FORD Philippines (FP), a subsidiary of automobile giant, Ford Motor Company (FMC), was established in 1997 to manufacture and market Ford vehicles in the country. Since then, the company has grown tremendously, having set up a P4-billion state-of-the-art assembly plant at Sta. Rosa, Laguna in 1998.
In 2012, however, Ford announced that it was streamlining its operations in the region and was consolidating its production efforts in Thailand. This resulted in the closure of its Philippine manufacturing subsidiary, Ford Motor Company Philippines. The announcement, although bleak, did not mean the end of Ford in the Philippines. FMC through FP, the national sales company, remains committed to the country as they are now able to concentrate fully on the marketing and distribution of Ford vehicles with much more features at a more competitive price.
In just three years after concentrating their local efforts in distribution and marketing, FGP is now the third biggest automotive company in the Philippines with record sales reaching 20,341 units in 2014, obtaining a 53 percent sales growth from the previous year.
With all the milestones and records Ford has been posting, the company remains committed to the country and the future by becoming a leading contributor to a more sustainable world through corporate citizenship. With Ford, corporate citizenship has become an integral part of every decision and action the company makes as demonstrated in who they are as a company, how they conduct business and how they take care of their employees, as well as in how they interact with the world at large. This reflects Ford’s ceaseless effort to be among the most respected, admired, and trusted companies in the world.
As early as 1999, FGP already displayed how serious they are in their corporate social responsibility–by building a world-class manufacturing plant that is also a world leader in environmental management. In August 1999, Ford Philippines received its ISO 14001 Certification from TUV Rheinland, a third party (certification) auditor, certifying that the plant meets global environmental standards. Achieving ISO 14001-certification highlights Ford’s philosophy that environmental excellence is an element of both good business and corporate citizenship.
Even after the manufacturing plant closed, Ford continued with its CSR projects that address both social and environmental concerns.
As part of its continuous effort to reach out to the less fortunate members of the community, Ford employees, in 2004, went out of their way to assemble more than 100 bikes for donation to the Department of Social Welfare Development (DSWD). The bikes are to be used primarily as a mode of transportation for institutions that are not easily accessible to public transport. The first batch of 100 bikes were donated to the DSWD, which were later turned over to the Sisters of Mary and Don Bosco, Sta. Rosa, Laguna. The donation of bicycles was followed by the turn-over of 10 engines to the DSWD. The DSWD, in turn, distributed the engines to schools with technical education courses.
In 2006, Ford Philippines provided support to the victims of the tragic landslide that hit the village of Guinsaugon in Southern Leyte, where at least 1,126 people were killed. At a moment’s notice, FP engaged their co-employees to extend their generosity to those affected by the landslide by donating relief goods via the ABS CBN Foundation. This initiative follows Ford Philippines’ earlier donation of two Ford Rangers to DSWD that was deployed in Leyte to transport goods to affected areas.
A few months later, Ford also extended aid to victims of typhoon Reming which devastated parts of Nueva Ecija and Quezon province– leaving in its wake, more than 700 dead bodies. FGP donated two Ford Ranger pickup trucks as well as P1.5 million in cash to the Philippine National Red Cross as a way of reaching out to typhoon victims in the country’s hardest hit areas.
During the same year, Ford embarked on the Global Week of Caring. As Ford continues its century-old legacy as one of the world’s automotive leaders, the company also prioritizes helping members of the community who are in need the most.
Here in the Philippines, Ford Group Philippines initiated two projects for the Global Week of Caring. The spirit of volunteerism in Ford’s employees shone through their selfless involvement to lend a helping hand to the members of the community who needed caring and assistance the most.
One of the projects initiated for the Global Caring Week is the “Piso para kay Lolo at Lola” fund raising for the elderly at the Mary Mother of Mercy Home for the Elders. The project has been running for four years now and is held quarterly throughout the year.
Recently, Ford Philippines kicked off its annual Global Month of Caring under the One Better World Initiative, bringing Ford employee volunteers another chance to give back to the community.
For the whole month of September, employees, dealers and other Ford partners will join hands to render more than 1,000 hours on volunteerism and community service. Activities include a medical and dental mission as well as house refurbishment and building in various Gawad Kalinga villages, as well as the construction and turn-over of several clean water facilities in Leyte as part of the company’s post-Haiyan/Yolanda community efforts.
“We continue to see strength in numbers as our Ford team – employees, dealers and our partners, come together to improve the quality of life in various communities. Through efforts in building clean water facilities, house refurbishment, and medical and dental missions, Ford continues its commitment to build a better world with its legacy of caring and giving back to the community,” said Josephine Gonzalez, Ford assistant vice president for Government and Corporate Affairs. By ANJO PEREZ, Fast Times Editor