Friday, 20 February 2009

Philippine Business for Social Progress reaches 200,000 poor

Pangilinan challenges PBSP firms to give more to social development projects
The Manila Bulletin
http://www.mb.com.ph/BSNS20090220148572.html

Difficult times call for bold measures, including giving even more money and resources to social development projects that are designed to help free the majority of Filipinos from the grip of poverty.

According to Manuel V. Pangilinan, chairman of the Philippine Business for Social Progress, the country’s largest corporate-led social development foundation, the global economy is in the middle of a serious crisis and consequently, corporate profitability is adversely threatened.

But this should not prevent the private sector from doing its share in reducing the incidence of poverty in the Philippines. On the contrary, companies should find ways to even increase their funding support for social development.

"It is precisely at this time when that support is most needed, when people are out in the streets without a job, when reducing poverty and achieving sustainable development must not be set aside in the midst of a downturn," said Pangilinan in a speech during the recent Annual Membership Meeting and 38th Foundation Day Celebration of the PBSP.

"With a difficult period ahead of us, we should be compelled to do more and to give more, both for altruism and our own survival. There will be new needs and urgent calls that we must respond to, some of them outside our corporate paradigm and comfort zone," Pangilinan said, "We will need to marshal more resources and work more strategically and synergistically to help those who are most needy."

"The times offer us the opportunity to commit more support for programs that will mitigate the plight of many, if not the majority, of our countrymen. As we see it, our current programs are the appropriate response in this critical situation, and must be vigorously pursued," added Pangilinan, who also chairs the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co.

Pangilinan reported that last year, PBSP member companies contributed P75.84 million for social development projects – the largest contribution so far realized in the foundation’s 38-year history and it was able to generate P247.6 million from donor agencies and partners during the year.

Over P300 million went to fund various projects nationwide, reaching 200,000 poor Filipinos through its education, enterprise development, health and water, and area resource management projects.

PBSP’s membership increased to 238 and it reached out to over 300 companies to help them implement their own corporate citizenship programs.

"We can thereby say with confidence that we have played our part in the war on poverty and its many dimensions, thus helping our country meet its Millennium Development Goals," Pangilinan said.

PBSP remains steadfast in its commitment to pursue its projects even as the adverse effects of the financial crisis are already starting to be felt.

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