Aboitiz group pledges to continue supporting gov’t

Published January 22, 2021, 11:38 AM

by Madelaine B. Miraflor

The Aboitiz Group has pledged to continue supporting the Philippine government in terms of addressing hunger and malnutrition as part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts.

In a statement, Aboitiz Group said it believes collaborating with the government in its effort to combat hunger in the country or eradicate it altogether is crucial to realizing its goals under United Nations’ (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), which is targeting for Zero Hunger by 2030.

Through its food subsidiary Pilmico, Aboitiz has been advocating food security by supporting local farmers through sustainable livelihood programs and promoting locally-grown food consumption.

Pilmico’s flagship program is the ‘Mahalin Pagkaing Atin’ campaign, which is now called ‘Pilmico Livelihood Program.

Launched in 2014, the project aims to provide sustainable livelihood businesses in places with high incidences of poverty, disasters, and conflicts.

The program aims to help people rebuild their lives, promote sustainable livelihood by promoting locally grown produce, instill a “pride of product, pride of place” mindset for both the farmers and the local consumers.

“Helping farmers increase their capability to earn adequate income and increase farm productivity would alleviate the longstanding predicament of hunger in the country,” said Aboitiz Group President and CEO Sabin M. Aboitiz.

The Abpotiz Group is also part of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Zero Hunger’s ‘Pilipinas Kontra Gutom (PKG) (Lahat Kasali, Lahat Kasalo)’ project, a multi-sectoral collaboration that aims to tackle the roots of involuntary hunger in the country.

The task force, led by Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, rallied the support of the academe, non-profit organizations, private corporations, and the general public to help develop sustainable solutions on food availability, increased food accessibility, adequacy of food nutrition, and assistance in hunger-stricken communities, especially during this time of crisis.

The Aboitiz Group is a co-lead for the program’s Workstream 1, which is focused on food availability. It aims to double the productivity and income of small-scale producers using sustainable food systems.

Other entities that have already pledged support for the program are Ronald McDonald’s House Charities, Cobena, Jollibee, Nestle, Vitarich, Unilever, J&J, Coca-Cola, San Miguel, among others

A Social Weather Station survey revealed that 21.1 percent of Filipino families experienced involuntary hunger in 2020, a record high, surpassing 19.9 percent in 2011 and 2012, and double the average of 9.3 percent in 2019 before the pandemic.

Meanwhile, in the Global Hunger Index of 2020, the Philippines ranks 69th among 107 countries with a score of 19, a level that is moderate in terms of its four component indicators: undernourishment, child stunting, child wasting, and child mortality.

Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc. (AEV) is the public holding company of the Aboitiz Group with major investments in power, banking and financial services, food, infrastructure, and land.

To date, the Aboitiz Group’s total contribution to the national COVID-19 response effort has reached over P2.2 billion, excluding various payments waived, reduced, extended, or restructured to help customers cope with the impact of COVID-19.