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Lifestyle, News

The first localized framework for social and emotional learning in the Philippines is introduced by ChildFund Philippines and SEAMEO INNOTECH


ChildFund Philippines, in collaboration with SEAMEO INNOTECH, recently introduced the country’s first localized SEL framework at SEAMEO INNOTECH’s office in Quezon City. (L-R: Kochakorn Khattapan Acidre, Deputy Center Director of SEAMEO INNOTECH; Marlene Floresca, Education Specialist of ChildFund Philippines; Dr. Dexter Galban, Assistant Secretary for Operations of the Department of Education; Dr. Leonor Magtolis Briones, Center Director of SEAMEO INNOTECH; Anand Vishwakarma, Country Director of ChildFund Philippines; and, Dr. Grace Aguiling-Dalisay, President and CEO of Center for Educational Measurement)

The first localized social and emotional learning (SEL) framework in the nation was recently unveiled by ChildFund Philippines and the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization Regional Center for Educational Innovation and Technology (SEAMEO INNOTECH).

The 2024–2027 SEL curriculum is made to be sensitive to the particular cultural quirks that Filipino pupils in public schools have. It seeks to:

  • Develop adaptable SEL curriculum models that can be tailored to different cultural contexts,
  • Foster a sense of ownership and sustainability within communities by involving them in the adaptation and implementation processes,
  • Provide evidence-based recommendations for integrating localized SEL into educational policies at local, regional, and national levels, and;
  • Share findings through academic publications, conferences, and workshops to contribute to the global discourse on effective SEL localization.

“When we started building the SEL framework, we envisioned a localized approach engaging all stakeholders in the country – teachers, parents, and students. This collaborative effort ensures the framework addresses the holistic development of both learners and educators, making it culturally relevant and impactful,” said Anand Vishwakarma, Country Director of ChildFund Philippines.

Marlene Floresca, Education Specialist of ChildFund Philippines, emphasized that the SEL framework helps students develop “pagpapakatao” (being humane) and “pakikipagkapwa-tao” (fellowship), to become capable and self-trusting individuals.


The social and emotional learning competency framework showcases that Filipino students and learners must develop “pagpapakatao” (being humane) and “pakikipagkapwa-tao” (fellowship) to become capable and self-trusting individuals.

The competency framework also equips teachers with tools to better support students, contributing to a more inclusive and supportive educational environment. “The success of the SEL framework depends on the active involvement of teachers, along with parents and communities. Their participation ensures that the framework addresses the specific social and emotional needs of both learners and educators,” said Dr. Leonor Magtolis Briones, Center Director of SEAMEO INNOTECH.

Developing SEL skills early, starting in kindergarten and potentially even earlier, supports long-term success. According to Dr. Grace Aguiling-Dalisay, President and CEO of Center for Educational Measurement, assessing SEL skills alongside cognitive skills is imperative. “We are working with the education department to integrate these assessments into the SEL framework, ensuring evidence-based progress.”

Implementing the Framework

Implementation will begin this year with a pilot in select public schools to test the framework’s effectiveness. Following this, it will be integrated into school-wide practices and policies for students, educators, and non-teaching staff.

The technical working group, who has been involved in the development of the framework including the Department of Education (DepEd), will endorse SEL modules accessible via an e-learning platform. Teachers and school heads will complete these courses and earn professional development points through the National Educators Academy of the Philippines and the Professional Regulation Commission.

The framework supports the DepEd’s MATATAG Agenda: Bansang Makabata, Batang Makabansa, which aims to take care of learners by promoting their well-being and give support to teachers to perform better. It shall be implemented across the K-12 curriculum and expanded to mental health programs in schools nationwide.

“This SEL framework responds to the call for an education system that imparts knowledge and cultivates the social and emotional foundation children need to build their dreams, equipping them beyond what books can teach,” said Dr. Dexter Galban, Assistant Secretary for Operations of the DepEd.

In order to create the framework, the organization and its partners conducted interviews with K–12 and Alternative Learning System students in Metro Manila, Apayao, Negros Occidental, North Cotabato, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi.

Go to https://childfund.org.ph/ to learn more about the SEL competency framework.

