Monday, July 26, 2010

Make a change for the better of all

It is a fact that a big percentage of the Philippine population is in poverty, as they say the rich get richer, the poor get poorer, and what do we have, an imbalance of economics in the Philippines.

ADDRESSING THE NEEDS of the poor and promoting rural development can open up new markets for companies, while addressing the problem of poverty in society. This were the words delivered by Gawad Kalinga (GK) chairman and founder Antonio Meloto at the Creating Shared Value (CSV) Forum held at the New World Hotel. Meloto shared his insights on how corporations and NGOs can work together to alleviate poverty, before an audience of representatives from the business, government, NGOs and other sectors. 

In our modern world, change is always good, for it will bring prosperity to the needy and help promote hope amongst the helpless.  No society how small or big they may will survive without Shared Value.  That is why it is being promoted here at the CSV forum, where personalities all over the world have proven that Creating Shared Value will bring forth improvement and poverty and hunger amongst our youths will a thing of the past.

Nestle Philippines, one of the big corporations of our time, which was founded 140 years ago partnered with the GK communities in promoting and creating shared value amongst its residents.  People were inspired to work, develop and improve themselves in the face of hardships and poverty.  Rising from the ashes and making life happen for themselves.  The criminality rate was reduced to a minimum with the help of the local community.  Melato shared  and cited how Gawad Kalinga was able to create shared value between business, government, non-government organizations and the the residents of the GK villages, through the development of rural communities.

Harvard professor and social responsibility expert Mark Kramer, reiterated that when corporations and society’s various sectors realize how their needs and objectives overlap, that they are interdependent, and need each other in order to survive and thrive.

When there is peace and security, you can build homes, set up schools, start businesses, grow food, all the things you need for a thriving rural community. This also benefits the rich who live in gated communities in the area. If poverty and criminality are rampant, and the rich do nothing to solve it, it’s like the rich themselves are raising the criminals that will one day be their problem,” Meloto explains.

Being part of a GK community gives a sense of empowerment. Meloto said that GK communities focus on providing residing families with various programs such as: Child and Youth Development; Community Building; Environment protection programs; Food Sufficiency; Proper health care programs and Infrastructure.

“Nestlé Philippines is one of the partners of  Gawad Kalinga thru the GK communities we have in Baseco and Lipa,” says Edith de Leon, SVP and Head of Nestlé Philippines Corporate Affairs. De Leon said that Nestlé Philippines, along with other partners, organized the CSV Forum to share its business philosophy. We must be part of the change.

“There are too many challenges in the 21st century—from global warming to environmental damage, to massive poverty and health problems. It is time for business, government and NGOs to cooperate for the mutual benefit of all stakeholders,” de Leon says.

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