Corporate Social Responsibility: How it helps society
Helping handsHere at home, it helps the poorest of the poor. In 2011 alone, Petron had 4,513 elementary pupils and 439 high school students on scholarship and trained 3,199 teachers in basic subjects. It also conducted medical missions that gave attention to around 5,000 individuals and fed 23,000 at soup kitchens. That same year, Isuzu Philippines expanded its existing CSR program with an agro-forestry project. Partnering with the World Wildlife Fund, it adopted a forest in the Northern Sierra Madre National Park and initiated an education and skill-training campaign for farmers. The company donated 6,500 seedlings to jumpstart the planting. Aside from addressing longstanding social problems like poverty and out-of-school youths, companies with CSR frameworks also provide immediate assistance and relief to people living in disaster-stricken areas. For example, in the aftermath of the devastating Typhoon Sendong, Canon donated P2.8 million (5 million yen) through Japan Red Cross Society to aid victims. An additional P300,000 was donated by Canon’s Philippine office. Shell contributed P2 million, split between the ABS-CBN Foundation and the GMA Kapuso Foundation. Epson gave P1 million. While a lot of companies are planning and implementing their own CSR efforts, others choose to pool their resources and share the burden to maximize the positive impact and efficiently reach common goals. The Philippine Business for Social Progress, an organization of Philippine businesses for social change, is an implementer of development projects on behalf of the private sector and a promoter of corporate citizenship as a model for poverty reduction in the country. It has over 230 corporate members, all of which have contributed to various social programs, such as education, health, livelihood and environment. Through P7.6 billion in grants and development loans and assistance in more than 6,400 projects, the PBSP has directly benefited over 5 million Filipinos. Meanwhile, the PBSP Center for Corporate Citizenship develops and promotes strategies for corporations that wish to initiate CSR programs. It also tracks the progress of these initiatives, 40 of which can be found on the PBSP website (www.pbsp.org.ph). These include the Aboitiz Group of Companies’ building of 261 classrooms and donation of over 1,000 computers to schools, among other accomplishments; Unilever Philippines’ efforts on the rehabilitation of the Pasig River and the conservation of Laguna de Bay; and CDO Foodsphere’s comprehensive feeding program that has resulted in the recovery of 1,600 malnourished children. With a majority of the top corporations, both here and abroad, engaging in CSR, governments don’t have to do all the work. Because these practices are usually based on what stakeholders want, virtually no sector of society is neglected and forgotten.