Inclusive Businesses helping achieve SDGs in the Philippines

Aug 2, 2017

From left to right: Asec. Felicitas A. Reyes, DTI-BOI; Titon Mitra, Country Director of UNDP Philippines; Ms. Caroline Grace Pedragosa, Director, IB Center-PBSP; Mr. Sabha Sobhani, BCTA; Mr. Edgar Chua, Chair, Makati Business Club; Mr. Jaco Beerends, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of the Netherlands in the Philippines

 

How private sector is helping to break cycle of poverty and improve lives in Southeast Asia

Manila, 2 August 2017 – With more than a quarter of the Philippines’ 100 million-strong population living below the poverty line, efforts to tackle poverty and improve living, working and health conditions must be stepped up if the populous Southeast Asian nation is to achieve its Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) commitments by 2030. A new report, New Horizons: How Inclusive Business is Helping Achieve the SDGs in the Philippines, outlines the role that private sector can play in meeting these targets and improving the lives of low income Filipinos.

“The Philippines is among the leading examples globally of how the private sector can support inclusive growth. This publication aims to provide different perspectives on the effectiveness of Inclusive Business in the country by analysing the current state of private sector development initiatives across various sectors and presenting actual Inclusive Business cases in food and agribusiness, health, housing and financial services,” said UNDP Philippines Country Director Titon Mitra.

The report, launched today by Inclusive Business advocacy platform Business Call to Action (BCtA) hosted by the United Nations Development Programme and Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP), the largest corporate-led organization in the Philippines promoting Inclusive Business, examines how businesses can be more ‘inclusive’ by providing employment, goods, services and livelihoods in a commercially viable manner to people living at the base of the economic pyramid (defined as those earning less than USD 8 a day). By doing so, they are directly contributing to a range of SDGs, including SDG 1: No Poverty, SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being, and SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth.

Globally, the 4.5 billion people living at the base of the economic pyramid (BoP) are estimated to spend over US$5 trillion per year (in terms of 2005 purchasing power parity), making this a bigger consumption segment than middle- and higher-income earners combined. In the Philippines, people at the BoP spend USD 34 billion per year, which is almost 50 percent of the country’s entire household expenditure. The number of people living at the BoP will soon exceed 20 million.

Basing its findings on input from representatives from 53 companies and over 100 stakeholders who participated in workshops led by the PBSP, the report finds that many Inclusive Business models are already operating in the Philippines, but more support is needed to expand those existing Inclusive Businesses and encourage the growth of new ones.

For example, Kennemer Foods International, the country’s leading supplierof cacao beans to the international market, supports smallholder farmers’ access to financing, technical assistance and a guaranteed market through its Cacao Growership Programme. Social enterprise Coffee For Peace works with 600 indigenous rural poor people (80 percent of them women) in 13 conflict-torn areas of Mindanao and Northern Luzon to promote economic empowerment, peace and reconciliation, and environmental stewardship.

“While there are many ways to engage in social development, such as philanthropy, social investment and responsible business practices, more companies are seeing the need to adopt Inclusive Business approaches to ensure both long-term improvements in the lives of poor people, as well as business sustainability,” said Reynaldo Laguda PBSP Executive Director.

The report, produced by BCtA with support from PBSP, outlines the links between Inclusive Business and the SDGs, and discusses Philippine private sector contribution to the Global Goals. It provides insights into the state of Inclusive Business in the Philippines, the level of awareness about Inclusive Business among companies, and the IB policy environment.It introduces IB opportunities across four sectors – food and agribusiness, skills building and education, infrastructure and financial services – and provides examples of established and emerging models with links to the SDGs.

The report is available for download at https://www.businesscalltoaction.org/resources

For further information:

Aimee Brown, BCtA Communications Lead aimee.brown@undp.org/ +254 731 859 413      

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About Business Call to Action (BCtA): Launched at the United Nations in 2008, Business Call to Action (BCtA) aims to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by challenging companies to develop inclusive business models that offer the potential for both commercial success and development impact. BCtAhas nearly 200 member companies globally, including 11 that have made inclusive business commitments in the Philippines, and is a unique multilateral alliance between theDutch Ministry of Foreign AffairsSwedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)UK Department for International DevelopmentUS Agency for International Development, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Finland, and the United Nations Development Programme — which hosts the secretariat. For more information, visit www.businesscalltoaction.org or on Twitter at @BCtAInitiative.