Beauty, Lifestyle, News

In an effort to create a more sustainable future, the Chamber of Cosmetics Industry of the Philippines (CCIP) plants 500 trees


(L-R) CCIP’s Camille Buenaventura, Linda Yu, Jenny Nunez and Christine Reyes

At Mt. Purro, Antipolo Rizal, the Chamber of Cosmetics Industry of the Philippines (CCIP), a leading body that represents the personal care and cosmetics sectors in the country, organized a tree-planting event with the theme “Rooted in Beauty, Committed to the Future.”

With the enthusiastic support of their member companies, CCIP was able to meet their 50th anniversary goal of planting 500 trees, and this event represents an important milestone in that mission. Representatives from 98 member companies participated in the active tree planting event.

Among the notable attendees were well-known local clean beauty firms such as Ever Bilena Cosmetics, Ellana Cosmetics, and Pili Ani.

Well-known personal care companies like Biogenic Alcohol, Splash Wipro, Personal Collection, and Bevi Manufacturing Inc. also joined the initiative. Leaders in the manufacturing industry such as DJM Corporation, Connell Caldic, Bestpak, and Zizmore, among many others, lent their support as well.

CCIP’s vice president for CSR, Linda Yu of Amchem, expressed hope that this activity would inspire a new generation to advocate for sustainability and environmental protection. “These 500 tree seedlings are just the beginning,” Yu said. “We foresee a new era where various companies in the industry join hands to create a better world for the future!”

Ever Bilena, a CCIP member company, echoed this sentiment. Denice Sy, Ever Bilena’s chief sales & marketing officer, revealed the company’s aspiration to become a net zero company. “This year, we are on track to achieve our recovery and plastic footprint offset goal of 40%,” Sy shared.

One strong deed that has enormous environmental effects is planting trees. In addition to being visually pleasing, trees are essential in the fight against climate change because they absorb carbon dioxide, one of the main greenhouse gases.


Other member companies’ representatives actively participating in the
orientation of tree planting event

Tree planting is a method to assure the sustainability of the very materials that go into the products we love and give back to the environment in the context of the beauty business, which heavily depends on natural resources.

A more sustainable future for the industry and the environment is made possible by this initiative by CCIP and its members.

Lifestyle, News

Nearly two thousand generals and officers support the Querubin Senate Run, including former PNP and AFP chiefs

Former Chiefs of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) from the Arroyo, Aquino, Duterte, and Marcos administrations, along with nearly two thousand former officers, personnel, and generals, have formally endorsed Ariel Querubin’s candidacy for the Senate on July 8 at the Filipino Club.

The most recognized soldier in Philippine history, retired colonel Ariel Querubin is well-known for his amazing bravery and eternal devotion to his nation. Querubin is a candidate that can unite people and bridge different political viewpoints because of his remarkable military career and dedication to public service. He is a recipient of the Medal of Valor, the highest military award for extraordinary bravery and self-sacrifice.

With the retired colonel Ariel Querubin

I myself recognize him and his good works for our nation; It is such a great privilege to witness the rest of his former colleagues support and acknowledge all his good work. They are now also rooting for him for the next election this coming 2025 for the Senate place, as he promises he will help combat the corruption and other  other social issues in our country. He now once again wants to prove himself and his love for our country through serving the people.

In his remarks, Querubin recognized Club Filipino’s historical significance as the location of numerous pivotal moments in the history of the country. Recalling significant occasions like Martial Law, the EDSA revolutions, several coups, and the administrations of Marcos to Marcos Jr., the retired colonel offered his reflections on the varied political trajectories of individuals in present.

“Truth be told, all of us here stood on different sides in many pivotal moments of our nation’s history,” Querubin noted.“And yet, we gather here today not as allies of the many political factions but as brothers in arms who have once and always will put our lives for our children, families, and fellow Filipinos. We stand united in our service to the Philippines, in our service to God.”

In 2025, Querubin accepted the responsibility of serving the country once more by running for the Senate and emphasizing the urgent need to confront inflation, poverty, and corruption. In addition, the former colonel underlined how critical it is to protect the nation’s sovereignty from both external and internal threats.

“We find ourselves at a crossroads,” Querubin stated. “The bullying in the West Philippine Sea threatens our sovereignty, while the proliferation of illegal POGOs brings social issues that affect our communities. And the call for the modernization of our military – to secure our nation and uphold our sovereignty with the respect it deserves – is nothing short of urgent and vital for our survival as a free nation.”

Querubin also emphasized the necessity of bolstering the nationalism and selflessness of the Filipino people.

