THE private sector should work together to help eradicate poverty by developing new, socially oriented strategic approaches and solutions, Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP), a business-led social development organization, said on Friday.
PBSP Executive Director Rafael C. Lopa said that the organization is now shifting its own strategy to more effectively address current social problems.
“With today’s challenging problems, we have to redefine our strategy by collectivizing efforts of the private sector in eradicating poverty,” Lopa told reporters in a roundtable discussion on Friday.
“Only then can we truly make more substantial contributions in eradicating poverty in the country,” Lopa added.
Despite the country’s healthy economy and strong Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) recently reported that extreme poverty still remains a critical problem for the Philippines.
Lopa pointed out the need for a coordinated effort by the business sector and government to scale up the campaign to eradicate poverty.
He said that over the years, PBSP has developed the capacity to plan, develop, implement and monitor social development projects for companies, Overseas
Development Assistance (ODA) agencies, and other grant organizations.
With the support of its member-companies, aid agencies and partners, PBSP has been making great strides in its projects in four focus areas of health, education, environment and livelihood and enterprise development, he added.
PBSP, which has 250 businesses of varying sizes as members, has been described by its former Chairman Andres Soriano III as a “vehicle for collective corporate social response.”
The group defines its main objectives as working with the business community to integrate corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices into their core businesses, and applying these to inclusive business and collective impact social strategies.
“PBSP recognizes the country’s current poverty situation and understands that this cannot be solved by isolated, if puny, efforts of a few companies. To cope with the changing development landscape, there is a need to scale up,” the organization’s website explains.
Some of the programs PBSP is currently engaged in include the Innovations and Multisectoral Partnerships to Achieve Control of TB Project (IMPACT), a six-year project that complements the tuberculosis health programs of USAID; the Bayanihang Pampaaralan (BP) classroom construction program under the Department of Education; and the Handled with Care humanitarian disaster response program developed in cooperation with the International Red Cross and other organizations.