gala event will topbill chairpersons and CEOs of more than 200 PBSP member-companies all over the country and members from the international donor community.

Confesor said PBSP chairman Manny Pangilinan will lead four other trustees in presenting the symbolic renewal to Aquino on their commitment to the national development agenda, primarily in PBSP’s four pillars or key areas.

“The four trustees will act as the PBSP board champions of the four focus areas of health, education, livelihood and enterprise development, and the environment. PBSP, the nation’s oldest and largest business group into social development, is the first of its kind in Asia as a corporate-driven development foundation. Since 1970, PBSP has been the country’s pioneer in corporate citizenship and social responsibility practices,” she said.

Confesor said for four decades, the PBSP was able to deliver more than 6,400 projects worth a total P5.2 billion, benefiting and uplifting the lives of at least 5.1 million Filipinos.

She added that in the past 40 years, PBSP has been at the forefront of poverty reduction initiatives as well as social development programs on health, primarily on tuberculosis, and on basic education, particularly in facilitating the provision of textbooks, tables and armchairs, and school buildings.

“Other PBSP initiatives have included programs on small business advisory and livelihood enterprise development as well as on the environment, including farmland area resource and coastal resource management, disaster coordination and risk reduction, and caring for the rainforests and watersheds.”

Confesor also cited that between 2009 and 2010, PBSP’s corporate membership contribution alone grew as much as 46 percent.

She said the PBSP is the recipient of over 43 million euros or more than P2.5 billion from the Global Fund to fight tuberculosis in the country.

The PBSP is set to honor during the Jan. 25 gala its pioneers, namely Washington Sycip, Sixto Roxas III and Ambassadors Howard Dee, Jose M. Soriano and Emilio Abello Sr. (posthumous), considered the father of green energy in the country.

Ma. Luisa Perez-Rubio and Amb. Bienvenido Tan Jr. will be recognized for their active service, while Angelo King will be feted with an audio-visual tribute.

Among those who pioneered PBSP in 1970 were Sycip of accounting firm SGV, Roxas, Andres Soriano Jr. of San Miguel Corp., Soriano of Atlas Consolidated Mining, Dee of pharmaceutical firm United Laboratories, Bienvenido Tan Jr. of Philippine Tobacco and Modern Glass and Abello of Manila Electric Co.

Another PBSP pioneer in 1970 was Shell Philippines executive Luzio Mazzei, the Venezuelan national who was crucial in arranging an exchange visit between Philippine business leaders and the head of the Venezuelan foundation Dividendo Voluntario para la Comunidad, which became the model for PBSP.

After the PBSP pioneers’ visit to Venezuela, the executive director of Dividendo was invited to the Philippines to share his knowledge and expertise.

PBSP pioneers, inspired by the 1963 Dividendo model from a group of Venezuelan industrialists, would later adopt the member contribution of one percent of business income before tax for programs on corporate social responsibility.

Under the plan, member companies would pledge one percent of their net income before tax for social development work.  Of this, 60 percent would be given to the foundation and the remaining 40 percent they would retain for their own social development activities.

Within PBSP’s first year alone, member-companies increased from 50 to 137.  By mid-2010, PBSP peaked at a membership of 263.