CSR at the heart of Ford Philippines business
Iris Gonzales (The Philippine Star) - January 3, 2016 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Ford Group Philippines is strengthening its corporate social responsibility (CSR) projects, which focus on assisting communities with their basic needs, environmental sustainability, education and driving safety.

With the new year, the company will continue to implement its CSR projects, which it undertakes under Operation Better World program, to help as many beneficiaries as possible.

“We will continue with our Operation Better World programs as a platform to engage with more Gawad Kalinga communities and provide assistance with their basic needs. To establish sustainability, we’ve just launched a healthcare training program that will be fully implemented in several GK communities very soon.  This program seeks to establish an ongoing awareness and education program for families to learn about first aid skills, basic hygiene, home remedies, and the like,” Josephine Gonzalez, assistant vice president, government & corporate affairs of Ford Group Philippines, told The STAR.

Gonzalez said the company undertakes several CSR projects including helping Gawad Kalinga villages in Tacloban in the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda.

“When typhoon Yolanda hit Tacloban, Ford employees around the world made personal donations in cash, which were matched by the company and the total amount was handed to the American Red Cross to be given to the Philippine Red Cross. Ford also partnered with Global Giving to give a grant that funded the building of several clean water facilities in a a number of Gawad Kalinga villages in Tacloban and Leyte, thereby providing clean water to hundreds of facilities displaced by the super typhoon,” Gonzalez said.

In the Philippines, Gonzalez said the company is focused on building and strengthening Ford’s community relations, specifically by raising awareness on safe driving through Driving Skills for Life (DSFL) and by helping to improve the quality of life in various communities through our outreach progress.

For the DSLF advocacy, for instance, Ford helps people by educating them on the right driving skills to be safe for both the passenger and other motorists.

“The mission is to teach newly licensed drivers the necessary skills for safe driving, beyond what is learned in standard driver education programs. The sessions combine both lecture and hands-on training and are offered for free,” Gonzalez said.

The Ford Group established the program in the US in 2003 and eventually launched it in Asia Pacific and Africa in 2008. It runs the program in China, India, Taiwan, South Africa, Thailand, Philippines and Indonesia.

In the Philippines, the program is already on its eighth year.

As such DSFL has been holding free sessions for Ford customers and their families, high school and college students, fleet companies and socio-civic groups.

Gonzalez said that it recently held free sessions for drivers of buses, taxis and jeepneys.

“Ford strongly believes in making a difference in the community where it operates its business and where employees live and work,” she said.

As such, the programs that the company undertakes are those that give employees and dealership teams opportunities to volunteer their time, talent and resources, and where the company can help alleviate the quality of life in rural and marginalized communities. 

Every year in September, Ford employees around the world set aside time to participate in the Global Week of Caring, a full week during which employees look for more ways to give back to communities, Gonzalez said.

In the Philippines, for instance, the company’s efforts are focused on spending time in Gawad Kalinga (GK) communities through the help of the American Chamber Foundation Philippines.

As such, since 2010, Ford has been holding medical and dental missions for residents in GK communities in San Pedro, Sta. Rosa and Calamba, Laguna and also in Muntinlupa City.

Gonzalez also stressed the fact that the company’s CSR efforts are integrated into the business. This, she explained, allows employees to serve – customers, suppliers, dealers and more importantly, our communities. 

“In fact, each employee is required to devote at least two full days each year for community/CSR work,” she said.

In the end, Gonzalez said, this also benefits the company because these activities not only build goodwill in the communities where Ford operates but also bolsters employee morale and engagement and results in increased productivity.

Likewise, in the global setting, Ford global director John Viera said the company has made gains in several areas such as improving the company’s average fuel economy across its global fleet of vehicles; continued use of sustainable and bio-based materials to improve the environmental footprint of Ford vehicles and reducing the company’s absolute water use by three per cent.

“Lastly, and very importantly, our employees globally are recognizing what a positive place Ford is to work, with our annual employee satisfaction index (ESI) scores rising to a record high of 76 percent satisfaction. FGP’s annual ESI has gone up in the last two years and higher than the Global ESI, which we attribute partly to the employees’ engagement with the local communities. Ford employees are satisfied that the company has given importance to CSR and even providing a two-day leave to render community volunteer work,” Gonzalez said.

ACIRC AMERICAN CHAMBER FOUNDATION PHILIPPINES COMMUNITIES COMPANY EMPLOYEES FORD FORD GROUP PHILIPPINES GAWAD KALINGA GONZALEZ IN THE PHILIPPINES OPERATION BETTER WORLD
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