Corporate Social Responsibility in the Philippines

Journal Article on CSR in the Philippines: The leaders of some of the largest corporations in the Philippines at the time of massive demonstration in the early 1970 following the imposition of Marital Law and the adverse effect of oil shock that brought the Global Financial crisis pushed more Filipino families into poverty. Thus in year 2000 onwards, pushed by new challenges such as increasingly critical consumers of products and services who demand more from the companies that produce them.

Companies are now being scrutinized as never before and they are made to measure up to standards of environmental sustainability, ethical behavior and governance structures. Questions arise on what else they can do to make poverty history given their access to talent, resources, technology, information and capital. The quality of the company’s response to these questions – the way they express corporate social responsibility – has become as much of an asset as brands, plants and cash.

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Fortunately, many corporations are already responding to these challenges.The battle cry now from the top caliber businessmen operating in the Philippines and to inspire others to follow suit to Corporate Social Responsibility to wit: “Corporate Social Responsibility or “CSR” is doing your business responsibly. It is going beyond compliance to the law, by becoming the supplier or service provider of choice (provision of quality goods and services), employer of choice (fair to employees, compliance with labor laws) and neighbor of choice (going beyond business to serve their communities through corporate citizenship). – Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, Chairman, Ayala Corporation CSR is about giving back to the communities that we serve, sharing with the less fortunate and being able to help our fellow countrymen. CSR of the past was more of just philanthropy. But over the years, it has taken on a different meaning – all good citizens should be involved in social responsibility.

It is not something that you do to enhance you corporate image, it goes deeper than that. ” Manuel M.Lopez, Chairman, Meralco “Corporate responsibility is the belief that corporations have a responsibility to use some of their profits to improve the communities and society in which they do business, and where their employees and families live. ”– Emmett D. Carson, Ph. D. President and CEO, The Minneapolis Foundation. From an accounting point of view, corporate social responsibility, or CSR, is understood in terms of the “triple bottom line,” which refers to financial, social, and environmental reporting.

Thus, it is also part of good corporate governance that companies are increasingly expected to disclose not only their normal financial accounts, but also their social and environmental performance. CSR is today understood to go beyond corporate communication or public relations — as it has been traditionally observed — and companies are now expected to promote CSR as the holistic or comprehensive approach to their business operations.Corporate social responsibility is the response of companies to their people and to the needs of the planet. It may come in the form of a non-profit organization that seeks to address real-world needs of people. Or it may be a profit-oriented company that seeks to deliver goods and services that are beneficial to various customers and to the planet, too!But conclusively, in my own opinion, since it is us, the people, who have done such damaging actions leading to the corresponding harmful reactions in our environment; then it is also us, the people, who should take part in making corrective remedies such as green investing actions leading to a corresponding beneficial reactions in our environment, safety, health and most especially, for our mother earth. Thus, the achievement of a sustainable, living and a greener earth to live in cannot be relied upon our Philippine government actions, concerns and responsibilities alone.We cannot expect that international conferences, its corporate contributions and donations or NGOs’ shows and exhibits can address its concern in the preservation of its resources.

We have to start the awareness from ourselves, from the home, backyard, local government unit in encouraging to steps in joining the fight to preserve the triple P’s bottom line of the small-scaled enterprise trends now, the preservation of our people, planet and profit. First we need to ask not what our country can do for us, but rather ask ourselves what we can do for our country.It is indeed a job well done for our new President Nonoy Aquino, in the “CITIZEN’S ARREST” a group of individuals from Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to apprehend and imposed penalties and/or imposed corresponding community service for caught of throwing candy wrappers, cigarettes butts or those spitting on streets. Even public utility drivers who failed to follow non-smoking signs and install trash bins inside their vehicles should receive citation tickets. Penalties imposed ranged from P500 to P1,000. The violators have 3 days to settle their fines.If they fail to do so, the MMDA will summon them and have their record submitted to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

Litterbugs who do not pay their fines will be unable to get an NBI clearance, according to the MMDA. Those who cannot pay can be asked to render community service, according to MMDA health program chief officer Betty Gendeve. Another worth mentioning is the Marikina local government CCTV cameras installed in Marikina which is solar-powered that can detect the levels of water installed at the footbridge.It will horn if it reaches a certain level. This is one government resolution of Marikina’s local government on the ONDOY tragedy. This incident brought too many lessons to Filipino people in the impact of our lack of discipline in our own waste management that results to the lost of people’s lives, properties like houses and infrastructure, lost of other community development and projects, thus evidently added to the increase of poverty in the Philippines.

If the City of Marikina can afford to have a CCTV camera, then we can also do that in the rest of the Metro Manila or nationwide. It will not only address the water level monitoring, but it can also address the discipline on the throwing of waste by the public in the public areas. Camera can record all those violators and they will be noted for total fines when they get their NBI clearances. The violators, who cannot pay their fines within 3 days, should opt to do 3 days community beautification projects, like tree planting, and street cleaning.

Finally, Filipinos can organized themselves and be engaged in contributing to the activities like health promotion policies, stress management programs, help them to balance work and family needs, rehabilitation of Sports Complex, parks and plazas, where they can join and do outdoor games, do fellowships and sharing, and with it, we can improve living conditions of the community and their well-being, thus they can be kept busy and get away of computer games’ addiction as well as drug addition.In this way, more Filipinos would be rescued from the firm grip of poverty contributing a better quality of life to a socially responsible citizen, with a better outlook, a land of well-educated socially-responsible Philippines as a whole. By: Emerita M. Zornosa, PSBA-Manila-DBA-2010-2011



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