RSCA in Action

Philippines: CSR training brings insights to managers and students.

CEOs and future business leaders alike are exposed to new ideas about the importance of responsible business conduct.

Article | 20 October 2019
Future business leaders from Southwestern University PHINMA, University of San Carlos and Cebu State College of Science and Technology participated in the training
Philippines, Cebu (ILO News) - Kimberly Tee feels her corn milling company is on the right track when it comes to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in her workplace. “This training has confirmed that most of what we are doing is right,” she says, “(but) some aspects need to be reviewed as we may be doing them wrong.”

Tee, the General Manager/Owner of Atlas Cebu Corn Mill Corporation, is participating in the ILO’s Training Module on Corporate and Social Responsibility. The sessions are being conducted by an ILO partner in the Philippines, the Asian Institute of Management. The training is part of a six-country programme jointly implemented by the ILO and OECD, with funding from the EU. The Responsible Supply Chains in Asia programme aims to promote responsible business conduct and decent work in multinational and national businesses. It does this through research, policy advocacy, establishing forums for best practice dialogue among businesses and through training. 

Kimberly Tee, Owner/Manager, Atlas Cebu Corn Mill Corporation
Tee, who attended with 20 representatives from enterprises-members of the Mandaue Chamber of Commerce, found the sessions on wage and benefits as well as freedom of association as the most useful part of the training. On this question of freedom of association, she was able to find clarification on what she should do about their company’s labour union which is not operating actively at the moment.

The training, which targets governments, business and union leaders also looks to engage future leaders with the principles of responsible business conduct. In a separate session, 37 business management students or future business leaders from Southwestern University PHINMA, University of San Carlos and Cebu State College of Science and Technology were introduced to key international guidelines or instruments that spell out expectations and provide practical direction on how to implement standards for labour, the environment and governance.

Included among these instruments is the ILO Tripartite Declaration of Principles concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy (MNE Declaration). This provides guidance to businesses, governments, and employers’ and workers’ organisations on social policy and inclusive, responsible and sustainable workplace practices.

Master of Arts student, Mark Louie Vincent was one of 37 future business leaders who went through the training. He was struck by the broad scope and impact of CSR: “(It) is not only a concern of government and businesses but of the whole society as well.“ The societal aspects of corporate social responsibility he considers the biggest lesson of the training.

Student, Mark Louie Vincent
Vincent was able to relate the training to his own experience writing web copy for animation companies in China. From the training sessions, he said that he now understands better that consumers of the animation companies also have a big responsibility and important role in promoting responsible conduct among the animation companies. They can influence these companies in doing CSR by paying better wages to their animators and making reasonable demands in terms of submission deadlines for their animation web content.

He found most useful the discussion and group exercise on the MNE Declaration where everyone was given the opportunity to reflect among themselves the principles of the Declaration and the chance to share with others their perspectives and related experiences.

Lead trainer and facilitator of both activities, AIM’s Dr. Dynah Basuil, regards the training as important for the growth of businesses. “ Embedding responsible business practices, starting from providing decent work opportunities to employees, leads to a productive workforce that can sustain an organization’s competitive advantage. Our partnership with ILO allows us to provide our stakeholders- current and future business leaders, a platform to engage them in dialogue around international labour standards and build their capabilities to create decent work opportunities to employees - within their own businesses and their suppliers”.

The Responsible Supply Chains in Asia Programme was developed by the European Union together with the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to enable governments, businesses and workers to communicate on challenges and opportunities relating to corporate social responsibility in six Asian countries – China, Japan, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, and Viet Nam. It uses as a basis for its research, outreach, policy advocacy and training internationally recognised guidelines on responsible business conduct, the OECD’s Guidelines for multinational enterprises, and the ILO’s MNE declaration.