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CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY (CSR): PHILIPPINE CONTEXT

ALEXIS MAE A. ENRIQUEZ POLYTECHNIC UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES SAN JUAN CAMPUS

CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY (CSR): PHILIPPINE CONTEXT

CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY (CSR): PHILIPPINE CONTEXT

Title Page I. II. Abstract Corporate Social Responsibility : Studies Of Philippine Companies A. Problems Facing The Philippine Corporations B. CSR Is Like Business Venture III. Different CSR Programs And Approach A. The Epsons Care B. PLDT Smart Foundations Gabay Guro C. The San Miguel Corporation: Taking A Big Step D. ONE MERALCO FOUNDATION: Lighting Up for Sustainability IV. V. The Road to Conscience : The Future of CSR in the Philippines References

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CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY (CSR): PHILIPPINE CONTEXT

I.

Abstract

The involvements of business establishments in community development are now considered a part and parcel of a corporations daily operations. The concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) emerges in 1960s with the onset of criticism against the multinational corporations and transnational corporation. If we are going globally, there are realizations among companies that image or character gives an advantage in competition with regards to marketing products that many consumers gradually learned to identified as the product from a reputable companies. But there is a need to consider the importance of sustaining the process of changes that the corporation will do such as the utilization of resources that might eventually exploited and give negative impact to company image. There is also some question raised for the company for its relations among stakeholders such as the direction of investments that might not be popular to major stockholders if it will give less return to their investments. The reputation of a corporation or building a good reputation, in certain degree, is now considered as part of sustaining its operations. This is true in the rising numbers of Filipino companies that were burdened with the restrictions in operating in a developing economy such as the Philippines, wherein attaining the sustainability is the biggest challenge rather than starting a program for image making or in a good part, taking seriously the corporate social responsibility. Nevertheless, the corporation must see its longer implications to their corporate reputation rather than thinking it in short-term gains or easy return of investments. In image building, the more sustainable way is to go through the amalgamation of Corporate Social Responsibility into the daily operations of the company and have their Mission and Vision anchored into the direction of expanding its operation vis-a-vis in serving the community. Many have failed in its social responsibility because of half-hearted implementation when they learned the expenses it will costs and some companies cut the budget and take a minor programs or some of the companies take a u-turn in their programs. But many big businesses continue to expand their business operation along with the accomplishment of its taunted CSR programs, such as the San Miguel Corporation, MERALCO, Ayala Corporation and many companies under Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP).

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CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY (CSR): PHILIPPINE CONTEXT

II.

Corporate Social Responsibility : Studies of Philippine Companies a. Problems Facing the Philippine Corporations

The generosity of some company in subsidizing their foundations is very notable in the Philippines, but the activities in their foundations did not return the expected output of their corporate social responsibility activities, because they think of giving almost a dole out financing as the same as implementing a CSR. In the studies conducted by CSR Asia in 2009, known as Asian Sustainability Rating 2009, that was undertaken in countries such as Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, China, Australia, India, Pakistan, Malaysia and Japan, many indicators were used in six major areas such as, Governance, Codes and policies, CSR Strategy and communication, Marketplace and supply Chain, Workplace and people, Environment, and community and development, only Petron Corporation and Ayala Land are the only Filipino companies that made it to the top 30 companies, that is very far from expectations, when we considered that many corporations from the Philippines gain considerable profits and well known also globally. In that study, Meralco and San Miguel was very far behind from Petron and Ayala Land. Disclosure under corporate governance is one of the indicators that many Philippine companies have failed even in the fact that government regulating agency and even the private sector have long been acknowledging it as a major problem, but did not do anything to addressed painstakingly. The report also said the disclosure on the aspect of environmental, governance and social issues did not gave a fair attention and resulted in poor rating, even though that the surveyed companies are big and are known to have global reach. It is prominent in the Philippine companies to provide information about the community impact and also how it operations affect in the development, that shows that Philippine companies also shows concerns about the welfare of its stakeholders and general public as well. But somehow, the lack of effective tools to address the issues burdens the companies to communicate properly. Alongside with proper communications, it is also important to effective disclosing of information rather than withheld, especially in some important areas. Companies in the Philippines should start integrating a realistic and attainable CSR into operations, such as in the agriculture businesses that must seriously consider to study the proper management of sustainable water supplies in their operations, or the large manufacturers that includes the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) or electronic gadgets to partake in implementing CSR programs to alleviate poverty or give scholarship, while it is best for the mining companies such as Philex Mining to concentrate its CSR in the development of the areas where they operate buy supporting the entrepreneurship activities.

