How Filipino companies invest in social good

League of Corporate Foundations

Posted at Jul 24 2017 11:32 AM | Updated as of Jul 24 2017 11:48 AM

MANILA - The League of Corporate Foundations gathered industry leaders to discuss how big businesses in one of the world's fastest-growing economies are giving back to communities.

The LCF, a network of over 80 foundations, hosted the Corporate Social Responsibility Expo in Makati City last week.

The country's largest media and entertainment network, ABS-CBN, shared how its citizen journalism arm evolved to serving as a bridge between communities and aid agencies in times of need from merely receiving complaints and story tips.

"'Yan ang halaga ng citizen journalism. It is giving the communities, lalo na 'yung malalayo sa national media. Karaniwan pinapadala nila yung reports nila sa social media," said Rowena Paraan, head of ABS-CBN's Bayan Mo I-Patrol Mo.

(That's the importance of citizen journalism. It is empowering the communities, especially those who are far from national media. Reports are sent through social media.)

"Sa BMPM, sinasamahan ang online engagement ng on ground activities like citizen journalism workshops, depende sa kailangan ng community," she said.

(At BMPM, we combine online engagement with on ground activities like citizen journalism workshops, depending on the needs of the community.)

BMPM head Rowena Paraan shares how social media can be used for social good. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

Paraan said she was hopeful corporate foundations could also harness social media for their outreach efforts.


Some firms do CSR simply to comply with rules, while some use it as a means for philanthropy and public relations, said Wayne Visser founder and director at Kaleidoscope Futures and CSR International

"What I see less of still, is the transformative ones... I still think companies today find it very difficult to make the extra step and completely transform," Visser said in his keynote speech.

Prof. Wayne Visser speaks before business leaders at the League of Corporate Foundations' CSR Expo in Makati City.. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

To be transformative, Visser said companies must see themselves through the eyes of the community they hoped to serve.

"Companies who haven't got to the stage of maturity must admit they are part of the problem," he said. 

"Only then can we ask, are you ambitious enough to say we're gonna transform our company to be part of the solution?" he added.

Visser said companies should consider the value of what it "destroys" to determine how much it had to give back.

During a recent visit to an auto plant, Visser said he found out that hybrid cars, while fuel efficient, are taxed more simply because they have 2 engines.

"When government policy and financial markets are still punishing you for really doing something sustainable of course that's going to be difficult," he said.


Despite challenges, some companies are going the extra mile.

The Lopez Group has engaged in community-building through ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation's Bantay Bata, Bantay Kalikasan and Oplan Sagip programs.

The Knowledge Channel, meanwhile, helps promote education.

ABS-CBN participates in the League of Corporate Foundation's CSR Expo at Glorietta Mall in Makati City. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

Kuya Maki and the rest of the cast of "Oyayi," ABS-CBN's youth-oriented show, during the League of Corporate Foundation's CSR Expo at Glorietta Mall in Makati City. Patrick Quintos, ABS-CBN News

Operation Smile, a foundation helping kids with cleft palate, is celebrating its 35th year. The foundation has been busy the past few years as social media made them more accessible. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

A representative of Unilab Foundation shares the company's efforts to bring joy and hope to the children recovering from operations and illnesses in hospitals as part of their CSR. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

Batobalani Foundation, a CSR for First Asia Inc., regularly conducts seminars for teachers and school administrators as part of their CSR. They also hold an annual awards ceremony, recognizing the best teachers in the country. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

Pilipinas Shell Foundation has been involved in efforts to help victims of typhoon "Yolanda" build back better. Also, one of their biggest projects is the battle against malaria in several towns. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

Team Energy Foundation, whose mother company operates power generators in Pangasinan, has been engaged in sustainable living projects in the localities they serve. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

Guests take notice of a Filipiniana dress made from recycled materials at the booth of Aboitiz Group of Companies at the CSR Expo. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

Unionbank exhibits its flagship CSR program, "Go Beyond," which allows their employees to conceptualize, pitch, and execute projects that will help their chosen community live in a more sustainable environment. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

Corporate foundations join the CSR Expo at the Glorietta Mall in Makati City. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

Pharmaceutical giant Unilab has been putting up playrooms in hospitals to help young patients heal emotionally and physically.

The company has also been rewarding the youth with innovative ideas on how to respond to community health problems through an annual contest.

One of the winners in Unilab's contests is a group of young men who made an app that enables several barangays in Sta Barbara, Iloilo to respond more quickly.

Unionbank has been allowing its employees to propose and execute sustainable projects for their chosen communities. The lender has logged in at least 13,000 volunteer hours in 3 years.

Shell Philippines has been helping battle the spread of malaria in the countryside by educating communities.

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