House lauded for timely approval of Corporate Social Responsibility Act

A House leader on Saturday lauded Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano,

Majority Leader and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez and his colleagues for the “timely” approval of the proposed “Corporate Social Responsibility

Act” while the country continues to be confronted by the dangerous coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Romero, together with 1 Pacman Partylist Rep. Eric Pineda, is the principal author of House Bill (HB) 6137 that encourages private corporations to commit strongly in pursuing social responsibility efforts for the community and society, in general.

HB No. 6137 won overwhelming support in the Lower House that voted 209 for and 0 against for its third and final reading approval last Wednesday.

It consolidated bills filed by Romero, Pineda and Pangasinan Rep. Tyrone Agabas.

Romero and Pineda underscored the significance of passing HB No. 6137 in the wake of the country’s fight against the COVID 19 pandemic.

The two party-list House leaders noted that even before Congress could approve the measure, many private corporations have already dedicated huge efforts in helping government address vital needs of Filipinos during the enhanced community quarantine observed in the country.

“Majority, if not all, of the country’s leading corporations have demonstrated sincere social responsibility concern especially by contributing much needed PPE’s (personal protection equipment) for the medical frontliners and by financing testing centers,” noted Romero.

In the explanatory notes of the bill, Romero and Pineda said: “Plowing back corporate resources to communities, especially those underserved by the government, would help cure the deficit in state spending in areas that cry out for development.”

Pineda said that HB No. 6137 defines “CSR as the commitment of business to contribute on a voluntary basis to sustainable economic development by working with relevant stakeholders to improve their lives in ways that are good for business, sustainable development agenda and society at large.”

Included among the activities are charitable programs and projects, scientific research, youth and sports development, social welfare, disaster relieve and assistance, health development and social even socialized and low-cost housing.

The bill allows stock corporations to retain profits in excess of 100 percent of paid-in capital stock to be used for the expansion of corporate social responsibility projects and programs.

Under the bill, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is mandated to “recognize and reward business establishments for outstanding, innovative and world-class CSR-Related services, projects and programs.”

On the other local government units are required to extend assistance necessary for business establishments to accomplish CSR programs and projects.