The year 2014 tells a story of resiliency among Filipinos as we saw our nation unite to help the Visayas get back on its feet after super typhoon Yolanda. This “bayanihan” spirit moved us to fulfill our promise to rehabilitate 200 northern Cebu classrooms damaged by the typhoon, as part of the Aboitiz #BangonVisayas relief and rehabilitation program.
With the overwhelming support of kind and generous donors, we exceeded our target. Last November, we turned over 227 classrooms – 157 repaired and 70 newly constructed – to 29 schools in the towns of Bogo and San Remigio, benefitting more than 15,000 students.
This fulfilled promise was the culmination of our #BangonVisayas efforts, and gave birth to Aboitiz BetterWorld schools, as we commit to provide a better learning environment for our communities.
OUR MINDSET: WE CAN DO WELL BY DOING GOOD
Our continuing journey towards an Aboitiz BetterWorld is anchored on the Group’s sustainability mindset that we can do well by doing good, always making the right long-term decisions that balance the interests of people, planet, and profit. We are doing good by living out our core value of responsibility through our CSR initiatives.
Over the past 26 years since the Aboitiz Foundation was established, we have been committed to our mission of helping people help themselves and pursuing our vision to be the neighbor of choice.
We deliver value to our stakeholders, including communities where there is Aboitiz presence, by focusing our CSR efforts on education, enterprise development, and environment. In times of calamities, we are always ready to help, aiming to be among the first to respond.
In 2014, the Foundation’s annual budget increased to P423 million, with education-related initiatives getting the biggest allocation. A total of P194 million was spent on the rehabilitation of northern Cebu schools in the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda.
For education, we also intensified the development of special science elementary schools (SSES) and technical-vocational (tech- voc) high schools in collaboration with the Department of Education and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority. To help communicate our promise of a better learning environment, we have branded our SSES, tech-voc schools, rehabilitated northern Cebu schools, AGAPP Silid Pangarap, and our regular Foundation classrooms with the Aboitiz BetterWorld logo.
In the area of enterprise development, the Cooperative Development Authority re-accredited the Foundation as a certified technical training provider, allowing us to offer free technical trainings to more cooperatives across the country.
For the environment, we achieved our 2015 target of planting three million trees a year ahead of schedule; by mid-2014, the entire Group had planted 3.3 million trees. As a new challenge, we are pushing for a new target: 6 million more trees by 2020.
Since the late 1980s, our initiatives have evolved from CSR 1.0, which involves simple philanthropic activities to our working towards a CSR 2.0: engaging projects that are more sustainable for our beneficiaries and, at the same time, aligned to our businesses.
Starting this year, we will carefully select projects that would help us reach our goal of achieving CSR 2.0. This means selecting more initiatives that:
- Are aligned to the Foundation’s focus areas
- Address community needs
- Are aligned to the businesses or industries we are engaged in
- Involve skills training and capability building for beneficiaries
- Help our businesses
- Encourage team member volunteerism
- Are nationwide in scope
Towards this end, we will map out our planned projects based on these parameters and establish baseline and targets per business unit to determine the percentage of projects that are not yet under 2.0.
For education, our goal is to achieve universal public education by continuing to establish and develop Aboitiz BetterWorld schools. This means more SSES, tech-voc schools, AGAPP Silid Pangarap donations, and regular Foundation classrooms, scholarships, and teacher skills trainings for the public school system.
For enterprise development, our goal is to improve community livelihood and employment opportunities by expanding our micro- finance base, orienting business units on the Foundation’s micro-finance operations. We will identify and evaluate organized groups outside Cebu but are still within the focus areas of our business units, and continue to conduct training programs for them.
For environment, our goal is to minimize our environmental impact by continuing to conceptualize and identify viable programs. We will also work on our long-term commitment to plant another 6 million trees nationwide, and develop our eight-hectare outdoor biodiversity Cleanergy Park in Davao City. We will continue to promote our re-use, reduce, and recycle program called Race to Reduce (R2R) and expand to other areas of operation.
Aside from programs under our focus areas, we will undertake projects that address the health and well-being of our communities, including fund drives for disaster relief and rehabilitation efforts.
We will continue to conceptualize or identify viable projects that will involve more team member participation and engage our stakeholders more closely through the use of social media and other possible channels of communication.
Lastly, we will enhance our current methods of measuring the effectiveness of our CSR initiatives.
We thank all our stakeholders for their growing commitment and continued support towards the fulfillment of our CSR goals.
The #WeatherWiser Nation campaign engages all communities to build a nation that uses accurate weather information for practical decision making in business, government, and personal matters. It also aims to change the attitude of Filipinos towards weather, from apathy to interest and concern.
These initiatives strengthened two significant areas for WeatherPhilippines: stronger communication of our message on proactive disaster preparedness, and better community engagement among our partners in the public and private sector.
Along with the deployment of AWS, we have installed lightning detectors at Cebu Pacific sites nationwide to ensure safer flights and better operations, especially during weather disturbances. This network of lightning detectors will also enhance WeatherPhilippines’s capability in warning against localized thunderstorms around the country.
The AWS rollouts and trainings, our #WeatherWiser campaign, and other activities cannot be achieved and sustained without the funding, donations, and services of partners who see the value of and support the foundation’s advocacy.
As of December 23, 2014, WeatherPhilippines has established new partnerships with LBC, Department of Education, Globe Telecom, 9 gold donors, and 5 service partners, as well as 314 site partners. These partnerships have enabled the foundation to continue training local government officials and Disaster Risk Reduction Management Officers (DRRMOs) primarily on how to install AWS and usage of weather.com.ph. They have also increased our website visits and social media following.
Private sector funding and complementary support has helped WeatherPhilippines achieve the following:
WeatherPhilippines will continue to engage a wider audience towards supporting the #WeatherWiser Nation advocacy, while completing our target AWS deployment in 2015.
The #WeatherWiser campaign, through Weather 101 and Tropical Cyclone 101 sessions, will focus on building awareness, changing behavior, and inspiring action among host communities as well as our public and private sector partners. Weather 101 will continue to make weather information more accessible to the public as a practical tool for planning and decision making for business, economics, government, and lifestyle choices.
#WeatherWiser advocates who will champion the cause will also be identified. WeatherPhilippines’s 2015 community engagement initiatives will focus on training local governments on the basics of weather and tropical cyclones. This will aid disaster risk reduction officers in applying weather knowledge to improve their communities’ tourism, agriculture and fisheries, and local economy.
We look forward to launching our new website within the first quarter of the year, and a new mobile application in the second quarter, both of which will be done through our partner iACADEMY.
Nine more lightning detectors are set to be installed in selected SM malls and Cebu Pacific airport destinations, augmenting the AWS local weather forecasting abilities. This will coincide with MeteoGroup’s update on our weather forecasting software and tools-enhanced weather monitoring system.
At least 250 more AWS will be installed to complete our network of 1,000 AWS nationwide. All deployed and installed AWS will undergo regular monitoring and maintenance to ensure accuracy of weather data. Portable calibration devices will also be used to ensure that all units accurately sense and measure meteorological conditions across the country.