After two years of remote assembly, Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) gathers again the top leaders from its 260 members in the business sector.
Mandaluyong City, Philippines – After two years of remote assembly, Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) gathers again the top leaders from its 260 members in the business sector, including partners, local and international donors during the 52nd Annual Membership Meeting (AMM) and Foundation Day Celebration at Dusit Thani Manila in Makati City.
PBSP took inspiration from the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) call for an inclusive recovery and development in the post-pandemic time, hence the theme this year, Build Forward Fairer: Towards Recovery, Resilience, and Renewal.
Following the efforts and achievements from the last fiscal year (2021-2022), the Board of Trustees convened to review the status quo and chart a way forward in a post-pandemic Philippines.
During the event, PBSP Chair Manuel V Pangilinan emphasized how the government, private, and development sectors must work together in building a more equitable nation and making shared prosperity a reality for all Filipinos.
"As we move with guarded optimism towards a post-pandemic Philippines, we have to ensure that no one is left behind. The recently concluded 53rd Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum emphasized the need for cooperation in a fragmented world," PBSP Chair Manuel V Pangilinan said.
Meanwhile, Dr. Nadia Belhaj Hassine Belghith of the World Bank and Ms. Marta Pérez Cusó of ESCAP served as the two keynote speakers. They discussed the importance of an inclusive development strategy in addressing persistent poverty and inequality.
"Inequality is a problem for both developed and developing countries, high inequalities slow economic growth and undermine efforts for poverty reduction. Research has shown that growth tends to be fragile and recession are more frequent in countries where inequality is higher and greater inequality is associated with slow economic and social mobility across generations contributing to lasting poverty," Dr. Nadia Belghith said.
"Two trillion US dollars is the cumulative output loss due to COVID-19 for the region’s developing economies. This is massive and governments alone will not be able to recuperate that loss. If we want to have a fair future, we need businesses to step up and support sustainable development,” Ms. Marta Pérez Cusó said.
CONVERSATION ON BUILD FORWARD FAIRER
As the country move towards COVID-19 endemicity, PBSP invited experts and decision makers from various sectors to share their insights and experiences through the Conversation on Build Forward Fairer.
Among the invited panelists was Department of Health (DOH) Officer-in-Charge Dr. Maria Rosario S. Vergeire who emphasized the implementation of the Universal Health Care (UHC) Law to strengthen social protection for all Filipinos.
"Universal healthcare is our ultimate goal, not today, not tomorrow, but maybe in a couple of years and that would be our major strategy for us to be able to remove all these roadblocks that we have right now. At the height of the pandemic, unaware, we were already implementing universal healthcare as we saw the opportunities where we can close the gap between high income groups and low-income groups, those living in the far-flung and urbanized areas of the country," Dr. Rosette Vergeire said.
From the business sector and as PBSP members and trustees, Ms. Lorelie Osial, Country Chair of Shell Companies in the Philippines and Mr. Miguel Rene A. Dominguez, Vice President for Operations of Sarangani Agricultural Co., Inc. discussed the role of the sector in involving all stakeholders to achieve inclusive and sustainable development.
Mr. Juhern Kim of Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) completed the panelist wherein he highlighted the importance of investing in greener solutions and climate resilience projects.
Reaffirmation of commitments
PBSP and its members and partners reaffirmed their support through a symbolic action to meet the country’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) commitments in 2030.
“Our role as Philippine Business for Social Progress is now more pronounced, with the path clear and set. Building forward a fairer society is a collective aspiration, and together with various partners we have worked with in the last fiscal year, we are addressing the various social crises with inspired innovations and conscientious programs and strategies,” Mr. Elvin Ivan Y. Uy PBSP Executive Director said.
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