Companies have sharpened the focus of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives amid the pandemic, with their charitable efforts built into business operations or aimed at immediate communities.

“We first made sure that the health and job security of our employees are okay,” said Anna Legarda-Locsin, Procter & Gamble communications head, during a CSR summit organized by World Vision. The multinational corporation then used its manufacturing plant in Cabuyao, Laguna, to produce face masks.

Conduent, a Pasay City–based business process outsourcing company donated over 80 computers and servers to educational institutions in its neighborhood: Pasay City Science High School; Pasay City East High School; and the Technological University of the Philippines.

Quarantine restrictions posed difficulties. “In the past, employees volunteered to deliver the computers themselves. Nowadays, we can’t have big groups,” said Pamela Donato, Conduent’s human resources country lead.

To scale up individual CSR efforts, the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF) determined the most pressing needs of the hour, aligned its projects, and coordinated the efforts of the private sector. “We looked for partners to help us. It is absolutely important to partner with others to leverage resources,” said Guillermo Luz, PDRF chief resilience officer and advisor. Active listening, he added, ensures that CSR initiatives match on-the-ground needs.

Jun Godornes, director of the World Vision Development Foundation, said that doing good has a cascading positive effect and that the pandemic has only highlighted the inextricable connections we have with each other: “When we look after the welfare of others, we secure ours. Doing good never goes out of style.” — P. B. Mirasol