A unique approach to community initiatives

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For 30 years now, the ICCP Group has been at the forefront of the country’s growth and development. Apart from fulfilling its mission and vision, the group goes beyond its responsibilities by extending its hands in doing positive social change.

A company’s sense of responsibility towards the community and environment, or simply called corporate social responsibility (CSR), is a concept with many definitions and practices.

While many companies typically show its intention by donating cash and goods to the most poverty-stricken communities or to those affected by natural calamities, the ICCP Group believes that community involvement must go hand in hand between the provider and beneficiaries.

“I always believe that CSR should not just be about giving. It should be a joint effort with the beneficiaries because otherwise they will not appreciate what you gave to them,” Guillermo D. Luchangco, founder, chairman and chief executive officer of the ICCP Group, said in an interview with BusinessWorld.

As Mr. Luchangco recalled, their first project was the construction of a multipurpose hall in one of the poorest barangays in Cabuyao, Laguna, where the Light Industry & Science Park of the Philippines I (LISP I) is located. To encourage citizens to get involved in the project, Mr. Luchangco offered a deal — they would provide all the required materials and know-how as long as the citizens would take care of the labor. In that way, the citizens would greatly appreciate the project, intended for their welfare, as they became a part of it.

In Calamba, Laguna, where LISP II is located, the neighboring residents asked help for a water supply system. In response, the group arranged for one of its locators, Goulds Pumps, to donate a water pump. The ICCP Group supplied the other materials needed while the citizens of the barangay provided the labor. It became a happy tripartite collaboration among developer, locator and the citizens.

With these two examples alone, it is clear that the ICCP Group is trying to help poor communities while empowering its citizens. The group provides effective solutions that address the needs of these communities and at the same time leads them towards sustainability.

“We continue that kind of approach and then we tried to identify what will be really helpful to them,” Mr. Luchangco said. “We really work for it, we don’t just throw money at it. In all our projects, we have CSR programs. And I tell the operations managers that they have to be involved so that they could have empathy with the people, [then] the people can see that they have concern for them. That’s our philosophy in CSR.”

Within 30 years, the ICCP Group has had successful programs and projects in communities where it operates. It has distributed books and computers to different schools; conducted livelihood programs that help families and individuals from communities turn their skills and abilities into a profitable businesses; and managed several charitable missions, medical and dental programs for the poor families. Apart from these initiatives, the ICCP Group ensures that all its operations, especially in its industrial estates, all conform to environmental management standards.

As for Mr. Luchangco, CSR is something that is near to his heart. “In everywhere we go, we have projects mostly in the area where we are… In that way, we know what’s happening. We’re on the spot. We can help with the project. We can give advice and we can input directly,” Mr. Luchangco added. — Mark Louis F. Ferrolino