In partnership with the Federation of Free Workers (FFW) and with the support from the Danish Trade Unions Development Agency (DTDA), the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) spearheaded the 1st Regional Conference on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and the ASEAN Economic Integration on June 21-22, 2019 at the ballroom of Holiday Inn & Suites, Makati.
The 2-day conference was aimed at spreading awareness and strengthening of existing corporate social responsibility programmes and strategies in the context of the ASEAN economic integration. It also sought to identify areas and the way forward for “principles-based, inclusive, and business-sustainable” CSR approach as a roadmap for decent work and sustainable business between the main stakeholders in the ASEAN economic integration.
Seventy-nine (79) participants representing the government, employers, workers organization, NGO’s and academe from Cambodia, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines made valuable contributions in the overall success of the conference.
All four (4) main panel discussions were handled and participated by varied subject matter experts from Danish Confederation of Industry (DI), Confederation of Trade Unions in the Danish Industry (CO), International Labour Organization, ASEAN Services Employees Trade Union Council (ASETUC), International Trade Union Confederation- Asia Pacific (ITUC-AP), Employers Confederation of Thailand (ECOT), Cambodian Federation of Employers and Business Association (CAMFEBA), UP SOLAIR, University of the Asia and Pacific, Globe Telecom, ASEAN Business Advisory Council, Philippine Social Enterprise Network and Allied Metals Inc.
Mr. Thomas Thomas, the Executive Director of the CSR ASEAN Network and Mr. Hedeki Kagohashi, Enterprise Development Specialist of the ILO Country Office for the Philippines through the conference plenary session entitled “Rights-Based and Business Sustainable CSR Approaches in the ASEAN Integration: Current Trends and Developments” explored how CSR programs are a necessary element of risk management for multinational and global companies because they provide the framework and principles for stakeholder engagement and support the corporate risk agenda.
The 2-day conference featured a plenary discussion, three (3) panel discussions, a launching of the project’s publication, a media briefing, a group workshop and the highlight of which is the presentation of the conference’s statement.
ECOP President Sergio Ortiz Luis, Jr. delivered the conference’s closing keynote and restated ECOP’s commitment to fostering the brand of CSR that is grounded on socially and environmentally responsible and sustainable business practices.
The conference ended with a high note and the realization that promoting the practice of principles-based, inclusive and sustainable CSR in the ASEAN is a challenge that the social partners must try to hurdle. To be effectively implemented, among others, and as a way forward the following were suggested:
- Raising the awareness and understanding of the social, economic and political actors about CSR that is principles-based, inclusive and sustainable towards building a culture of responsibility and partnership in the world of work and the world at large;
- Closer collaboration and networking among the variety of social actors including by and with government, especially in respect to promoting responsible, inclusive and sustainable businesses, such as social enterprises, in the supply or value chain;
- Strengthening the capacity of establishments to make public reports about their CSR commitments, and institutional arrangements to independently monitor and evaluate these commitments and disclosures;
- Capacity building for the CSR actors to better affirm their suggested roles and to strengthen their organizations, thereby, also strengthening the mechanisms of social dialogues at all appropriate levels of governance.
- Providing appropriate regulatory and developmental mechanisms and incentives to efforts that will promote responsible businesses and who are committed to CSR that are principles-based, inclusive because participative and sustainable.
A copy of the conference output may be seen/downloaded by clicking the link below: