Sunday, March 20, 2011

Foundation cites Cebu industries as key partner

Foundation cites Cebu industries as key partner
By Katlene O. Cacho
Sun.Star Cebu
March 20, 2011

THE corporate-led social development foundation, Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP), sees Cebu industries as an important partner in the implementation of its projects here. The organization also hopes to strengthen further the public-private partnership (PPP) to fully address the poverty problems in the country.

PBSP executive director Rafael Lopa, during the recent 23rd PBSP Visayas Annual Membership Meeting, said Cebu’s major industries like furniture, house ware and fashion accessories, which are in demand globally, are in the position to promote “value chain integration strategy in southern Philippines.”

The value chain approach is PBSP’s primary strategy in business development services.

It focuses on linking small farmers and micro producers to the supply chain of more established business enterprises to establish a “more inclusive economic growth.”

“As part of the realignment of projects with the country’s development agenda, PBSP will gear up to link the community and sectoral-based livelihood projects with the value chain of mainstream business enterprises to help ensure that the products and services of the people at the base of the social pyramid have sustainable markets,” Lopa said.

In the same event, Lopa also praised the efforts of Visayas companies in the promotion of the organization’s livelihood projects.

In the area of agriculture, Visayas companies helped rice producers in Iloilo export their produce to other provinces.

Lopa also lauded the health projects of the region, particularly those that improve access to maternal and child healthcare.

He said the foundation is strengthening initiatives in communities to stop tuberculosis, with the support of US Aid and the Global Fund.

Lopa also lauded the efforts in saving the Cebu hillylands.

He also said that the foundation hopes to strengthen the PPP for education initiatives. He said PBSP is working to revive the 57-75 movement with other partners.

“Our focus is on addressing the classroom backlog in the country, and we will work with the Department of Education and Department of Interior and Local Government to bring private sector resources and expertise to fill the gap,” he said.

The 57-75 Education Reform Alliance is a consortium of private sector institutions aiming to “reverse the education crisis” through focused interventions and school-community actions. The number 57 indicates the current situation of the Philippine public education system as the national average score in percentage points among public elementary school students in the National Achievement Test (NAT), while the number 75 symbolizes the state of education which the country would want to achieve in five years.

PBSP is also in current talks with two major aid organizations for the foundation’s education and livelihood development advocacies.