Thursday, March 08, 2012

PBSP empowers Pinoys via sustainable programs

PBSP empowers Pinoys via sustainable programs 
By Grace Melanie I. Lacamiento 
The Freeman
March 08, 2012

CEBU, Philippines - Standing as a sturdy channel for business executives of large companies, a non-government organization known as Philippine Business for Social Progress strategically manages sustainable programs to deliver social responsibility to the Filipino citizenry.

Founded by 50 Filipino business leaders in December 1970, PBSP now is a corporate-led organization of 250 member companies unified towards socio-economic progress.

PBSP executives, along with social development professionals, continue to develop strategies and sustainable programs empowering the poor towards self-reliance.

Visayas Regional Operations Manager Jessie Cubijano said that the business sector felt the need to contribute to the sustainability of the environment and the development of the society.

He added that with the help of the financial resources from local member companies and international leverage funds from Europe, Australian and United States, the foundation deliberately operates nationwide through programs on health, education, environment and livelihood and enterprise.

In support of the Millennium Development Goals, PBSP makes sure that the impact to the society is holistic and maintainable.

Responding to climate change, the foundation commits itself to reforest some of the country’s critical watersheds and ensure water supply.

Moreover, it focuses on projects in capacitating rural health units to increase detection, cure and prevention rate on diseases especially tuberculosis.

PBSP also aims to help promote quality education among children through constructing classrooms nationwide, providing books and other school supplies and offering educational assistance.

In assistance of poverty-reduction in the country, PBSP leads programs on community-based sustainable livelihood and enterprise development, trainings, business advisory, and market development support in which people living in the communities learn the discipline of entrepreneurship and the value of sustainable income.

“We base our income projects that the market is ready for it. These projects must be within the value chain to ensure sustainable income for the people. We nurture the group but we still ensure we do not create the line of dependency,” Cubijano said.

He added that the foundation aims to promote financial and organizational development and the capacity to link with other partners in the business sectors which overall leads to self-reliance among people.

Meanwhile, a joint initiative between PBSP and the Deutsche Gessellschaft fur Internationale Zummenarbeit (GIZ) since 2004 has created Strategic Corporate-Community Program (SCOPE) which supports Philippine-based companies to engage communities and marginalized groups in income generating activities that are related to companies' core businesses.

PBSP Program Officer for Strategic Corporate for Local Development Cris Evert Lato said that the SCOPE has helped the private sectors in doing their business, opening various and more income opportunities for Filipinos in return.

“This program is actually a business-friendly approach to Corporate Social Responsibility. And at the end of the day, we are actually helping the people at the same time,” she told The Freeman.

Lato also enumerated some running programs of SCOPE such as the private sector’s effort in enterprise development, youth empowerment through skills training, youth training on welding and additional income for rice farmers through peanut growing.

SCOPE does not aim to create a new product but to take part in existing products; thus producing skilled vendors and quality semi-processed products for a prevailing market and creating a win-win situation between the enterprise and the local community.

PBSP, now a 41-year old association, is governed by 21-member Board of Trustees (BOT) who sets policies related to programs, resources, management and investment.

Manuel Pangilinan of Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. stands as the chairman of the national BOT together with PBSP Executive Director Rafael Lopa and Visayas Executive Committee Chairman Jose Antonio Aboitiz.

Nominated by a trustee committee and appointed by the full board, PBSP trustees generally serve two three-year terms, all committed towards a collectively defined development goal.