Monday, March 19, 2012

PBSP okayed P112M in projects

PBSP okayed P112M in projects
By Mia A. Aznar
Sun.Star Cebu
March 19, 2012

In the last two years, the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) Visayas Executive Committee approved P112 million in projects, its chairman Jose Antonio Aboitiz reported.

During the organization’s 24th annual membership meeting last week, Aboitiz assured member-companies that their contributions, along with financial assistance from international donors and local companies, were able to fund these projects, which included livelihood, enterprise, environment, education and health programs, as well as business advisory for micro, small and medium enterprises.

In his report, he said these projects were carried out in the provinces of Bohol, Cebu, Guimaras, Iloilo, Leyte, Northeren Samar and Southern Leyte.


He also said that for the period, they were able to record good experiences that are ready to be scaled up or replicated in other areas.

“PBSP positions itself as your organization of choice, as we have concrete programs and business solutions that bridge the gap between profitability and environmental sustainability and complement your business requirements with resources that our assisted communities can ably provide,” he said.

He explained that their corporate-community partnerships work along the value chain of companies. They help communities become suppliers of services or semi-processed goods to help fill the gaps of a company’s supply chain.

As examples, he cited the success of a farming community that has benefitted from their project by bridging them with Bohol-based Jojie’s Bakeshop, makers of peanut delicacies that the province is known for. Other success stories include a group of out-of-school boys, who are now accepting upholstery orders from Kenneth Cobonpue’s furniture company.

Also present during the meeting was the executive director of the Philippine Association of Smelting and Refining Cooperative (Pasar) Foundation, Ruben Cajigas, who shared their experience of training out-of-school youths in Isabela, Leyte to on welding and pipe-fitting skills.


Cajigas said the project benefitted both the company and the community, as it provided the company with much-needed skilled workers providing employment opportunities to out of school youths in the town. He said that because of poverty, about 40 percent of the town’s youth could not go on to college.

By teaching them these skills and allowing them to complete their on the job training at Pasar, Cajigas said have helped 39 out of school youths become Tesda-accredited welders and pipe fitters. Some have also found employment in neighboring companies.

PBSP executive director Rafael Lopa, said that while the PBSP is one of the largest business-backed non-government organizations in the country, the collaboration of all stakeholders is needed to achieve the changes they wish to implement.

He thanked member companies for their contributions, saying these funds have allowed them to embark on several projects that have the endorsement of international donors.

“Your collective giving has capacitated PBSP to absorb the management of huge grants from multi-lateral donor agencies. Most notable are the funding from USAid and Global Fund for TB (tuberculosis) Control,” he said. He added that currently, PBSP manages 40 percent of the total TB Control budget in the country.

He further announced that PBSP is finalizing big grants for classroom construction in public schools to aid in addressing the 66,000 backlog of classrooms in the country.


They are also finalizing the establishment of a. “more inclusive supply chain mechanism” between companies and community-based producers.

Beyond contributing funds, Lopa challenged members to think of ways to scale up successful projects so that more can benefit.

During the meeting, the organization gave recognition to 13 individuals who volunteered their expertise in advising small businesses in agriculture, tourism and manufacturing. Two new companies, Talleco, a business process outsourcing company, and the Venus Group, an exporter, joined the 259 members of the PBSP.