In focus: Good corporate citizenship

In today’s world, companies are no longer judged solely on their income and profits. 

Instead, success is often measured by their social values and how they contribute to the social fabric of the communities where they operate.

The book “Challenges to Business in the Twenty-First Century” by American economist and former vice chairman of the US Federal Reserve Roger Ferguson, Jr. identified corporate social responsibility (CSR) and social trust as the two most important issues facing any business in the 21st century.

The two can be seen as related stops along a single journey toward success, in the sense that it is nearly impossible to build lasting trust without having first established a record of responsible actions.

Mangrove planting together with TOG-10 PAF in Bonbon, Cagayan De Oro, October 28, 2023.

A survey among 600 professionals in the Asia-Pacific conducted by Eco-Business, a leading Singapore-based online media platform for the region’s sustainable business community, revealed that nine out of 10 business professionals said it is important for their organization to embrace CSR. Furthermore, industry captains and business managers placed sustainability and CSR high on their firm’s priority list.

Statistics like these highlight the significance of companies being able to comprehend and address society’s needs. Failing to do so in a sincere and consistent manner can lead to much more than just damage to public reputation. 

But what exactly is CSR? While there is no single, commonly accepted definition of corporate social responsibility, it generally refers to linking business decision-making to ethical values, compliance with legal requirements, and due consideration for people, communities, and the environment. One may therefore conclude that CSR is a guiding tool for companies that wish to contribute to the sustainable development of communities where they live and work. A company’s CSR program makes good corporate citizenship.

Tree planting activities with TOG-10 PAF (Philippine Air Force) in Pagalungan, Cagayan De Oro, September 16, 2023.

At Italpinas Development Corp. (IDC), we are well aware that consciously giving back to society while making a difference in the places where we operate is not only the right thing to do, but also a way to build a positive rapport and establish a long-term relationship with the community. Few companies survive over the long term without taking into account the big picture of their host communities and broader range of stakeholders in society. For us, success is defined not only by what we do, but also by how we do it.

IDC has been blessed to enjoy the support of the people of Cagayan de Oro City (CDO) where we started as a property developer back in mid-2000 with our Primavera and Verona projects until we branched out of Northern Mindanao into Southern Luzon via Miramonte Green Residences.

As a way of giving back to the communities that fully embraced our presence, IDC strives to be a good corporate citizen, taking CSR and social trust to heart—from the management down to the rest of the employees.

Charitable contributions are an essential part of our efforts to be a responsible corporate citizen. We believe that our contributions should not be limited to philanthropy alone. Instead, we aim to partner with the communities, and play our role in addressing their needs in a meaningful and sustainable way. By doing so, we hope to make a positive impact on the world around us.

Italpinas collaborates with organizations that work to make an impact in the areas of education, the environment, social services, and disaster relief. 

Understandably so, our contribution program is more focused in CDO and Batangas where we are present. 

Though a lean and mean organization, we also encourage our employees to do their part through an employee volunteerism program. It is heartwarming to see our employees selflessly devoting some of their time to volunteerism work like tree-planting activities, helping refurbish public school buildings through the Department of Education’s (DepEd) Balik-Eskwela campaign, or participating in our feeding program for orphans and the elderlies.

We have been active for quite some time now in giving back and sharing our blessings with the communities. In our environmental protection program, for example, IDC employees have planted approximately 20,000 trees since we started in 2018, despite the temporary suspension of activities during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are honored to be recognized by the City Environment and Natural Resources (CENRO) of CDO for our contribution to save the environment.

As we face 2024, Italpinas will be taking its good corporate citizenship program a notch higher. In support of the United Nations Social Development Goal (SDG), specifically its Goal No. 11- Sustainable Cities and Communities, we are committed to do more.

We have classified our CSR into two categories for easy identification. Under our Green Initiatives (GI), which will promote sustainable practices and support environment-friendly practices, we will have tree planting, mangrove planting, and our coastal clean-up drive. On the other hand, Community Initiatives (CI) will include, among others, the Back-to-School program (Balik-Eskwela and donation of school supplies), visits to charitable institutions like orphanage and elderly homes, and the holiday giving for the underprivileged.

We are also exploring the possibility of partnering with Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs) so their architecture, engineering and design students can visit our project sites and learn more about their would-be chosen profession from our master architects and engineers.

Giving back and paying it forward should never be seasonal. It should be done all year round because doing virtuous deeds is never out of season.

As we look forward to celebrating the birth of Jesus, we wish everyone a meaningful and merry Christmas!