Monday, July 23, 2018
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MAPping the Future

PMA–A wise investment for CSR

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has become a major part of the business agenda to ensure the productive life of an enterprise. It measures the sensitivity to social responsiveness and provides a venue to showcase a different side of the organization.

According to Patrick Maclagan Ph.D., social responsiveness is the extent to which an organization is responsive to its perceived social obligations. Various corporate institutions practice CSR through projects that alleviate, enhance, and improve social conditions, in such areas as poverty alleviation, education and training, etc. This influence is translated into the realization of substantial profit and expansion of its market base that guarantees and extends the productive life of business. It should exercise this power to share in improving society. It has an obligation to manifest social responsiveness.

Business, by the magnitude of its financial resources, begets political power. Very few have been involved directly in supporting military and police operational capabilities. Normal support has involved financial assistance to surviving dependents of soldiers and policemen killed or wounded in action. Enrique “Ricky” K. Razon Jr., while his interests are not directly engaged in the defense industry, firmly believes that a healthy business environment must depend on the military and police establishments.

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Of late, only Mr. Razon has provided direct support to tactical units engaged in actual combat operations against the enemies of the state, by quietly supporting the efforts of the AFP/PNP to stop the Maute/ISIS rebellion:

Donated P20 million from ICTSI Foundation and Bloomberry Resorts Cultural Foundation Inc. which was used to buy drones, portable generators, jackhammers, speakers, solar chargers, canned goods, medicines, briefs, socks, cycling shorts, shirts, bottled water, Gatorade, food, and other items for the 10,000 troops.

Distributed 10,000 combat wristwatches to the 10,000 troops in Marawi and gave an additional P5,000 allowance to the 10,000 fighting troops to boost morale.

As a fitting gesture to his benevolence, he was conferred honorary membership to the PMA Alumni Association (PMAAA) during its alumni homecoming on Feb. 17. The justification for this singular honor are as follows:

His philanthropy and generosity even extended to providing aid to our soldiers in Marawi.

He is known for his integrity in his dealings in the business world, such stature alone could bring honor and add luster to the PMAAA.

He donated two wings of the new PMA Cadet Barracks named Enrile Hall, one of which has been completed and turned over to PMA, and the other wing, a new Regis Hall, which is about to be constructed.

The core of his speech was anchored on this statement “the heart and soul of the armed forces is where we stand today, the Philippine Military Academy.”

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Mr. Razon donated the two cadet barracks courtesy of Bloomberry Resort Cultural Foundation Inc., the CSR arm of ITCSI. Our government can ill-afford to support a modern barracks. Mr. Razon answered the call. He considered these donations an investment in national security.

In the fight against the enemies of the state, many business firms capitulated and cooperated with the CPP/NPA and the ASG. Worse is that even local government units and political leaders have compromised their oath of office by aiding the enemy. One has to ask how come the insurgency campaigns against both the local communists and Muslims secessionists have made little progress. It is because of their indecisive and compromising attitude. What a shame and treachery!

This is explicitly mentioned in Razon’s speech: “At times, we lost our way and the military institution that was the rudder that always helped the ship to steer as forward at very high seas”. True enough, crisis after crisis, in war and peace, the military and police services offered the supreme sacrifice of giving life and limb. It is their sworn duty, a calling, and the only option they know. It was a most meaningful message even heard by the alumni coming from a great business leader and benefactor.

His passion is even more evident in these words, “I can only hope that at some point, our politics will mature, and our laws will apply to all and not just used by political opponents by one administration after another.” This is a very valid, relevant reality that has befallen our country in the history of its existence.

A new concept of federalism reverberates in every nook and corner across economic classes. Will this agenda transform our system into political maturity? It seems that political immaturity is predicated on the lack of concern of political leaders for long-term strategy that discourages and mitigates corruption. This political character has bred an extractive institution. The force of arms goes hand-in-hand with good laws and good leadership to maintain a sound and secure nation.

Nations fail because of extractive institutions. Our political system has always been extractive. The rich natural resources that abound in each region, like mining, logging, fisheries, aquatic resources, etc., are under the control of political leaders in partnership with unscrupulous business interests. In simple parlance, a political mindset has always been identified with political power at the expense of people’s welfare and security.

In contrast, the military institution’s main purpose is accomplishment of the mission and welfare of the men. The soldier continues to be at the forefront of crisis, yet the risk of their profession and avocation are rarely shared by its political leaders. Even high defense and police logistical items are controlled by political patrons. Just consider that some defense and police big item contracts that were the subject of anomalies in the past, and some even originated from the highest political leadership.

The message of Mr. Razon’s speech was an earthshaking reminder to all Peemayers to perpetuate its motto of Courage, Integrity, and Loyalty.

Administrations come and go, political structures may change, constitutions may be amended, but the military establishment will continue to respond to any and all challenges because it rests upon a solid rock of patriotism and nationalism of the highest order.

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TAGS: Business, corporate social responsibility (CSR)
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