“My vision is a nation of heroes. Isang bayang handang magsakripisyo at kayang ipaglaban ang Pilipino mula sa mga mang-aapi.”

Food, News

Coca-Cola PH has opened additional centers to offer entrepreneurship skills, in an effort to further empower micro-retailers


Coca-Cola Philippines, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), the City Government of Tagum andthe Tagum City Council of Women Foundation launched the iSTAR Center for Entrepreneurship in Davao del Norte on July 4, 2024.

With the opening of Centers for Entrepreneurship (CFEs) under the digital Sari-Sari Store Training and Access to Resources (iSTAR) program in seven important areas, Coca-Cola Philippines hopes to empower more micro-entrepreneurs across the country. The CFEs—which are situated in the cities of Davao del Norte, Cagayan de Oro, Taguig City, Nueva Ecija, Cebu, Bacolod City, and Camarines Sur—will function as long-term centers that provide small business owners with financial support, training, and mentorship.

Through the use of digital platforms, the iSTAR program aims to empower individuals with entrepreneurship and provide them with the skills they need to create and run retail enterprises.

“At Coca-Cola Philippines, we are committed to supporting the entrepreneurial spirit and unlocking the potential of aspiring entrepreneurs. The launch of the iSTAR Centers for Entrepreneurship is a testament to our dedication to foster economic growth and sustainable development at the community level,” said Coca-Cola Philippines President Tony del Rosario during the launch of the CFE in Tagum, Davao del Norte.

The program is the result of a public-private partnership between the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and Coca-Cola Philippines. This collaboration supports Coca-Cola Philippines’ broader economic empowerment strategy to break the cycle of generational poverty.

For more than a decade, this partnership has expanded with seven regional microfinance and non-governmental institutions across the country, making iSTAR’s modules free and accessible nationwide through the TESDA Online Program.

iSTAR aims to address key barriers that hinder the development of women entrepreneurs, such as limited access to training, resources, and mentorship. Through its expanded digital platform, iSTAR has empowered over 150,000 micro-entrepreneurs, surpassing its 2025 target of 100,000 graduates. Earlier this year, the program was showcased at the 68th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) at the UN Headquarters in New York.


Coca-Cola Philippines, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), the City Government of Tagum, and partner CSOs and microfinance institutions with the over 800 iSTAR graduates in Davao del Norte

“These CFEs represent hope, opportunity, and the collective effort of our partners like TESDA and the Tagum City Council of Women Foundation Inc., whose dedication is instrumental in making this initiative a reality. Together, with a shared vision of economic empowerment, we can bridge existing gaps and create a truly inclusive environment where micro-entrepreneurship can thrive,” added del Rosario.

TESDA also acknowledges how the iSTAR program helps bridge the digital divide among micro and small businesses. “The Philippines is lagging behind in digitalization, but with Coca-Cola Philippines introducing this digital platform to educate and empower women, we are heading in the right direction,” said TESDA Deputy Director General for Special Concerns Felizardo Colambo.

Building a network of sustainable support

The CFEs represent a strategic expansion of the iSTAR Program by establishing regional hubs that aim to provide business development, training, and support to micro-entrepreneurs.


Students of iSTAR during a learning session at the Center for Entrepreneurship in Tagum City

The hubs will be managed by a network of trusted partners, including microfinance institutions, cooperatives, civil society organizations, and the local government units of the hubs’ locations. This initiative reinforces Coca-Cola Philippines’ commitment to building the capacity of Filipinos in entrepreneurship and empowering them through the strategic use of digital platforms and the fostering of business networks.

“When the CFE was offered to us at the Tagum City Council of Women Foundation (TCCWFI), we accepted it with open arms, without hesitation. We immediately saw the need for it, not just in our area, but throughout Mindanao. We are grateful to the City Government of Tagum and Coca-Cola Philippines for bringing this initiative to our city,” said TCCWFI President Alma Uy.

Scaling impact with technology

The iSTAR Program and CFEs are among Coca-Cola Philippines’ projects that seek to leverage technology to amplify the reach and impact of its support for micro-retailers. It’s  similar to the Tindahan Extra Mile (TEM): Balik PET Bottle program, which utilizes innovative methods to promote the circularity of plastic packaging.

