MANILA, Philippines – With a staunch promise to prioritize poverty alleviation programs, the League of Corporate Foundations (LCF) affirmed its commitment to sustainable and meaningful corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices as it celebrates its 20th year.
The conference kicked off with more than 80 corporate foundations and organizations expressing their support for the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SGD), a list of 17 global goals focusing on improving access to education, better health, an end to poverty.
LCF Chairman and Bato Balani Inc. Executive Director Natalie Christine V. Jorge said that the foundation realizes its big role in bringing progress through ending poverty, especially when more than 26% of Filipinos live below the poverty line, according to the latest data from the Philippine Statistics Authority.
For 2015, LCF-member companies spent a total of P2.6B for their CSR programs, with 90% of this amount coming directly from the companies. Jorge added that 40% of CSR funds were spent on education, followed by health, and disaster risk reduction management programs.
“As we all know, poverty and economic growth is not the responsibility of government alone. The success of our individual and collective programs showed the potential in the private sector, and CSR can make this country great,” Jorge stressed.
Established in 1991, LCF advocates for better and more sustainable CSR practices among its members. LCF also established the Corporate Social Responsibility Institute and is a founding member of the ASEAN CSR Network.
Stewardship in CSR
Since 2001, it has organized a Corporate Social Responsibility Expo and Conference to showcase the programs of its members. This year’s theme is “Co-creating the future through CSR” as LCF looks back on its formative years and charts its future.
LCF Conference keynote speaker Ong Boon Hwee of the Stewardship Asia Center in Singapore stressed that the 20th year of LCF is not just a time to celebrate, but to reflect as well.
“Business companies are the back of society, they draw resources from the society’s resources. It is important therefore to give back to society,” Ong stated.
Ong, a business leader who promotes stewardship and governance of companies and organizations across Asia, emphasized the importance of stewardship in becoming good leaders.
“Stewardship is embedded in the Asian culture. If applied to a business, stewardship is how a business can grow not just to survive… Stewardship is about taking responsibility and having a heart for the community,” Ong said.
Senator Cynthia Villar also spoke of the need to improve the life of indigent communities by giving them the tools and support to be more productive members of society.
Villar, also the managing director of Villar Foundation known for its livelihood projects, said
her target is to provide one livelihood project in each of the 1,600 cities in our country throughout her lifetime.
“Equipping people with technical expertise is not enough. And there is a need to train people to think like entrepreneurs. [Teach them] to handle finances, and instill in them the discipline needed to run their own businesses. As a social entrepreneur who wants to leave a legacy, livelihood skills training is still important, and should continue,” Villar said.
The LCF hopes that through the collaborative programs of its members, the country can move one step closer to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. – Rappler.com
Dulfo Dulfo majors in Journalism in UP Diliman. He aspires to be a broadcast journalist and a lawyer someday. He is a current intern at Rappler.
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