Thursday, April 28, 2011

‘Make CSR part of business agenda’

‘Make CSR part of business agenda’
By Mia A. Aznar
Sun.Star Cebu
April 28, 2011

SAYING that business can thrive if the community it is in also rises, a businessman is challenging local entrepreneurs to include corporate social responsibility in their agenda.

Jose Antonio Aboitiz, Visayas chairman of the Philippine Business for Social Progress, spoke before members of the Rotary Club of Cebu West and urged them to include CSR activities in their companies.

He said that if a community thrives, more businesses succeed.

“In the long run, that social investment comes back,” he said, adding that the private sector should also be involved in nation building.

Aboitiz, who spoke about the PBSP’s water projects around the Visayas, said they work to build communities to bring them out of poverty.

Noting Cebu’s water shortage problem for the past two decades, Aboitiz said one of the better CSR activities for local companies is to join reforestation efforts.

He noted “unusual and alarming” flooding in Cebu.

One of PBSP’s projects in Cebu is to conserve its hilly lands through reforestation.

They have programs to conserve the Buhisan Watershed Forest Reserve and promote it as an eco-tourism destination to reduce poverty through sustainable livelihood.

Aboitiz said that the project will help ensure sustainable water supply for Metro Cebu while improving the quality of life of 498 poor families living in the community.

He said that if a company needs help organizing CSR activities, their organization is willing to help.

He assured that they can design a water project proposal and implement it cost-efficiently for the company.

The organization manages the funds, provides technical supervision and submits progress reports to the donors.

“Corporate social responsibility should be an integral part of business operations. We cannot exclude ourselves from societal issues,” he told those present.

Aboitiz added that the business sector is a “formidable force” and has the discipline to follow through on their projects.