By assisting in the conversion of their sari-sari stores and carinderias into recyclable PET bottle collection points, TEM, in partnership with the Basic Environmental Systems and Technologies, Inc. (BEST) and the Philippine Association of Stores and Carinderia Owners (PASCO), hopes to assist micro-retailers in their role as frontline environmental advocates. Customers are urged to discard their plastic bottles since they are more visible and close to these drop-off containers. By gathering bottles, micro-retailers can accrue environmental points that they can exchange for merchandise and rewards, enhancing their bottom line.

Graduates of the iSTAR program receive assistance in joining the Coca-Cola Philippines network of TEM partners, enabling them to expand their enterprises and encourage their local communities to maintain clean environments.

Visit the Coca-Cola Philippines Sustainability Hub to find out more about the company’s community outreach programs.

Lifestyle, News

Thousands run for a greener, cleaner, and better future

Vermosa Green Run 2024 takes running to a whole new level

On Sunday, June 30, more than 2,500 people and 300 dogs of various kinds participated in the third edition of The Green Run, an annual multi-category run held inside Vermosa, AyalaLand’s 700-hectare modern suburban development in Imus, Cavite.

The extraordinary turnout for this running event, which offered a variety of distances to meet fitness levels and running goals, underlined the continued popularity of running and the desire to participate in meaningful advocacy for a greener, better future.

Jodi Santa Maria poses at the Finish Line after finishing the 10K run

Fun runners, fitness enthusiasts, and aspiring marathoners joined elite competitors on the tracks, lacing up for 21K, 10K, 5K, and 3K distances, while fur parents bonded on the path with their ShihTzus, Poodles, Jack Russells, Huskies, Retrievers, and Aspins in the fan favorite, 1.4K Dog Run.

“We are extremely happy and grateful for the overwhelming support and response of runners in this year’s Green Run. More than just bringing fun and promoting healthy living, we are delighted to also give the running community a worthy cause to support. The Green Run’s main mission is to give back to the community by concretizing our commitment to protect the environment, championing young athletes and promoting animal care,” said Chrissy Roa, AyalaLand Inc. marketing and communications group head.

“This year, we welcomed Takbo Kabitenyo to the growing family of Vermosa. We opened the Ayala Vermosa Sport Hub to youth runners from Cavite who have a strong potential to become national athletes. We are committed to providing them with training support and the use of our state-of-the-art facilities. We look forward to producing athletes who will bring pride to our country in the future while providing them with opportunities to have a better quality of life,” Ms. Roa added.

Takbo Kabitenyo, one of the Green Run 2024 beneficiaries

Aside from Takbo Kabitenyo, the Green Run continues to support the Haribon Foundation this year, and Pawssion Project was added as a beneficiary to promote animal welfare.

Avida Sentria Storeys, Ayala Malls Vermosa, Kremil-S, Diatabs, Merrell, Pocari Sweat, Park Access, Chris Sports, Fitbar, Naturals, Healthway Medical Network, Fuwa Fuwa, Nutrition Depot, Mogu Mogu, Sante Barley, and Oishi sponsored the Green Run 2024.

Lifestyle, News

2GO Opens Hubs, Expands Forwarding Operations in Mindanao

From left to right: Tina Marie Yu, Senior Assistant Vice President and Head of 2GO Forwarding Operations; Faye Alonzo, Business Unit Head of 2GO Forwarding; Dr. Mirasol Tiu, Vice President of PSU – Davao Chamber; Mary Antonette Doromal, Secretary General of the Davao Chamber; Elizier Santiago, Assistant Vice President of Operations for 2GO Forwarding; Mary Josephine Baylon, ATS-PPA Davao; Lester Tan, Operations Head at Globalport Terminals, Inc.; and Marceliano Rivera, Philippine Ports Authority Davao.

2GO’s expansion in Mindanao continues with the recent inauguration of shipside services in General Santos City and Davao, the sixth and seventh ports to provide this service, following Manila, Cebu, Cagayan de Oro, Iloilo, and Zamboanga.

2GO, the nation’s leading end-to-end logistics, transportation, and distribution solutions provider, expands its footprint in Southern Mindanao. 2GO creates logistics centers in the major ports of Davao and General Santos to serve businesses and communities, capitalizing on economic growth prospects.

The shipside service improves the efficiency of the Less Than Container Load (LCL) or shared cargo service by offering shippers with shorter lead periods and the flexibility to accept last-minute commodities up to 18 hours before vessel departure. This service is great for urgent shipments, particularly those including vegetables, fruits, and other fresh food.

