Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is commonly perceived as an ethical obligation of any company and how it’s existence impact the environment, community and human rights. More often, a CSR activity is seen as an act of “giving” wherein one-party benefits from the other. However, PBO Global learned a different lesson from the young people of Aeta tribe – our chosen beneficiary for this year’s company CSR project.
Through the initiative of the Newly Appointed Police Commissioned Officers (NAPCOS) of Capas, Tarlac (Philippines) companies like PBO Global were given an avenue to take part in efforts to improve the local community in the region. The program was aimed to provide basic school supplies to the Aeta students of a remote school in Sta. Juliana Capas, Tarlac.
The Aetas of Capas, Tarlac
The “Aetas” are known in history as the Negritos or the curly-haired people of the mountains. They are the first settlers of the Philippines. Their tribe has been one of the longest existing indigenous people of the country and their culture remains intact to these days. Aetas are recognized to have great survival skills and artistic talent, these characteristics have enabled them to survive for decades.
But as our society evolves, the adaptive skills of the Aetas are lagging far behind these changes. External pressures such as natural disasters, technological development and industrialization have progressed at a pace more than they could cope-up with. The eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in 1991, forced the Aetas to evacuate their ancestral land. At present, several Aetas have managed to settle in towns of Tarlac and Pampanga. While some of them have learned to harmonize, a significant percentage of the Aetas still need assistance.
The Young Ones of the Tribe
Education is a universal human right – that’s unquestionable. However, the access to this right is a different story. Not everyone has the capability to exercise this right. Factors such as poverty and geographical location are some of the reasons that hinder a child to go school. In the Philippines, education is considered as the key to get your family out of poverty. Ironically, it is poverty that keeps a child out of school.
Young Aeta students could walk in slippers and trek mountains going to school. Despite the distance, they will attend their class without sufficient school supplies and even with an empty stomach. They may have scarce resources to equip themselves, but their inclination towards education is admirable.
The story of the young Aetas studying in Sta. Juliana may have been about challenges and unequal footing but it is also about hope and solidarity.
Our Responsibility as Part of the Community
The primary objective of the activity is to address the lack of resources of the Aeta students. This includes providing them with school supplies and new slippers that they could use in going to school. A total of 300 students have been given with materials through the program.
But this CSR program is more than just giving material things. This is also about inspiring Aeta students so that one day, they could give back to their tribe. Moreover, the conducted program is an exhibit where government, private companies and individuals can work together to tackle societal issues, setting aside commercial or individual interest.
This CSR activity had shown us a mutually beneficial result. Through this activity, PBO Global gained a deeper appreciation and wider perspective beyond our purpose to help companies thrive. As we strive to become the leader in outsourcing business, nevertheless we realized that we need to stay relevant and be purposeful for the growth of the local community.
A CSR program is now our moral compass as PBO Global navigates itself into the future.
If you share the same belief in business and you are inspired to help the local community here such as the Aetas, please feel free to contact us. We’re more than happy to share with you more local inspirations and stories.