Local government officials of Isabela, Nueva Vizacaya, Ifugao, and Benguet and representatives of indigenous peoples’ groups joined SN Aboitiz Power Group’s annual host communities’ forum recently and presented reports on their respective corporate social responsibility initiatives with the hydropower company.
Governor Denis Habawel of Ifugao presented Handog Kalusugan, a joint project of the provincial government and SNAP-Magat. Its initial project is “Doctors to the Ifugao Barrios”, which seeks to make primary medical care available in far-flung areas of the province, especially those inaccessible to land vehicles. From directing and coordinating traditional medical missions, Handog Kalusugan has evolved into a sustainable program of medical services that fills in the gaps between health service delivery institutions like district hospitals, municipal rural health units, and barangay health stations.
In Cordon, Isabela, Municipal Planning & Devt. Coordinator Engr. Carlos Abuyuan highlighted the municipality’s health initiatives. Since partnering with SNAP, he said health and sanitation services have improved, most notably impacting the maternal and infant mortality rates, which have decreased from 3.96% and 2.64% to 1.55% from 2011 to 2014.
Ms. Julie Alonzo, livelihood consultant of the Office of Nueva Vizcaya Governor Ruth Padilla, presented the tiger grass production project of the province, the seed capital for which was provided by SNAP-Magat. The project helps enhance forest cover and also produces quality soft brooms.
Benguet Governor Nestor Fongwan presented a rundown of SNAP’s CSR projects since 2008. Initiatives ranged from education and health to infrastructure and environment. He reported that in five years, SNAP-Benguet has allocated Php15 million in voluntary fund to the province of Benguet alone.
The host communities’ forum is an annual event held by SNAP to update local government officials from the provincial to the barangay level on the company’s activities and initiatives. For the past two years, the company has invited representatives from the local government to share their perspective on their respective CSR partnerships with SNAP.
The forum also tackled updates on operations, community projects, and tax benefits. With the theme “Working Toward a Renewed CSR Focus,” SNAP also presented its road map to CSR 2.0 beginning with reviewing its current CSR framework and the need to improve its CSR approach by creating shared value and shifting to a more interactive and stakeholder-driven model of CSR, anchored on the principle of partnership.
In a message to the participants at the forum, SNAP’s Vice-President and Chief Market Office Sonny Cambri said that the company tries to optimize its operations not only for its shareholders but for its stakeholders, in this case the host communities. “Corporate success and social development go hand-in-hand,” he said.
SNAP’s Vice-President and Chief Corporate Services Officer Atty. Mike Hosillos reiterated this message by emphasizing that the company’s CSR program stems not from an “obligation” but from a “voluntary commitment” to contribute to the development of its host communities.