THE House of Representatives approved on second reading a bill principally authored by Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo seeking to encourage all business organizations established and operating under Philippine laws, whether domestic or foreign, to observe corporate social responsibility (CSR) in the operation of their businesses in the country.
Arroyo said many corporations and other business corporations have shown very little care for the welfare of society and the community where they operate and the natural environment around them.
“Their sole purpose is to maximize their respective returns on investment, totally disregarding the impact of their activities on customers, employees, shareholders, communities, and environment,” said Arroyo on her House Bill (HB) No. 9061.
The Speaker explained that the bill seeks to foster sustainable economic and environment development and environment protection, among other things by institutionalizing corporate social responsibility in corporations, whether domestic or foreign, partnership and other establishment performing business in the country.
The proposed “Corporate Social Responsibility Act” declares that the State recognizes the vital role of the private sector in nation-building and shall encourage its active participation in fostering economic development and environment protection in the country.
In view of this, the government shall mobilize its various agencies, in coordination with non-government and people’s organizations, to work hand in hand for the integration, promotion and strengthening of CSR in all business organizations.
CSR is referred to in the bill 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.
To encourage companies to engage in CSR, Section 43 of Batas Pambansa Blg.68 or the Corporation Code of the Philippines, shall be amended.