CSR in action in Balicasag, Pamilacan islands | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Pamilacan children greet visitors fromManila PHOTOS BY AMADÍS MA. GUERRERO
Pamilacan children greet visitors fromManila PHOTOS BY AMADÍS MA. GUERRERO
Pamilacan children greet visitors from Manila PHOTOS BY AMADÍS MA. GUERRERO

The Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC), the foundation arm of the MVP Group of Companies, has three major thrusts: education, environmental awareness and livelihood.


Around P10 million is allotted each year for projects in various areas. “Sometimes we go beyond this,” said MPIC vice president Melody Del Rosario.


The foundation is sending some 30 students at the primary level for higher education. The students are from Mano Amiga School in Taguig City. The MPIC donated P10 million to the students so they could purchase land in Parañaque City and relocate there.


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In 2009, Supertyphoon “Ondoy” sharpened the environmental awareness of the foundation, and the need to take action. “We realized we should be more proactive considering the devastation that we saw and the climate change which everybody is now facing,” said the MPIC official.


There was a beach cleanup and a rescue of giant clams in the Hundred Islands National Park in Alaminos, Pangasinan, followed by a similar advocacy in Siargao, Surigao del Norte.


From Luzon (Pangasinan) and Mindanao (Siargao), the MPIC-MVP Group journeyed to the Visayas recently, specifically to Balicasag Island, a well-known diving destination, and to Pamilacan Island, famed for dolphin-watching. Both islands are top tourist destinations in Bohol.


In the capital city of Tagbilaran, Commodore Geronimo Reyes gave a presentation before a large gathering on Bohol’s environmental problems and the perils of climate change. “The threats are caused by man, but the solution is in our hands,” he said.


SPANISH-ERA watchtower in Pamilacan, famous for dolphin-watching
SPANISH-ERA watchtower in Pamilacan, famous for dolphin-watching

At Balicasag, the intention mainly was to make the volunteer divers from MPIC and allied companies experience first-hand the wonders of our marine resources.


Environmental scouts


In Pamilacan, the whole community, led by the children, turned out to greet the visitors from Manila. Livestock—piglets, goats and chickens —were distributed for livelihood purposes, and a learning session (including drawing) was held for the children on how to take care of the environment.


The kids became instant “Junior Environmental Scouts,” complete with uniforms and school shoulder bags.


The third component is the livelihood program of the MPIC in cooperation with Philippine Business for Social Progress.


“We have identified 25 heads of families in a community in Santa Ana, Manila,” noted Del Rosario. “These are skilled workers and we have helped them form their own cooperative and become Tesda-qualified, Tesda-approved.”


She added: “They were taught leadership and to be empowered in a cooperative so they can be given employment in the group (of companies) in terms of manpower development. For example, electricians can go to Meralco and plumbers can construct in Maynilad; maintenance workers, puwede sa hospital group; gardeners puwede sa tollway roads to maintain the sides of the highways, the Lex-es.”


Any financial gains, monetary rewards apart from the more “spiritual” ones?


“Wala, nothing,” Melody hastened to add. “We don’t really see it as an arbiter of investment other than creating goodwill and making sure we improve the life of people. MVP (Manuel V. Pangilinan) keeps saying that, at the end of the day, it’s not really about profit but helping people have a better life.”


That, one presumes, is the return on investment (ROI) of their corporate social responsibility (CSR).