CSR sustained through years - Isuzu Philippines

Jun 17, 2017

It was in 2008 when Isuzu Philippines Corp. (IPC) decided to embark on an initiative to fight poverty. They realized that education, skills and training were a way out for marginalized Filipinos in the rural areas, those who have neither the means nor the access to such opportunities. The company opened a school inTacloban, Leyte, in the TESDA compound in Barangay Abucay to be specific, and thus changed the lives of several families in the small town.

Having identified the poorest of the poor in the community, Isuzu chose thirty (30) students to comprise the first batch of the skills training program. This CSR program of Isuzu actually stems from the corporate social responsibility project of Isuzu Motors Limited Japan under its former Chairman of the BoardMr. Yoshinori Ida. Under the Heart Project of Isuzu Japan, they built a training center, which the company chairman personally supervised. Mr. Ida spent time supervising the operations of the center and according to Isuzu employees, the former chairman of the board and his wife continue to visit the facility and check the progress of the students to this day.

From 2008 - 2011, IPC forged a partnership with TESDA and PLAN Philippines. From 2012, the company partnered with World Vision Philippines to ensure the delivery of its objective which is to contribute to the alleviation of poverty in the countryside. Under the Isuzu-TESDA partnership, the training center of IPC offers a full course of four modules to train auto mechanics which carries NCI and NC4 accreditation. The well-developed training program offers not only classroom lectures but, more important, hands-on experience with different parts of an Isuzu vehicle to ensure that upon graduation, they are fully trained in all aspects of a vehicle.

All of the students who comprised the first batch are now working at the IPC assembly line in Binan, Laguna or are employed in various Isuzu dealerships. The CSR program did not stop at skills training - it is complemented by an efficient job placement system that matches the skills of the students to the job requirements if Isuzu and other automobile companies. So efficient is the job placement system in place that at least ninety per cent of the graduates are employed within one year of their graduation.

Nine years from when they started, Isuzu Philippines Corp. now has graduated close to two hundred students from their facility in Abucay in Tacloban, Leyte. As we write this, IPC is again preparing for a new batch of students to embark on their journey of improving their lives and the fulfilment of Isuzu's objective of poverty alleviation.

There is another CSR project of Isuzu Philippines that won for them a Silver Award in the first ever Driven to Serve Awards project of the Society of Philippine Motoring Journalists ( SPMJ), this time touching on a wider awareness of the environment and the many ways to conserve earth's resources. The company chose to celebrate its yearly anniversary from 2002 to 2012, a full decade, imparting this message. In 2002, they started with a simple project of presenting environment shows to children in Sta. Rosa and Binan, Laguna, bringing the message across that children can help keep the environment clean. In 2003, they maintained these environmental shows for children but widened their reach to include Laguna de Bay. IPC also donated tilapia fingerlings through the Laguna Lake Development Authority to augment and sustain the livelihood of the fishermen in the area. And in line with their direction of sustaining the environment, the company educated the locals on the need to keep the lake clean by donating a garbage trap for the Sta. Rosa River.

The following year, in 2004, IPC donated classrooms in Binan where IPC has had a facility since 1997. They built a 2-classrom building for the Binan National High School which the locals welcomed as the answer to their plea for more classrooms because of the increasing school population.

It was in 2005 when IPC commemorated their company anniversary with yet another CSR project-a reforestation campaign called ISUlong and Kalikasan in Quezon Province. It was heart -warming to see IPC executives and some media volunteers plant with their own hands the first one hundred narra seedlings along a strip of forest along the national highway which the company has adopted to mark the launch of their ISUlong sa Kalikasan campaign.

The following year, they trained their sights on the protection of mangroves, seeing the crucial role the mangroves play in preventing erosion and flooding. The company chose Alaminos for their "Save the Mangroves" campaign and adopted several hectares of a mangrove forest there.

There was no let up in Isuzu's environmental campaign. In 2007, they launched the Isuzu Park Conservation Campaign. They built and installed markers inspiring environmental concern in major parks: at the Luneta Park in Manila, Osmena Park in Cebu and in People's Park in Davao. They also planted ornamental plants and shade trees and donated garbage bins to help keep the parks pleasant and clean.

2008 - this was the year when IPC adopted eleven hectares of the La Mesa Eco Park and again planted trees, IPC's hallmark.

