The Aboitiz Foun­da­tion: 30 bound­less years of driv­ing change for a bet­ter world

Cebu Daily News - - COMMUNITY -

In the cool moun­tains of Benguet, Paulino En­rique, a cut-flower farmer, wakes up early at the break of dawn to pre­pare for the har­vest of the sea­son.

In Davao City’s town proper, Mar­garita Pulledo care­fully ar­ranges freshly-baked loaves of bread, ready for sale at a bak­ery run mostly by per­sons with dis­abil­i­ties.

And in Cebu City, high school vale­dic­to­rian Ju­nie Val­en­dez read­ies for his first day as an elec­tri­cal en­gi­neer­ing ma­jor — grate­ful for the op­por­tu­nity to study, and ex­cited for the count­less pos­si­bil­i­ties the new school year has to of­fer.

They are just some of the ben­e­fi­cia­ries of the Aboitiz Foun­da­tion, the cor­po­rate foun­da­tion of the Aboitiz Group.

On Septem­ber 29, 2018, the Aboitiz Foun­da­tion cel­e­brated its 30th an­niver­sary — three bliss­ful decades of serv­ing and em­pow­er­ing in- di­vid­u­als, groups, and com­mu­ni­ties.

Ac­tu­ally, the Aboitiz Foun­da­tion’sin­volve­mentin cor­po­rate so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity (CSR) projects stretches longer than 30 years.

The Aboitiz Foun­da­tion’s CSR phi­los­o­phy, which is deeply em­bed­ded in the Aboitiz cul­ture, has been the legacy of the Aboitiz fam­ily and its com­pa­nies for over a cen­tury now.

In 2015, the Aboitiz Foun­da­tion be­gan im­ple­ment­ing CSR 2.0 projects, seek­ing to go be­yond mere one-time dole-outs (CSR 1.0). Un­der CSR 2.0, the Aboitiz Foun­da­tion ex­e­cutes com­mu­nity projects that de­liver longert­erm ben­e­fits, are aligned to the Aboitiz Group’s core com­pe­ten­cies, en­cour­age team mem­ber en­gage­ment, and are scal­able ini­tia­tives with pos­i­tive sus­tain­able im­pact of na­tional scope.

The Aboitiz Foun­da­tion be­lieves that when the hearts and minds are aligned to­ward ad­vanc­ing busi­ness and com­mu­ni­ties, the pos­si­bil­i­ties for growth are bound­less. It is com­mit­ted to cre­at­ing bound­less op­por­tu­ni­ties and part­ner­ships through ini­tia­tives in the ar­eas of ed­u­ca­tion, en­ter­prise de­vel­op­ment, and the en­vi­ron­ment.

“We be­lieve that unit­ing all the Aboitiz busi­ness units (BUs) — all aligned to­ward co-cre­at­ing com­mu­ni­ties that are safe, em­pow­ered, and sus­tain­able — is the most pow­er­ful tool to de­liver deeper and last­ing so­cial im­pact to more com­mu­ni­ties. We have set our sights to­ward a shared vi­sion — to bring about sus­tain­able change that will im­pact the lives of all our stake­hold­ers to­day and in the gen­er­a­tions to come,” said Mari­beth L. Marasi­gan, Aboitiz Foun­da­tion First Vice Pres­i­dent and Chief Op­er­at­ing Of­fi­cer.

Ed­u­ca­tion re­mains at the fore­front of the Aboitiz Group’s thrust, that of build­ing a pro­gres­sive so­ci­ety.

In 2015, the De­part­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion rec­og­nized the Aboitiz Group as the Philip­pines’ big­gest con­trib­u­tor to pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion.

Flag­ship projects un­der ed­u­ca­tion in­clude the pur­po­sive col­lege schol­ar­ship pro­gram and the de­vel­op­ment of spe­cial sci­ence ele­men­tary schools (SSES) and tech­ni­cal-vo­ca­tional (techvoc) high schools.