“We are excited to expand our shipside services to Davao and General Santos, enhancing our capability to support the local economy and meet the needs of our customers,” said Faye Alonzo, 2GO Forwarding Business Unit Head. “These new hubs will enable MSMEs in Davao, GenSan, and neighboring municipalities to ship their products widely, ensuring that fresh produce and other time-sensitive goods reach their destinations swiftly and efficiently.”

The LCL service offers significant advantages for inter-regional shipments, allowing businesses to ship smaller quantities without the need to fill an entire container. This not only reduces costs but also improves inventory management and supply chain efficiency, making it an ideal choice for small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and businesses with diverse shipping needs.

2GO’s extensive shipping routes from Manila to Davao, General Santos City, and Iloilo facilitate both travel and shipment, creating a reliable and efficient logistics network. These routes are particularly advantageous for businesses in Mindanao, providing them with consistent and cost-effective access to major markets, thus supporting their growth and expansion.

Faye Alonzo and Sea Operations Head Elizier Santiago attended the Davao and General Santos opening festivities. Representatives from the Philippine Ports Authority of Davao and General Santos, GlobalPort Terminals, Inc., South Cotabato Integrated Port Services, Inc. (SCIPSI), PHILEXPORT Region 12, various fruit and vegetable traders and shippers, the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (DCCCII), and partner agents also attended the events.

The event featured a sample shipment of 65 crates of tomatoes from Davao heading for Iloilo, demonstrating the efficiency and dependability of 2GO’s new shipside service.

For more information on 2GO LCL services, visit www.2go.com.ph.

Lifestyle, News

Since 2019, TETRA PAK has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 20% across its value chain

The company’s 25th Sustainability Report details:

  • An action-oriented approach towards food systems transformation, establishing four key pathways with targets, as launched at COP28.
  • Launching an aseptic beverage carton featuring a paper-based barrier with 90% renewable content.
  • A 47% reduction in operational greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions since 2019.

Tetra Pak has released its 25th Sustainability Report, which chronicles the company’s progress toward its sustainability objectives. It focuses on five interconnected themes: food systems, circularity, climate, nature, and social sustainability.

The company’s Sustainability Report FY23, released on the United Nations’ World Environment Day, indicates a 20% reduction in value chain GHG emissions and a 47% reduction in GHG emissions across its operations from 2019. The latter puts Tetra Pak on schedule to accomplish its 2030 target of net zero GHG emissions in its operations while also supporting the company’s long-term goal of working with suppliers, customers, and other stakeholders to achieve net-zero GHG emissions across the value chain by 2050.

Another significant milestone saw the launch of an aseptic beverage carton featuring a paper-based barrier, reducing its carbon footprint by a third (33%) and bringing the company a step closer to developing the world’s most sustainable food package. This world-first resulted from a €100 million investment in packaging research and development in 2023, with the same investment planned annually for the next five to ten years.

Adolfo Orive, President & CEO at Tetra Pak, comments, “Collaboration across the food industry is ever more important to feed a growing population sustainably. Our global presence and end-to-end solutions give us daily opportunities to collaborate with stakeholders across the value chain, from farmers and food producers to suppliers, policymakers, consumers, and others. We understand the responsibility that comes with this role. We remain committed to playing our part to transform the world’s food systems to ensure they are more secure, resilient, and sustainable.”

Tetra Pak implements Cartons for Communities (CFC) in the Philippines, a comprehensive initiative to promote carton recycling and sustainability. The program includes education and awareness, collection and infrastructure, and advocacy and policy, enabling Tetra Pak to effectively collaborate with schools, communities, and local governments to promote recycling.

Tetra Pak Philippines’ recycling volume has increased by twice as much as the previous year because to CFC. This increase is part of a long-term increasing trend, with a CAGR of 23% reported since 2020. “Our collaborative activities have spread across the country, involving 15 local government units (LGUs) in Region 4A (Calabarzon) and the city of Baguio. “These partnerships are critical in driving our vision for a greener future as we continue to innovate and invest in sustainable practices,” said Catherine Chua, Tetra Pak’s Sustainability Manager for the Philippines.

