At the recently-concluded Pilipinas Conference 2021, Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala (JAZA), Chairman of the Ayala Group, could not over-emphasize the need for collective unity and commitment in addressing societal pain points toward national recovery. Beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, he said, we need to intervene not just in climate change but also in issues of inclusivity and equality.
JAZA was a speaker at a speaker at the thought-provoking five-day conference sponsored by think-tank Stratbase ADR. This year’s event gathered environmental stakeholders from the government, private sector, international community, and civil society to discuss “whole of society” actions for a green and sustainable recovery.
“Not one enterprise nor sector, however large and vigorous, can do it alone and sustain these recovery efforts. However, taken together and working together, individual contributions however small, can add up to critical mass and sustainable momentum.”
JAZA narrated how the COVID-19 pandemic provided the business sector with the unique opportunity of working with each other and with government. He described Project Ugnayan as one such giant collaborative effort where 270 private businesses quickly came together to raise funds to distribute food aid to over 14 million vulnerable Filipinos.
The private sector also built biomolecular labs, hospitals and isolation facilities while participating actively in the vaccination program – both in the procurement of vaccines and actual inoculations.
But the private sector can certainly do more. “The social contract of private corporations needs to move beyond philanthropy and corporate social responsibility actions.We must also seek to direct and pivot our business purpose, our portfolios, our practices at their core to help solve society’s major pain points.
We need “to adapt to the changing consumers and market conditions and to provide more and more equitable access to quality basic services. Only if our whole entire ecosystem prospers will we be able to continue to contribute to society through job generation, the manufacture and sale of products and services, the payment of taxes, and continue attracting investors and provide us capital in a sustainable fashion.”
JAZA talked of climate change and other sustainability issues. “Climate change is here and intervention is imperative. However, I would like to add that the devastating impact of climate change is just one among the wider set of challenges falling under the ambit of sustainability. Like many other partners and like-minded peers, we view sustainability with a wider lens covering not only climate change, but also inclusivity and equality.
“In quite a few areas, the pandemic has worsened the fissures of inequality already present in our society. Squarely addressing the challenges in these areas is the only way to sustainable impact in its broadest and most inclusive sense. Again in this sphere, unpreceded collaboration is demanded of us. The private sector, the government and civil society, both locally and globally. All of us have to work together.”
JAZA ended by quoting from the Vision 2050 Framework of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) of which the Ayala Group is a member. “In the framework, the WBCSD elegantly captures what sustainable impact in its various facets should be about.
“Nine billion people living well within planetary boundaries.” For us in the Philippines, that means “one hundred ten million people living well within planetary boundaries.”
Manny Pacquiao now a museum item
Boxing great Manny Pacquiao has been enshrined in the Madame Tussauds Wax Museum in Hong Kong. The life-like and life-size image of Pacquiao is set in a boxing ring and features actual garb used by the retired boxing legend.
Pacquiao is the 10th sports champion so honored. The list includes David Beckham, Muhammad Ali , Yao Ming, Tiger Woods, Ronaldinho and Stephen Curry. He is the second Filipino included the museum, the first being former Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach.
Muntinlupa City Demo Farm
The local government of Muntinlupa, through the Department of Agriculture–Extension Services Office (DA-ESO), has launched the City Demo Farm, the first LGU-operated intensive hydroponics system in Metro Manila.
The city demo farm has an edible landscaping area with organic vegetables, fruits, herbs, and medicinal plants. It also has a seedling nursery, mushroom house, SNAP hydroponics, and NFT hydroponics.
The construction of the landscaping facility was conducted in partnership with the UPLB Edible Landscaping Team.The installation of SNAP Hydroponics was conducted in partnership with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) under the “Gulayan sa Pamayanan Program.” Mayor Jaime Fresnedi led the inauguration of the Muntinlupa City Demo Farm located at Muntinlupa Sports Complex in Brgy. Tunasan last November 11. He was joined by City Administrator Engr. Allan Cachuela, Vice Mayor Temy Simundac, DA-ESO chief Malou Lobo, Rotaract Club exec Dra. Teresita Filoteo, Our Lady of the Abandoned Parish officials, SDRC official Lize Conde, and Adriano Mini Farm Owner Nars Adriano, among others.
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