We had a sit-down intimate gathering with Atty. Adel Tamano, now the Vice President for Public Affairs and Communications, Coca-Cola Philippines, who shared with us the company’s corporate social responsibility and discussed, together with Cecile Alcantara, President of Coca-Cola Foundation Philippines and Coca-Cola Philippines representatives.
Through a holistic sustainability framework, Coca-Cola Philippines brings back happiness through sustainability programs called Me, We, World that focus on education, well-being, women empowerment, and water.
There are four programs under the framework which are NutriJuice; The Little Red Schoolhouse; 5by20 STAR; and Agos Ram Pump programs.
All four programs have significant effect on people that Coca-Cola Philippines is reaching out through a journey to refresh and benefit Filipinos. The NutriJuice and The Little Red Schoolhouse are both important as it aid children to continue their education with a sound health, body, and a roof to study. NutriJuice Program aims to address Iron Deficiency Anemia (IDA) among school children ages 6 to 12 years through a beverage which children can truly enjoy. “Without enough Iron, brain doesn’t developed, our body doesn’t developed as well, that is why we have to target specific age – from 6 years to 12,” Adel said. This falls under the Me: Personal well-being program.
Under We: Community well-being, The Little Red Schoolhouse aims to improve access to primary education for disadvantage children in remote areas across the Philippines. At the same time, Coca-Cola recognizes the significant role of women as potential engines of economic and social development.
Trivia: In 2010, Coca-Cola Chairman and CEO Muhtar Kent made a commitment to empower 5 million women entrepreneurs across the Coca-Cola global value chain by 2020. They call this program 5by20. In the Philippines, the initiative is known as the S3TAR Program or the Sari-Sari Store Training and Access to Resources Program.
Atty. Tamano acknowledges that the back-bone of Coca-Cola sales volume of 60% comes from traditional trade or the small stores known as sari-sari stores in the country. “The 40% comes from malls, like SM, PureGold, and convenience stores,” he added.
The World framework focuses on the environmental well-being through Agos Ram Pump, a Coca-Cola advocacy of bringing back the water to their consumers. “We want to make a substantial difference in the lives of our consumers and communities where we serve and operate,” Adel mentioned.
“I think the very core of Agos Ram Pump is the ram pump technology, which is a very simple machine that doesn’t use electricity, doesn’t use gasoline, it just uses the power of water to pump up the water from the river to the mountain and at the same time uses very little moving parts,” said Cecile. “We chose a technology that is sustainable, and we chose communities that are committed in the long run with resources and people to sustain the system. We also train technicians in the communities.”
The Agos Ram Pump Project leverages a 200-year-old technology which uses the natural kinetic energy contained in free-flowing water to transport large volume of water to upland communities.
Partners are very important for these programs to keep them on going. Coca-Cola Philippines developed NutriJuice with the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology; The Little Red Schoolhouse partnership with the Department of Education and the Philippine Business for Social Progress has thus far touched nearly 60,000 schoolchildren and more than 3,100 teachers in over 284 classrooms at 100 schools nationwide; in partnership with TESDA, various women NGOs, LGUs, and micro-finance firms, the S3TAR Program provides women sari-sari store owners and operators with basic entrepreneurship training, access to capital and merchandising, peer mentoring and nurturing until their business becomes stable; and through the partnership with Earth Day Network and the Alternative Indigenous Foundation Incorporated, 4,000 families have benefited and have access to clean water through the ram pump system installed in 25 water poor communities all over the Philippines. By 2014, Coca-Cola Philippines will complete its commitment to install 100 Ram Pumps.
While this information they have given to us on an intimate meeting has spawned interest and appreciation in what Coca-Cola Philippines do, Atty. Adel invited us to take part in a more detailed first-hand experience of these programs. Well, we do welcome that invitation and not just to see it on a personal level but also to immerse on the community programs which the company addresses to.
How about you dear readers, have you participated in corporate social responsibility programs such as these? What effect has it brought on you? Did it make you understand more the plight of our fellowmen and help you realize how you can make a difference even in just small and simple ways? Share with us if you have these kind of stories. We’ll be happy to know about it!
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