Tetra Pak’s FY23 Sustainability Report highlights the company’s successes from the previous year as well as ongoing measures to preserve food, people, and the environment. This includes:

  • Expanding School Feeding Programmes: The company helped 64 million children in 49 countries access milk and other nutritious beverages through School Feeding Programmes.
  • Accelerating Recycling: The amount of carton packages collected and sent for recycling worldwide rose 7% compared to 2022. Additionally, there was a 14% increase in the volume of polyAl sent for recycling.
  • Again, getting recognition for Leadership in Corporate Transparency and Performance: Tetra Pak was included in the CDP Forests ‘A List for the eighth consecutive year. Additionally, the company received an ‘A-‘ rating in Water Security despite its first year of reporting in this area.
  • Actively implementing the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

The total FY23 report can be found here.

More information about Tetra Pak is available at www.tetrapak.com.

  youtube.com/user/tetrapak

 @tetrapak

https://www.linkedin.com/company/tetra-pak/

Lifestyle, News

The 2024 CSR Conference and Expo in July focuses on innovation and technology in a New and Inclusive Future

Technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) have emerged as transformative forces in the modern business landscape, promising significant benefits for early adopters, but they are not without disruptive consequences, including the possibility of disproportionately affecting more vulnerable members of society.

The League of Corporate Foundations (LCF) is organizing the highly anticipated 2024 CSR EXPO to unite CSR practitioners to collaborate and leverage the potential of technology and innovation while mitigating risks. This year’s conference will be held at the Dusit Thani Manila on July 3 and 4, followed by the EXPO on July 4 and 5 at the Glorietta Activity Center in Makati City.

Aptly themed “Reimagining a New and Inclusive Future”, this year’s Expo will bring together leaders, experts, and representatives of different industries to tackle significant topics ranging from how technology can enhance CSR practice and ESG reporting to AI’s role as a catalyst for innovation and as a source of disruption. It will also feature small-group breakout sessions where attendees can gather new insights and tactics about how AI and other revolutionary technologies can be leveraged across such crucial areas as enterprise development, health, environment, education, disaster resilience, arts and culture, and financial inclusion.

This gathering of CSR experts will showcase the application of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) reporting can help mitigate the challenges posed by technology. The sector aims to ensure that these technologies are inclusive and contribute to true societal and national development that benefits the 51% of Filipinos living in poverty.

“Corporates should view these innovations as vital opportunities to take part in, if not lead an all-of-nation implementations of CSR and ESG that maximize these innovations’ potential and promise while offsetting and minimizing their potential ill effects,” said Shem Jose W. Garcia, LCF Vice-Chair and Executive Director, Vivant Foundation, Inc. “These approaches must work to ensure that the application of technology is aligned with the fundamental principles of CSR and ESG, and, by doing so, made inclusive and contributes to social sustainability and the common good.”

Esteemed speakers across various spheres

The 2024 CSR EXPO will connect an estimated 200 delegates with industry leaders in CSR, technology and innovation, and other areas, and serve as a venue for dynamic discussions and collaboration.

The speaker lineup includes Keynote Speaker, Dr. David R. Hardoon, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Aboitiz Data Innovation; Forum Speakers Leo de Velez, co-founder of Frontlearners, Inc.; Sherwin Yap, founder of Kaizen Robotics International; and Sherlo Reyes, Director for the Center for Partnership & Development, School of Deaf Education & Applied Studies at the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde.

For the thematic sessions, speakers include Ted Monroy, country representative, United Nations Industrial Development Organization; Dr. Alvin Marcelo, Philippine Digital Health Strategy Technical Working Group, Department of Health; Dr. Chelsea Elizabeth Samson, head of Strategy & Communications and head of Public Health and Policy, Ayala Healthcare Holdings Inc.; James Elrond B. Lagare, Managing Director, Geodata Systems Technologies, Inc.; Prof. Erika Fille T. Legara, Aboitiz chair in Data Science and Associate Professor, Asian Institute of Management; Hon. Nolasco A. Mempin, Undersecretary for Administration, Department of Education; Ms. Aprille P. Tijam, Associate Director and Head of Exhibitions and Collections, Ayala Museum; Engr. Sergio Ramos III, president of PCI Innovations Tech Center; and Esteban Masagca, Executive Director, People’s Disaster Risk Reduction Network.

