Corporate Social Responsibility

 

Corporate Social Responsibility

“More than the recognition, however, what drives BDO and its foundation to carry on its projects is the knowledge that these help improve the lives of individuals and families — the less privileged and the vulnerable, those who need help the most.” 

 

That millions of Filipino communities are vulnerable to the effects of disasters, natural and human-induced, and that there is need to help them rebuild their lives are the focus of the activities of BDO Foundation — the Bank’s
corporate social responsibility arm.

 

“Sometimes, dreams can be challenged especially by external circumstances. We at BDO seek to enable people to dream again. And the first step after relief operations is to rebuild and rehabilitate,” according to Maureen C. Abelardo, BDO Foundation President.

 

For the year 2014, BDO, through its foundation, pursued its projects on education (school buildings), health (rural health centers), and shelter (resettlement housing) for Filipinos across the country, especially those who had been battered by numerous typhoons and other recent disasters. It also undertook capacity-building activities to enable communities to retool themselves and make them more resilient.

 

Relief Operations
Past disasters will not be the last to threaten communities. To respond to this continuing reality, BDOF adopted an integrated approach in its relief operations through the active engagement of BDO volunteers in over 875 branches and satellite offices, and a supply chain of SM stores to pack the goods. BDO’s extensive branch network has been helpful in the conduct of such relief activities.

 

School buildings
The shortage of classrooms in Philippine public schools is a lingering problem. Calamities worsen the situation. When these occur, existing classrooms and school buildings are damaged or destroyed altogether, while the remaining ones are used as evacuation centers.

Amid these realities, BDOF recognizes that children need the regularity of daily learning, whatever the weather and however difficult the situation.

 

Toward this end, BDOF, again in partnership with SM Foundation, completed and turned over two school buildings in Capiz and Aklan in 2014. These are two-storey buildings with four classrooms each. Three (3) more are under construction in Tacloban City, Negros Occidental and Iloilo, all on the Yolanda corridor.

 

 

 

 

Together with the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce, Inc. (FFCCCII), BDO built ten (10) one-storey school buildings with two classrooms each in Sorsogon, Laguna, Sultan Kudarat, North and South Cotabato, Ilocos Sur, Zamboanga, Leyte and Bohol. With the Philippine Geothermal Production Company, Inc. (PGPC), BDOF completed and turned over a two-storey, four-classroom building for Baybay Elementary School in Catarman, Samar. Similar projects are under way in Pandan, Antique (in tandem with USPhilippines Society) and San Miguel, Leyte with Injap Investments, Inc.).

 

 

Shelter
In Mati, Davao Oriental and in Sta. Fe, Leyte, two resettlement sites began construction in 2014. The former, with 69 housing units, is for victims of typhoon Pablo. The latter is for persons with disabilities and the victims of typhoon Yolanda, through the Foundation for These-Abled Persons, Inc (FTI). The Leyte resettlement site will have 100 units, all pre-fab and designed by German technology.

 

 

BDOF recognizes that there is not just a need to build houses, but to establish functioning communities. These resettlement sites are not just made up of individual housing units. They come with a multi-purpose hall or community center where residents can hold workshops and other socio-civic, religious and other activities. These community centers are equipped with a kitchenette, comfort rooms and other furnishings and fully funded by BDO employees and officers.

 

 

 

Livelihood
Forty-five motorized boats with fish nets were donated by BDO employees and officers to Project BANGKA (Bigay Agad NG Kabuhayan) of Regina Rica Foundation for the residents of Barangay Santikan, San Dionisio, Iloilo.

 

 

Onward, with passion and commitment In 2015, BDO through its foundation expects to see the full delivery of projects — school buildings, rural health centers and shelter sites – which commenced the previous year. It will continue to align its activities in the direction of relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction especially along the Yolanda corridor. There will also be an effort to help communities in other areas — equally devastated by disaster but which have not received ample attention and support, thus getting left behind in the long process of healing and rebuilding.

 

It also recognizes that an important component to delivering on this commitment is forging partnerships with foreign and local companies/ agencies that share its values and objectives. For 2015 and the years ahead, BDO with its foundation affirms its leadership and its commitment to initiate and support community-based programs that uplift the lives of marginalized sectors especially those in disasteraffected areas.

 

This is consistent with “Building dreams for others, rebuilding lives” — the theme of what the Bank, through BDO Foundation, does for communities across the country. The theme also serves as a road map of the Bank’s continued pursuit to make a difference.

 

True rewards
Testaments to the Bank’s passion and commitment are the Asia Responsible Entrepreneurship Awards 2014 for Social Empowerment, and the CSR Program of the year (Silver) from the Asian Banking and Finance. “More than the recognition, however, what drives BDO and its foundation to carry on its projects is the knowledge that these help improve the lives of individuals and families — the less privileged and the vulnerable, those who need help the most,” says Abelardo.