Business leaders convene for PBSP’s 51st Foundation Day
Business leaders and executives of top companies and corporations recently convened for the 51st Annual Membership Meeting and Foundation Day of the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP). Founded in 1970, PBSP creates sustainable solutions to address challenges in health, education, environment, and livelihood.
During the event, PBSP and its members discussed the challenges of navigating through the pandemic and how it is affecting every Filipino. PBSP Chairman Manuel V Pangilinan noted that disparities in healthcare, education, and livelihood continue to be major threats to welfare and further exacerbated by COVID-19, threatening to trap people in a deeper cycle of poverty and despair.
“We must confront these challenges with collaboration, forceful determination, and innovation because nothing else would count. As we face a disrupted and different future, PBSP must demonstrate that it can have a productive role in improving welfare under an environment rapidly being transformed by technology and health issues, as well as the ultimate challenge of economic recovery in the middle of the pandemic,” said Pangilinan.
UPLIFTING LIVES, EMPOWERING COMMUNITIES
The National Economic and Development Authority reported in September that around 17 million Filipinos are likely to remain poor. The pandemic saw an increase in inflation that will make it more difficult for poor Filipinos to meet their basic needs.
“Our work in communities reminds us that economic displacement, growing inequalities, and the lack of essential services have increased the number of Filipinos who live in poverty. Long-term scarring in other facets of daily life is not simply a possibility anymore but part of the lived experiences of peoples and communities,” said PBSP President and CEO Reynaldo Antonio D. Laguda.
In 2021, PBSP worked with its members and partners to respond to the needs of the Filipino poor. Among the interventions implemented were safe motherhood caravans, initiatives to combat hunger and malnutrition, education assistance, support to the health sector and provision of livelihood opportunities.
PBSP’s Advancing Client-centered Care and Expanding Sustainable Services for TB (ACCESS TB) Project completed the treatment of 188,569 people with TB and notified 248,243 cases of all forms of TB nationwide. Its Safe Motherhood Caravans also provided 2,306 women of reproductive age with life-saving information on Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health and Nutrition services.
PBSP also implemented several interventions addressing hunger and malnutrition through supplemental feeding programs for children, provision of food packs and rice assistance to heavily impacted families, and launched The Hunger Project with the business and non government sector to support programs, projects, and organizations addressing the urgent need to help the hungry and introduce frameworks and approaches that address systemic and persistent hunger and malnutrition. These interventions assisted more than 700 children and around 8,700 families.
Meanwhile, 45 schools in six regions received learning continuity assistance while more than 6,000 senior high school students and graduates were engaged in job preparedness sessions and science projects ideation.
PBSP expanded its reforestation initiatives by adopting an additional 64 and 47 hectares in the Marikina and Buhisan Watersheds and completed 17 potable water and water catchment systems which provided water to waterless communities.
In livelihood, more than 500 farmers and fisherfolks received loans and livelihood inputs while 225 households were provided with home-based enterprises.
“There is a need to address poverty squarely and specifically, to help the Philippines recover and ensure that the poor and marginalized are not further disenfranchised and disempowered. This is the defining challenge of our time and the urgency of now — how may businesses, nonprofits, communities, and everyday citizens continue to do good toward a more sustainable, inclusive and humane recovery,” said PBSP Executive Director Elvin Ivan Y. Uy.
“PBSP must lead the way in showing how we can deploy what's good about business into the world of social responsibility and innovate beyond the legacy models of grants and donations, the large funding support principally from foreign institutions, to use technology in our campaigns against poverty yet continuing to show that business care about our people, especially those on the margins,” said Pangilinan.
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