For the full list of speakers and sessions, please view the Conference Program at bit.ly/2024CSRExpo 

Recognizing outstanding CSR initiatives

In celebration of National CSR Week, LCF will award noteworthy examples of CSR excellence concurrently with the Expo.

LCF will announce the winners of the 2024 Guild Awards on the evening of July 3 at Dusit Thani Manila. The yearly awards program honors exemplary CSR initiatives undertaken by LCF members.

For the first time, the League will also be awarding the CSR Medal of Recognition to non-members to acknowledge the work and effort they provide in their respective communities. The Medal of Recognition celebrates the interventional activities of non-member corporates. This inaugural program will be held on July 5 at the Glorietta.

Upholding CSR and technology to the public

Meanwhile, the Expo at the Glorietta Activity Center, which will be held from July 4 to 5, will showcase technology-themed CSR initiatives undertaken by LCF members and non-members alike for the general public.

This year’s exhibitors are Pilipinas Shell Foundation, Inc.; Coca-Cola Foundation Philippines, Inc.; BPI Foundation, Inc.; Toyota Motor Philippines Foundation, Inc.; Metrobank Foundation, Inc.; Aboitiz Foundation, Inc.; Metro Pacific Investment Foundation, Inc.; Gokongwei Brothers Foundation, Inc.; Vivant Foundation, Inc.; Manila Water Foundation, Inc.; Power 4 All, Inc.; Lopez Group Foundation, Inc.; Energy Development Corporation; BDO Foundation, Inc.; San Miguel Foundation, Inc.; Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Philippines, Inc.; Ayala Foundation, Inc.; Don Antonio O. Floirendo Sr. Foundation, Inc.; East West Seed Foundation, Inc.; Joy~Nostalg Foundation, Inc.; SM Foundation, Inc.; PCI Innovations Tech Center, Inc.; Frontlearners, Inc.; Rise Against Hunger Philippines; and Animal Empathy Philippines.

The Expo will also serve as a venue for the launch of LIFE, the League of Corporate Foundations’ Initiative for Food Security, Nutrition and Empowerment. LIFE is a  League-wide initiative working to halt stunting, wasting and malnutrition while collaborating with like-minded groups and government agencies.

LCF, founded in 1991, is a network of operational and granting business and family foundations and corporations in the Philippines. The League has been in the forefront of promoting and improving CSR practices among its members and the broader business sector in the country. Go to the LCF homepage at lcf.org.ph and the 2024 Conference and Expo microsite at bit.ly/2024CSRExpo.

The Metro Pacific Investments Foundation, Inc. and the Pilipinas Shell Foundation, Inc. collaborated to organize the 2024 CSR Conference and Expo. It is also sponsored by the Aboitiz Foundation, Inc., Coca-Cola Foundation Philippines, Inc., Manila Water Foundation, Inc., Metrobank Foundation, Inc., SM Foundation, Inc., Henry Sy Foundation, Inc., and Felicidad T. Sy Foundation, Inc., as well as the Vivant Foundation.

Lifestyle, News

Over 10 million members benefit from SM’s revolutionary loyalty program

Enhanced shopping experience awaits members of one of the country’s biggest rewards system


A SMAC Prestige member enters the Prestige Lounge, exclusive access given to Prestige members of SMAC. SM’s loyalty program and one of the biggest in the country, aims to incentivize the shopping behavior of its members. With over 4,000 partner stores, SMAC members get exclusive access to sale events, discounts, special offers, and freebies from SM group and partner merchants.

SM demonstrated its dedication to customers by continuously improving SMAC, the company’s loyalty program. Committed to providing a smarter, more rewarding shopping experience for customers, SM is focused on customer-centric innovation through SMAC, which will deliver an array of advantages designed to improve convenience, savings, and overall happiness.

SMAC, the country’s largest retail rewards system, has also expanded its client base, doubling it from 5 million in 2020 to over 10 million members now.

SM’s loyalty program has paved the path for smarter buying across the country. Members can use the SMAC app to track their spending, access their points, which are redeemable for cash, and stay up to speed on exclusive discounts and privileges. Customers can then adjust and tweak their expenditures to fit the lifestyle they choose.

“SMAC is more than just points and exclusive offers. We enable our members to shop smarter. With SMAC, they will have access to information that will equip them to make smarter purchases,” shared Kevin Hartigan-Go, Chief Operating Officer, SMAC.

