Business, governance driven by kindness make most sense — Aquino
Business paired with kindness “makes the most sense,” President Benigno Aquino III said Friday, referring to the initiatives of Gawad Kalinga and other social enterprises.
Aquino, who was the key speaker for the 3rd Global Social Business Summit and Gawad Kalinga’s 13th Anniversary held in Bulacan, said “When we help those who have the least—when we equip them with the skills they need to take advantage of the growing number of opportunities—we do more than empower them as individuals; we also empower them as consumers.”
“When we are able to increase the income they take home, more than allowing them to live more dignified lives, that also means they have greater capacity to participate in the growing economy: they buy products and ride public transport, and they remit more taxes—taxes that in turn give government the wherewithal to empower them even more,” Aquino further explained.
The summit, with the theme “The Business of Kindness: Doing Good Makes Business Sense,” was held at the Gawad Kalinga Enchanted Farm, which is GK’s first attempt at social business.
Aquino lauded the organization for building 2,500 communities around the Philippines since it was first established in 2003.
“I am also particularly fascinated by this Enchanted Farm, which, I am told, serves multiple purposes: Apart from being a community that simply helps your partners to take hold of their own destinies, the farm is also a university for social education, a destination for social tourism, and a hub for social business,” he said.
He said developing half a million social entrepreneurs by 2024 should not be a distant dream.
“You are true embodiments of your theme today, which is: “The Business of Kindness: Doing Good Makes Good Business Sense.” Indeed, this is an excellent philosophy, and you will find that it bears a striking ideological resemblance to the philosophies that have guided our administration’s national strategy to sustain our growth,” he said.
Aquino enumerated the government programs that aim to alleviate poverty, including the conditional cash transfer program and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority’s livelihood projects.
“What we see here is a virtuous cycle of vibrant economic growth and inclusivity—one that can guarantee that our nation’s economic growth continues far into the future, and is felt across the archipelago,” the President said.
He said such initiatives make him “more confident than ever before that the Philippines is indeed in good hands” even after he he steps down from office. CDG