MANILA Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle on Wednesday called on business leaders to make the poor the center of their business.
Tagle aired the call during the 44th Annual Membership Program of the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) that attended by businessmen in Makati City (Metro Manila).
Fresh from the five-day papal visit (January 15-19), he was invited to be a keynote speaker in PBSP’s membership program where he talked about inclusive development and shared Pope Francis’ special regard for the poor.
To achieve inclusive development, Tagle said businessmen should also include or involve the poor in their business operations.
If businessmen are indeed serious in pushing for inclusive development, according to the bishop, they have to be asked “difficult” questions.
“If we are serious in including the poor in our business, are the poor deliberately included in your Vision and Mission Statement?” Tagle asked.
The cardinal threw the same question to the PBSP.
“Is the poor central to the training program of your staff and officials? Are your labor practices in harmony with the poor?” he said.
Business tycoon Manuel V. Pangilinan, PBSP chairman of the board, said the group is in the “business of uplifting lives.”
Because of the members’ contributions over the years, he added, PBSP has become the de facto “BPO” service provider for project management of and fund management for various social development projects and investments of companies and international donor agencies.
“When we celebrated our 40th anniversary in 2010, we made the decision to scale up our social impact programs, and adopted the Collective Impact Strategy that seeks to better harness our collective power as businesses in the context of helping solve the pressing systematic social problems of the country,” Pangilinan said.
In line with this, the tycoon said, they deliberately aligned their flagship programs with major and priority development programs of the government on health, education, environment and livelihood and enterprise development.
“Since the adoption of this Collective Impact Strategy, we have managed to leverage your collective contribution and exponentially grow the funding support for projects in the last two years,” Pangilinan added.
PBSP was established in 1970 by 50 of the country’s top business leaders to push the business sector’s collective approach to address social problems.
With 267 large, small and medium-scale companies as members, PBSP serves as the bridge of the business sector to the marginalized, improving lives through social development programs on health, education, environment and livelihood and enterprise development as well as promoting adoption of inclusive business models in the country.