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.