The role of CSR in nation-building
- Kelly Austria () - December 7, 2009 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - With the recent natural calamities bringing out the bayanihan spirit in each of us, nation-building has been an escalating rallying cry for all Filipinos. Even before this, NGO’s and corporations have been heeding this cry and pursuing projects that have an impact economically, socially and environmentally – known as corporate social responsibility (CSR).

As the leader in full-line property development, Ayala Land ensures that corporate social responsibility is a vital component of the business. Jorge Miguel T. Marco, Ayala Land Corporate Communications head says, “nation-building programs that socially uplift the lives of Filipinos are embedded and integrated in Ayala Land’s projects.”

“The range of efforts companies may take up to pursue CSR can be extensive. We focus on where we can have the most impact and where our resources can be most effective,” Marco adds. The span of Ayala Land’s CSR activities can be summarized under the acronym HEAL, with H standing for health-related projects, E for education, A for arts and culture, and L for livelihood.

For health-related projects, solid waste management is cited as an example. “Tenants and owners of buildings and establishments at the Makati Central Business District are committed to the Solid Waste Management program that Ayala Land has launched and has resulted in 85 percent reduction in volume of residual wastes,” Marco stated.

He further states that the same program has been implemented in Bonifacio Global City (BGC), where community-based solid waste management initiatives have turned into income-generating activities for the communities in Barangay Ususan in Taguig City. To bring the concept of waste management to the public, the company, in coordination with the Ayala Foundation, holds the monthly Ayala Recyclables Fair in Ayala Center, BGC, Alabang Town Center, Paseo de Magallanes, NUVALI, and Ayala Center Cebu.

For education, Ayala Land’s programs cover Internet literacy, youth leadership-building, and quality education for marginalized students.

In partnership with the Ayala Foundation and other donor organizations, over 2,000 schools have been provided with Internet connection through the program Gearing Internet Literacy and Access for Schools (GILAS). Schools in project sites in Laguna, Makati, Taguig, Davao, Iloilo and Cebu are among GILAS beneficiaries.

Center for Excellence in public elementary education (CENTEX) has reached some 2,000 students in Tondo and Batangas over the past 10 years, bestowing private school education in a public school setting. This is done through a supportive learning environment with the best facilities, providing continuous teacher training programs, and even providing livelihood opportunities for the parents to help ensure the overall quality of living of families of the students.

The Ayala Young Leaders Congress, a three-day values and leadership skills training for exemplary youth, is another CSR activity close to the heart of Ayala Land. Over the years, this much awaited conference has also put the company in close touch with the pulse of the youth.

For arts and culture, Ayala Land continues to support the Ayala Museum located in Greenbelt 4, as well as the Filipinas Heritage Library at Makati Avenue, home of historical archives. It also provides public art at Bonifacio Global City, to name a few arts-related programs.

For assistance in livelihood generation, Ayala Land has been greatly involved with communities hosting its residential and retail projects. “An essential part of our role in nation-building is to uplift the standard of living of Filipinos,” noted Marco. He said barangays hosting the company’s land banks in Taguig and Makati are the primary beneficiaries of its “Dagdag Kita Para sa Pamilya” in partnership with TESDA.

Ayala Land has also recognized the enthusiasm of its own employees in taking part in CSR. Under a campaign called VoluntarALI, Ayala Land employees are provided with four days paid leave a year for volunteer work. For the company’s human resource team, it was a matter of channeling this interest in civic work to the company’s own CSR projects.

 Ayala Land seriously takes on every opportunity to render community outreach in various locations, bringing in all its subsidiaries and business units to participate in an integrated CSR work that echoes its passion for building the nation.

Ayala Land, enhancing land, enriching lives for more people.

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