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CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY (CSR): PHILIPPINE CONTEXT

If the companies gear toward using environment-friendly raw materials in their productions, they should also pick the suppliers or their partners to get involved in community development. Because to answer the issues relevant to environment, society or governance, one must understand that it will only succeed if all stakeholders will join in attaining the goal of helping minimizing the impact of poverty. b. CSR IS LIKE BUSINESS VENTURE Just like any actions that the companies will venture, they must distinguished it as an investment, and Corporate Social Responsibilities are investment that must be seen as an investment that will have a return of investment by itself. One way of building the reputation of ones brand and get the trust is to implement CSR, and implementing a good CSR will bring them to economic benefits such as more customers, good workers applying to the company and good conscience investors will trust their money into the company. Many small and medium size businesses are anxious to pursue a sustainable because of their small or limited resources, and they want that resources to concentrate in operations. But there are many ways to implement CSR in accordance to their capacity. A business can implement the habits of utilizing energy efficiency in every way it can as proenvironment CSR approach, which can affect the attitude of its own workforce. Being a small company does not mean stopping at servicing the community by being a responsible entity in a community. A cluster of small and medium businesses can have tactical groupings to have a common project that will benefit their business image in a community and gradually, the reputations of small and medium size enterprises will be seen as an ideal partner in the development of a community. To get the appreciation of all the stakeholders in pushing a CSR program, one must understand that it must first devise tactics to socially engaged by dialogue all stakeholders and let them understand the importance of building corporate reputation. A program in social engagement should always be based in trust and having to know the values that they can share. If all the stakeholders believed in the CSR, they will embrace it and take it as their own program, where they will not let it fail. All the stakeholders will support the company to be successful in business because if it failed, the CSR projects will also stop.

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CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY (CSR): PHILIPPINE CONTEXT

III.

DIFFERENT CSR PROGRAMS AND APPROACH

a. THE EPSONS CARE The Contribution to the Advancement and Restoration of Environment and Society or CARES is EPSON Philippines collaborative project with Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) to uplift the public schools in Batangas by bringing learning materials to the 11 Learning Resource Centers it build in Lipa City and other areas in Batangas, that will augment the resources of public schools that badly needed the support in learning materials and facilities. The CARES project is a multipronged project that fills the gap of scarce resources of the national government to the education sector. More than 5,000 students and at least 100 teachers benefitted with the desks, tables, books and other school supplies, which it targeted to expand to other parts of the Philippines. The CSR of Epson did not only confines within Metro Manila, but they prioritized the provinces were scarcity and neglect of educational facilities often characterized the state of educational system in the Philippines. The CARES project is likewise close to the sector of EPSON as provider of electronics and printing equipment, which is also used by the education sector. The co-related CSR project will give benefits to EPSON in terms of how the community will respect the institutions that uplift the education sector as a whole and the youth as specific beneficiaries of the educational resource materials. b. PLDT SMART FOUNDATIONS GABAY GURO Philippine Long Distance Telephone Group created an innovative partnership within the telecom giants different subsidiaries to initiate the Gabay Guro, a project that received many accolades beyond the telecom sector. Gabay Guro, as the PLDT Smart Foundations primary CSR project targeting the education sector, specifically the teaching sector targeted to help alleviate poverty by improving the education sector by providing venue for teachers to have an opportunity to enhance their capacity to teach. The Gabay sa Guro was launch in 2007, when 2007 employee-volunteers of PLDT Managers Club lay down the foundation of initiating the project to help the teaching academe to teach better with way of educational grants, training, livelihood, providing the internet connection to schools and computerization of teaching method and housing for the chosen teacher. The Gabay Guro projects will give scholarship to students that wanted to be a teacher and that will cover the tuition fee, books and even allowances for students. With only 15 scholars in 2007, the program continue to give hundreds of students to become a teacher and spreading the number of their partner-schools.

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CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY (CSR): PHILIPPINE CONTEXT

c. Taking A Big Step: The San Miguel Corporation San Miguel Corporation, heavily invested in their CSR programs in 2012 that they become the largest corporate donors in the history of the country. San Miguels stakeholders were directed to engaged in pushing corporate social responsibility programs in all level of operations, and it resulted to spending more the P800 million the propelled different CSR activities in 2012. The total CSR outlay of San Miguel Corporations reached the P1billion benchmark when it funded the relief efforts for the victims of Typhoon Sendong and Typhoon Pablo. SMC gave grant for the construction of houses for the Typhoon Sendongs victims in Mindanao while the victim of Typhoon Pablo even received personal donations of SMC president Ramon Ang aside from the donations of SMC. Previously, San Miguel Foundation Inc always been overshadowed by other big corporations such as the Ayala Foundation and Manny V. Pangilinans pet project ONE Meralco Foundation in terms of high impact and higher visibility programs and charitable work. When Ramon Ang took the leadership of SMC, he directed the new directions of the SMC not only to be known as the countrys biggest business group by controlling big chunk of market capitalization but also to known as leading business conglomerates engaging in developing community. San Miguel Corporations big step in engaging in serious CSR projects were based in shifting its mission and vision vis--vis the good conditions of its business operations that generates more income. As Mr. Ang said, its only right that we also give back to society. Much more, if possible. The big step totally happened when San Miguel donated P555 million for the construction of 5,000 homes for the victims of Typhoon Pablo in Cagayan de Oro, Iligan City and other municipalities in Negros Oriental. Gawad Kalinga and the Habitat for Humanity managed the donation of SMC, based on their deep experience in the building low cost housing thru a bayanihan type of operations. It is not the first time that SMC engaged in housing type of projects, when its beer production unit joined in the rebuilding of Valenzuela City when it was hit by Typhoon Ondoy. Disiplina Village is build to mitigate the impact of flooding and other disasters for the people of Valenzuela. SMC previously did not engaged in media blitz for its CSR projects, but this does not help in promoting the image it wanted to tell to the people and somewhat affected the objective of getting the involvement of all stakeholders to join in its various programs. The fast paced growth of San Miguel Corporation in the past years forces them to take deeper study of how the SMC operate its CSR projects, and this likewise resulted to the decision that the public must know that SMC is taking seriously in the development of the community.

