Browse through a listing of the Philippines’ top 100 companies and
you can find upon closer look that these companies focus not only on
tasks that relate to their business operations, but also on
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as part of their programs.
There is a lot to gain even with activities that do not directly
deal with your business. CSR has helped these companies not only
promote their respective institutional image and build their
reputation, but also to sustain consumer awareness and patronage of
their brands and services.
However, CSR does not necessarily
equate to charity or mere philanthropic dole-outs. One does not
simply “give a man fish,” rather, it is more important to teach him
how to fish. More meaningful CSR efforts are on people empowerment.
They provide consumers the means for a stable livelihood, which
could eventually stimulate the market and help contribute to sales
growth of the products or services that the companies are providing,
and ultimately build a better nation for every Filipino.
A good example of CSR
through a successful people empowerment program is the STAR
(Sari-Sari Store Training and Access to Resources) Program of
Coca-Cola FEMSA Philippines, the country’s leading soft drinks
manufacturer. This program was launched in 2011 in partnership with
the government’s Technical Education and Skills Development
Authority (TESDA). It benefits women micro-entrepreneurs who own and
manage community sari-sari stores or small carinderia
STAR helps these women overcome barriers and achieve
success in their micro-ventures by giving them access to resources,
TESDA training, and peer mentoring. This way, the program improves
how the women deal with their small sari-sari stores, indirectly
affecting Coca-Cola as these outlets contribute a huge amount to
Coca-cola’s annual sales. As of the first half of 2017, this program
was reported to have impacted the lives of over 80,000 women.
Cultivating a better community
San Miguel Corporation
(SMC), one of the Philippines’ and Southeast Asia’s top business
conglomerates, has another noteworthy CSR initiative that seeks to
foster a better place to live in and help create communities more
conducive to business. The San Miguel Foundation, CSR implementer
for SMC, was recently reported to build a drug rehabilitation
facility in Bataan.
SMC has committed to build and fund
several of such facilities under its billion-peso assistance to the
government in combatting the drug problem in the country. The
Department of Health will run the Bataan facility, while a nonprofit
organization, Pilipinong May Puso Foundation, will develop
and provide programs for the recovering drug dependents to attain
capability-building and sustainable livelihood, thus becoming
productive members of society.
Heart for Volunteerism
Globe recognizes its
employees’ passion for service and their desire to be agents of
change. In fact, everyone is provided with two (2) days of Volunteer
Time-Off annually, specifically to participate in volunteerism or
CSR activities of their choice. Internally, the company provides
activity-based and skill-based volunteering to support the work of a
partner group or community, gathering employees who want to join
various advocacies and provide pro-bono services, skills transfer,
or capacity building.
As a company, Globe is very proactive
in reaching out to partner with organizations and pursue causes that
will aid in “Creating a Globe of Good”. As one of the top mobile
solutions providers in the country, the company reaches out to local
communities impacted by its business operations and put development
programs in place to help improve their quality of life and provide
To establish a good foundation,
Globe aims to provide quality education that enables students to
have talents and skills that will sustain them for their future
endeavors. Through its five-year expanded Global Filipino School
(GFS) program, the company intends to transform select public
schools into centers of excellence in ICT and innovative teaching
methods. The program is expected to benefit all 218 school divisions
of the Department of Education (DepEd) nationwide by 2020. GFS
started four years ago, and is now operating in 80 public schools
around the country, cumulatively influencing 5,788 teachers and
benefitting 151,526 students.
The company has also pursued
partnership with San Francisco-based nonprofit organization Kiva,
providing crowdfunded loans to deserving micro-enterprises in the
areas of agriculture, food, retail, and services in the Philippines.
Through SMS capabilities, GCash mobile money service, and Globe
Rewards, the program makes a difference in the lives of millions of
local micro-entrepreneurs who are most in need of financial
assistance to build their future. Globe is one with the country and
its partners in creating a Globe of Good, as the ultimate goal is to
build a better nation and improve the quality of life of the
These corporate undertakings of
Coca-Cola, San Miguel, and Globe show that successful companies are
now exercising corporate social responsibility in a more engaging
manner, and that these programs actually do more for the business
AND the country, beyond just monetary funding.
Gone are the
days of companies merely donating to charities as their way of
repaying back communities and consumers for their patronage.
Corporations and enterprises are now more involved and proactive in
providing CSR activities that create opportunities—building an
environment where not only their brands can grow, but also where our
nation can grow, one community at a time.