To date, the Aboitiz Foun­da­tion has al­ready helped over 32,000 schol­ars like Ju­nie and cur­rently sup­ports 50 SSES/techvoc schools na­tion­wide.

Mean­while, the Aboitiz Foun­da­tionem­ploys­in­clu­sive in­no­va­tion in the man­age­ment of its en­ter­prise de­vel­op­ment pro­gram. Flag­ship projects un­der en­ter­prise de­vel­op­ment in­clude “Ma­halin Pagkaing Atin” (MPA), a cam­paign in­tro­duced in mid-2014 which aims to pro­mote sus­tain­able en­trepreneur­ship through the pro­mo­tion of lo­cal pro­duce, as well as mi­cro­fi­nance for liveli­hood projects sim­i­lar to the ones run by Paulino and Mar­garita. A to­tal of 867 fam­i­lies and or­ga­ni­za­tions have al­ready been pro­vided with MPA liveli­hood kits, while 3,309 fam­i­lies now have ac­cess to credit.

Fi­nally, the Aboitiz Group’s pas­sion for the en­vi­ron­ment in­volves en­cour­ag­ing stake­hold­ers to prac­tice life­styles that pro­mote mind­ful use of the Earth’s re­sources through knowl­edge shar­ing and best prac­tices. Flag­ship projects un­der en­vi­ron­ment in­clude APark, the Aboitiz Group’s na­tion­wide for­est cover restora­tion pro­gram which was launched in 2010. It con­trib­utes greatly to the green­ing pro­gram of the De­part­ment of En­vi­ron­ment and Nat­u­ral Re­sources. To date, the Aboitiz Group has al­ready grown nearly six mil­lion seedlings in var­i­ous lo­ca­tions na­tion­wide, putting the Aboitiz Group well on track on its A-Park goal of grow­ing nine mil­lion seedlings by end-2020.

In ad­di­tion, the Aboitiz Group op­er­ates the Aboitiz Clean­ergy Park, an eight-hectare out­door bio­di­ver­sity park i n Davao City that is home to the crit­i­cally-en­dan­gered hawks­bill sea tur­tle (pawikan) and 66 other species. And as a man­i­fes­ta­tion of the com­pany’s core val­ues of in­tegrity, team­work, in­no­va­tion, and re­spon­si­bil­ity, the Aboitiz Group also im­ple­ments Aboitiz Race to Re­duce 2.0, a pro­gram that fur­ther re­in­forces the group’s com­mit­ment to re­source ef­fi­ciency as well as min­i­miz­ing op­er­a­tional car­bon foot­print.

In three decades, the Aboitiz Foun­da­tion’s CSR ini­tia­tives have evolved from one-time do­na­tions to care­fully-de­signed pro­grams that em­power ben­e­fi­cia­ries to pur­sue their as­pi­ra­tions — be­yond their lim­i­ta­tions and cir­cum­stances.

“The sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of Filipinos liv­ing be­low the poverty line, the alarm­ing num­ber of an un­schooled pop­u­lace, and the seem­ingly un­chang­ing lack of pre­pared­ness among com­mu­ni­ties when­ever a dis­as­ter strikes are just some man­i­fes­ta­tions that un­der­score the need for us to still do a lot more. The coun­try’s so­cial chal­lenges keep us de­ter­mined more than ever to de­velop so­lu­tion-fo­cused, scal­able, and sus­tain­able CSR pro­grams that will truly cre­ate a pos­i­tive im­pact on the lives of our fel­low Filipinos,” says Er­ra­mon I. Aboitiz, Aboitiz Foun­da­tion Chair­man.

CON­TRIB­UTED PHOTO

The Aboitiz Foun­da­tion has al­ready helped over 32,000 schol­ars and cur­rently sup­ports 50 spe­cial sci­ence ele­men­tary schools and tech­ni­cal-vo­ca­tional schools na­tion­wide.

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