BPI Marks 165th Anniversary with Strengthened Support for National Development through BPI Foundation

Guest of honor VP Robredo highlights private sector support for inclusive growth agenda

MANILA, PHILIPPINES - To celebrate its 165th year, the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) is strengthening its commitment to the national development agenda by aligning the programs of its social development arm, the BPI Foundation, to better assist government initiatives for promoting inclusive growth, especially among the marginalized sectors of society.

This announcement was made at BPI Foundation’s #PartnerForProgress event last August 25, 2016, attended by the Vice President of the Republic of the Philippines, Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo. Also present were BPI’s top executives, including Jaime Augusto Zobel De Ayala, BPI Chairman, Fernando Zobel De Ayala, BPI Vice Chairman and BPI Foundation Chairman, Cezar P. Consing, BPI President and BPI Foundation President, as well as other key officials and employees of the bank.

The private sector’s role in supporting national development efforts

As the event’s guest of honor, Vice President Robredo discussed the national development agenda for poverty eradication and shared her five main advocacies of focus, including rural development, education, health, food security and women empowerment. She also highlighted the key role of the private sector, including both companies and ordinary citizens, in the achievement of inclusive growth targets.

“Citizen engagement is actually one of the advocacies that Jesse and I shared as we carried out our work. It is a cause I have long championed and continue to champion, even with Jesse’s passing,” said Vice President Robredo. “Now, as Vice President, I intend to bring further depth and substance to that campaign for citizen-centric governance, where you, our people, become the very engine of our country’s transformation.”

As a committed corporate citizen, BPI supports the national government in its targets and explores ways to make the best happen for more Filipinos in need. The Bank’s financial inclusion strategy provides for a greater focus in the Self-Employed Micro Enterprise segment, through BanKO, its microfinance vehicle, and in the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) segment through BPI Ka-Negosyo/SME Segment.

“At the Ayala Group, we continue to look for opportunities to broaden access to our products and services with a view towards meeting the basic needs of a larger sector of the population. We believe we can play an important role through our business particularly in socialized housing, banking, telecommunications, water and more recently, education and healthcare,” said BPI Foundation Chairman Fernando Zobel de Ayala.

Tightly aligned to the Bank’s financial inclusion efforts, BPI Foundation deepens its impact which focus on education, entrepreneurship, and environmental sustainability, with the government’s national development priorities, by leveraging public and private partnerships in creating effective and measurable change. This is demonstrated by the Foundation’s various programs.

To equip Filipinos with the tools to achieve financial wellness, its education programs commence at the development stage with Manny and Me (for elementary students) and reinforced with BPI SHAPE (for senior high school students). These programs on financial education are integrated into the K-12 curriculum, in support of the Enhanced Basic Education Act (R.A. 10533). Meanwhile, itsFREE FinEd-in-a-Box, a series of modular learning materials on the fundamentals of financial education, is available for targeted sectors, including OFs, Farmers, MS Enterprises, etc, in support of the National Strategy for Financial Inclusion.

99% of registered businesses in the Philippines are MSME, and employ over 60% of the country’s workforce, making this an important sector for economic growth. The Foundation advocates and supports the identification and capacity development of social enterprises through its BPI Sinag Program. BPI Sinag U which promotes social entrepreneurship among university students, in support of the Youth Entrepreneurship Act (R.A. 10679) and BPI Sinag Accelerate which scales-up social enterprises, including those working for agricultural, IP, and Muslim communities, in support of the Go Negosyo Act or R.A. 19644.

Sustainable countryside development cannot prosper without environmentally responsible agriculture. The BPI Sustainable Agriculture Program aims to address financing barriers among farming communities byestablishing strategic partnerships and risk mitigants across value chain partners,government agencies and civic society to support the Agricultural Value Chain Financing Framework (BSPCircular No. 908, Series of 2016). In the pipeline are other relevant programs that include the introduction of financial literacy, agripreneurship, and climate-smart practicesto support the Rural Farm Schools Act or R.A.10618.

Promoting employee volunteerism with BPI BAYAN

Aside from celebrating BPI’s 165th anniversary, the event also celebrated the 5th anniversary of BPI Bayanihan para saInang Bayan, also known as BPI BAYAN, an employee-volunteer program that mobilizes its 15,000-strong workforce as partners in national development.

“Today, we renew our commitment for BPI BAYAN, now on its bigger and bolder iteration as BPI Bayan 2.0. We are now more relevant, and better equipped to meet national development goals as we seize the power of mobilizing our most valuable resource – our employees – to rise up to the challenge through the bayanihan spirit as partners for progress,” said Faye Corcuera, BPI Foundation Executive Director. “Our mission in BPI and in the BPI Foundation is to enable progress,” she concluded.

BPI Bayan 2.0 espouses choice and flexibility, giving four modalities that cater to differing volunteer motivations of our employees, from hands-on volunteering, volunteering for Foundation programs, employee group-driven volunteering, to social innovation through community immersion, where BPI employees can now contribute more directly to the wellbeing of their communities.

Corcuera summarized the role of the Foundation on how it has “shifted for more relevance, from a role marked largely by philanthropy and capital allocation, to working with the business for shared value, and alignment to national development.

She said, “BPI Foundation offers itself as a social innovation platform to address relevant societal challenges that enables the business to test strategies and business models that contribute to inclusive growth and long-term competitiveness to build resiliency and benefit society.”

 

“At the Ayala Group, we continue to look for opportunities to broaden access to our products and services with a view towards meeting the basic needs of a larger sector of the population,” said BPI Foundation Chairman Fernando Zobel de Ayala.

“BPI Foundation offers itself as a social innovation platform that enables the business to test strategies and business models that contribute to inclusive growth and long-term competitiveness to build resiliency and benefit society,” said Faye Corcuera, BPI Foundation Executive Director

Vice President Leni Robredo to BPI Bayan Volunteers: “As persistent as our country’s ills are, history has proven that nothing is more indomitable than the Filipino spirit. Each of you here stands as proof of hope, because volunteers like you are the backbone of positive change in this world.”

(from left) BPI Foundation Executive Director Faye Corcuera, BPI Foundation Chairman Fernando Zobel De Ayala, Vice President of the Philippines Leni Robredo, BPI Chairman Jaime Augusto Zobel De Ayala, BPI Foundation President and BPI President and CEO Cezar Consing.

BPI Board of Directors and Executive Vice-presidents join Vice President of the Philippines Leni Robredo in a group photo.