2009 - IPC expanded its watershed conservation project with the planting of fruit-bearing trees in thee watershed areas in the country.

To commemorate its 12th anniversary in 2010, the company adopted twelve hectares of forest land, donated hundreds of seedlings to the forest development authority and again engaged its employees and executives to undertake tree planting activities.

And In 2011, IPC partnered with the World Wide Fund Partnership with its donation of hundreds of fruit-bearing tree seedlings in Isabela.

That spans a full decade of IPC's commitment to environmental conservation, and today, the company continues with their trademark of tree planting which spells life for the chosen communities.

Mabuhay!!! Be proud to be a Filipino.


About the Author

Ray Butch Gamboa graduated from the College of Arts and Letters of the University of Sto. Tomas. It was a course that should have been preparatory to a law degree, but the call of broadcasting aborted his plans.

At the age of 16, while still a student, Butch tried his hand at disc jockeying, landing a job at Mareco Broadcasting Network's AM stations DZBM and DZLM. From there, Butch moved on with his illustrious career as a popular disc jockey, riding the airwaves of Bob Stewart's middle-of-the-road music at DZXX, and ending his disc jockeying career at ABS-CBN's DZYL and DZQL.

From there, he stayed on with ABS-CBN, covering live the proceedings at the Manila Stock Exchange and eventually entered into the world of television sales as an account manager for the premier channel of ABS-CBN Channel 2.

In the early 70's, at the outbreak of Martial Law, Butch was one of the thousands of professionals who woke up jobless when then President Marcos declared the new status of the nation. With the closure of ABS-CBN, Butch ventured into different fields outside of broadcast. He tried his hand and with ease and success at export (Costume jewelry), real estate (brokerage), and restaurants (fast food).

In 1987, after the revolution, with the broadcast industry back to its free state, and with its irresistible call ringing in his ears, Butch made his inevitable comeback and pioneered in a local motoring show, producing Motoring Today on Channel 4 and co-hosting with local motor sports' living legend Pocholo Ramirez.

After 4 years, he ventured into another pioneering format by producing and hosting Business & Leisure, which was originally aired on ABS-CBN's Channel 2. The format eventually espoused similar ones in other different channels. But the clones in due course faded away leaving the original staying on airing on Channel 4 and eventually on Shop TV on Sky Cable's Channel 13.

The following year, the pioneering spirit in Butch spurred him to produce another TV show, Race Weekend, also on Channel 4, covering circuit racing at the Subic International Raceway after the motor sport's hiatus of 17 years. But when similar shows with duplicated formats sprouted, he decided to give way and ended the program after a year, although still enjoying unparalleled viewership.

In 1998, when the local automotive industry was in a slump, Butch contributed his share to help the ailing industry by producing another popular motoring-related show, this time exclusive to the automobile and its industry—Auto Focus, which became a vehicle for local automotive assemblers and importers to showcase their products and dwell on the industry's latest technological developments.

In 2003, Butch teamed up with his brother, Rey Gamboa who was a former Shell executive and presently one Philippine Star's business columnist to co-produce and co-host the TV show Breaking Barriers on Channel 13. It is a talk show that features guests who are in the news and in the middle of controversies. The program ventures to draw deeper insights into current issues to learn how they impact to our daily lives.

Today, Motoring Today on its 28th year of service to the general motoring public still enjoys its unprecedented loyal vierwership nationwide while Auto Focus, after 16 years has firmly established its niche viewership among automobile enthusiasts and on the other hand Business & Leisure is on its 24th year dishing out current business issues and lifestyle features.

Today, aside from writing weekly columns for the Philippine Star (Motoring Today on Wednesdays and Business & Leisure on Saturdays) and executive producer / host of weekly TV shows (Motoring Today, airs Sundays on Solar Sports Channel 70, Business & Leisure, airs Tuesdays on Shop TV, Sky Cable Channel 13 and Auto Focus airs Thursdays on Shop TV, Sky Cable Channel 13, Ray Butch Gamboa is currently the Chairman and CEO of Sunshine Television Production and Marketing Services Corp., President of Gamcor Management and Development Corp., Chairman of Asia-Pacific Realty Corporation, President and Chairman of Socio-Communication Foundation for Asia and Founding Chairman of the Society of Phil. Motoring Journalists (SPMJ)