Tracing their history from economic crises, loyalty programs have become a way for companies and the consuming public to strengthen their relationship, going beyond transactions and increasing the value exchange between them.

Smarter retailing and a rewarding lifestyle for SMAC members

Defined as providing customers with tools that allow them to shop faster and smarter, smart retailing has been dominating global retail businesses in the past few years as seen by how customers become more thoughtful in spending their money.

Insights from a loyalty program like SMAC also allow brands to craft a more positive experience for their customers.

“SM takes care of its customers by providing them a tool that enables them to shop smarter and that continuously engages with them. SMAC is a healthy program that its members and partner brands can rely on,” Hartigan-Go further shared.

Launched in 2002, SMAC has offered its loyal members an unparalleled shopping experience by fostering a strong community for more than 20 years. Loyalty goes both ways, and SM’s loyalty program understands this showcased through its strong network of over 4,000 partner stores nationwide.

Now, offering a more comprehensive and rewarding lifestyle for their members is SMAC’s partnerships with other brands including Shell, Mabuhay Miles, Globe Rewards, and PLDT Home Rewards.

As consumer expectations and buying behavior grow, SMAC strives to provide its members with even more possibilities to be rewarded. SMAC has made shopping more rewarding at SM Store, SM Markets, Ace Hardware, SM Appliance Center, Watsons, Toy Kingdom, Pet Express, Uniqlo, The Body Shop, and Sports Central by providing exclusive discounts, prizes, and freebies.

Members receive additional benefits when they reserve their stay at Taal Vista, Pico de Loro, or Pico Sands. Hotels include Radisson Blu and Park Inn by Radisson Hotels.

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Fortune names three SM firms to its first Southeast Asia 500 list

Fortune recently recognized three SM companies, SM Investments Corporation, BDO Unibank Inc., and China Banking Corporation, to its first Southeast Asia 500 list, which includes 38 Philippine companies.

Fortune stated in a statement that its focus on Southeast Asia comes as the region’s economies develop rapidly and supply chains shift.

The initial rankings comprised corporations from seven Southeast Asian countries: Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia, and The Philippines.

The list featured SM Investments, BDO, and Chinabank, which contributed USD10.3 billion, USD5.8 billion, and USD1.4 billion in revenue, respectively.

“Having three SM companies included in the inaugural list of Fortune’s Southeast Asia 500 is reflective of how consumers have continued to patronize and support our customer-focused operations.  More importantly, the list underscores Southeast Asia’s increasing importance in the global economy, driven by evolving supply chains and robust economic development across nations like the Philippines. It’s about time to shine the spotlight on Philippine companies and the opportunities in terms of investments and growth,” SM Investments President and Chief Executive Officer Frederic C. DyBuncio said.

Companies are ranked by total revenues based on their latest available respective fiscal years ended on, or before, December 31, 2023. The ten largest companies on the list reported revenues of USD650 billion. That accounts for more than a third of the revenue for fiscal year 2023 across all Southeast Asia 500 companies which reported total revenues of USD1.8 trillion.

Fortune said that overall, revenues and profits shrank over the past year for the Southeast Asia 500. But those changes, driven by weak energy markets, masked impressive growth stories in multiple industries.

“The Fortune Southeast Asia 500 reflects a dynamic and fast-changing region — one whose core economies are growing notably faster than those of Europe or the U.S. This is partly due to Southeast Asia taking on far greater significance in the global economy, not least because a host of Global 500 multinationals have shifted more of their supply chains to Southeast Asian nations,” says Clay Chandler, Executive Editor, Asia.

In another sign of the dynamism of the region, Fortune’s analysts found there are about 30 female CEOs and chairmen amongst the Southeast Asia 500 companies. In all, there are 16 leaders in their 30s holding the positions of CEO, Managing Director, Executive Chairman or Chairman. In total, the 500 companies employ close to 6 million people.

“We are thrilled to introduce the Southeast Asia 500 to our international readers as we build on the 70-year history of publishing the Fortune 500. With this new list, we turn the spotlight on the impressive growth story of Southeast Asia and the largest companies driving this diverse region and its economies,” said Khoon-Fong Ang, Fortune’s Chief of Operations, Asia.

Companies named to the inaugural Southeast Asia 500 join an elite group of businesses recognized by the Fortune 500 franchise, which includes the original Fortune 500, the Fortune Global 500, the Fortune Europe 500, and the Fortune China 500.