PHINMA Underscores Need for Effective Partnerships at Poverty Alleviation Forum

Manila, February 16, 2017 – Proudly Filipino conglomerate PHINMA, celebrates six successful decades of nation building with a forum series, which brings together some of the country’s most influential leaders to speak about the increasing importance of innovation in business and public partnerships.

Speaking before the business community on Thursday for the PHINMA Forum titled Innovative Approaches in Addressing Philippine Poverty, PHINMA President and Chief Executive Officer Ramon del Rosario, Jr. spoke about the company’s legacy in advancing the country’s progress across its business operations: “Our company’s mission has always been to uplift the lives of Filipinos be it through accessible and quality education through our growing education network, reliable power and electricity supply through our energy unit, steel building systems for construction, boosting local tourism through our hotel arm, or by providing safe, affordable and durable homes, through our property unit”.

The highlight of the forum was the success of the PHINMA’s property arm through its socialized housing projects as a precedent to the positive impact of sustained and innovative collaboration with the public sector. Del Rosario stressed however, that there is still room for improvement.

“One of the areas where public-private partnerships fall short is execution. While we have been successful in our partnerships with LGUs, we recognize that we can still learn a lot from continuous collaboration, particularly on the best approach for project rollout in the communities,” said del Rosario citing Vice President Leni Robredo’s Angat Buhay program which aims to streamline PPP initiatives.

With the Angat Buhay program, the Office of the Vice President links private companies looking for existing LGU programs to fund. The OVP also gathers data on the LGUs and functions as a resource pool to guide companies in project execution with help from the LGU-beneficiaries.
The program is hinged on Robredo’s 6-point Anti-Poverty Framework which prioritizes problems in 1) food security and nutrition, 2) education, 3) universal health care, 4) rural development and, 5) women empowerment. Fairly recently, Robredo added housing as the sixth key priority area under this program.
Vice President Leni Robredo, the forum’s keynote speaker, highlighted that heightened public-private collaboration is especially needed for programs centered on poverty-alleviation where the public sector has the most insight. “There are a couple of urgent housing issues that we can work together on. First is accessibility. Second is the lack of facilities. Many relocated families are moved to housing developments that don’t have potable water, electricity, or sanitation facilities. Finally, we have to look into the vulnerability of the poor to natural disasters,” shared the Vice President.
“What I find very interesting about Phinma is how you have uniquely positioned yourself to address societal needs through the use of productive enterprise,” shared the Vice President. “Your business model creates prosperity for your shareholders as well as address the basic needs of those who need help the most”, she added.
To this end, del Rosario reiterates PHINMA’s commitment to accelerating innovative collaborations toward socialized housing solutions to continue addressing the nation’s housing backlog, following the success of its socialized housing project in partnership with the local government of Quezon City.
“We have now taken this model nationwide with Strikeville 3 in Cavite and a new project beginning in Cebu in cooperation with Southwestern University – PHINMA. This year, we expect to construct an additional 2,000 affordable housing units as part of our target of 10,500 units over the next 3 years,” del Rosario said.
Beyond PHINMA’s current partnerships, the company is looking to sustain the good work it has been doing across all its businesses for the past sixty years as part of PHINMA’s mission of making the Filipinos’ lives better. “Our previous work with our LGU partners are precedents to more similar collaborations in the future. One of the ways that we seek to do this is by participating in policy-formulation in select areas – ones with which we are most familiar – education, energy, affordable tourism, manufacturing and employment, and housing the poor. These Forums are our way of contributing to these conversations on issues of national importance,” concluded del Rosario.

The forum, is the third of the five-part series that is part of PHINMA’s celebration of its 60 years of nation building. For the whole month of February, the series will bring together some of the country’s most respected leaders who are nation-builders in their own right.