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CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY (CSR): PHILIPPINE CONTEXT

d. ONE MERALCO FOUNDATION: Lighting Up for Sustainability Amid the image problem of Meralco as the sole provider of electricity in Metro Manila, the company aggressively directed its thrust to community based projects. Its Corporate Social Responsibilitys design is align with its core business of power distribution thru developing of its image as provider also of electricity in areas that are hard to reach. Manny V. Pangilinans control of Meralco paved the way for the companys changing direction into CSR projects such as the Community Electrification Programs that benefited more than 9,000 families by providing a more affordable electric service by organizing communities as a cooperative type of organization to avail of the said projects. One Meralco Foundations School Electrification Programs give electricity in far flung schools by giving the solar powered electricity and this initiative is now benefiting thousands of students in many public schools in Batangas. One Meralco Foundation did not only centered its CSR projects in electrification but it pushed the strong partnership with local government units, specifically the barangays by giving support to local community in providing the health and sanitation programs . Almost a thousand families were beneficiaries of its Community Grants Program that involved in giving financial grants to livelihood programs to poor communities, while the Bio Intensive Gardening or BIG is directed in urban gardening for continuing supplies of vegetables. The Meralcos strategic direction is based on malasakit and makabayan values, that give commitment for the Filipino to be united in pursuing a better lives to many kababayan and help in building the nation. True to its directions in CSR, One Meralco Foundations also include all the employees in Meralco Group to give time or joined in various CSR projects under the Makabayan Volunteerism Progran (MVP). Its core value is to attract its employees to make valuable volunteerism works. In 2012, MVP projects started in City of San Juan, specially recognized the visit of Manny V. Pangilinan in Barasoain Street, Little Baguio San Juan, where he grow up. Basketball clinics were given to children of Little Baguio by players and coach of Meralco Bolts.

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CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY (CSR): PHILIPPINE CONTEXT

IV: The Road to Conscience : The Future of CSR in the Philippines Corporate Social Responsibilities sometimes became just a sloganeering for some companies, but there are many big conglomerates that really involved in programs for the development of the community. Moreover, CSR must not be just a tool to maximize profits but a venue for the developing the company. The future of CSR in the Philippines is very bright with recent active participations of big conglomerates such as Ayala Foundation, San Miguel, Meralco and many companies. Some criticisms were thrown to some CSR projects such as the Tubig Para sa Barangay because its not totally a direct CSR programs and it will failed because the poor will always not pay and they will just steal water thru illegal connections. But the report of Manila Water Company said that it have more than 1.6 million people into the program. Creativity also make a way in the CSR projects, such as the Bank of Philippine Islands BANKo that provide micro-financing not only in Metro Manila but in other parts of the country. BPI did not see that BANKo is a project that will compete them in the future, but a partner in the upliftment of many Filipino entrepreneurs. Meanwhile, Globe Telecom help in giving every Filipino to be entrepreneurs by way of becoming one of the 750,000 retailers and distributors of telecom load. This kind of business approach encourages entrepreneurship the resulted getting a combined revenues of P34 billion since the entry of prepaid telecom loading. Globe Telecom has created 750,000 retailers and distributors of telecom load. As JAZA points out, each is a micro-entrepreneur in his or her own right, generating combined revenues of P34 billion as of last year. We have encouraged entrepreneurship at the base of the economic pyramid without sacrificing profitability, he says.

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CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY (CSR): PHILIPPINE CONTEXT

VI.

References

del Mundo, J. S., (05/02/2010). Building trust through Corporate Social Responsibility . Retrieved from http://business.inquirer.net/money/columns Quismondo,T. (8/28/2011). Business Fills Shortages In School Resources. Retrieved from http://www. newsinfo.inquirer.net/category/inquirer-headlines Pascua, R. (2012). Corporate Social Responsibility in the Philippines. Retrieved from http://asiasociety.org/business/development/term Olchondra, R. T (11/27/2012) . Company launches foundation targeting Metro areas without clean water source. Retrieved from http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/category/inquirerheadlines/metro Maximiano,J. M. (2005). The State of Corporate Social Responsibility in the Philippines. Francois, R and Amstrong, A (2003) Ethics as a risk management strategy: the Australian Maximiano, JM (2003) Corporate social responsibility: basic principles and best practices: historico-philosophical issues in international business, PLDT/ACM, Manila.

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