Corporate Social Responsibility: The SMC Model

There is something so endearing in San Miguel Corporation’s most recent letter to its shareholders. SMC is one of the Philippines’ largest and most diversified conglomerates, with operations in food and beverages, packaging, fuel and oil, power, and infrastructure.

The letter comes with the year-end dividend check and a pocket-sized 2021 calendar printed with the tagline “SAMA-SAMA SA LABAN. WALANG IWANAN.” (“Together in battle. Leaving no one behind.”)

The company chose to save on printing the customary corporate wall calendar and channel the savings toward feeding children at Better World Tondo, the company-funded learning center and food bank for the poorest communities in Tondo, Manila.

In his letter, Mr. Ramon S. Ang, SMC President and Chief Operating Officer, further shared the company’s initiatives in response to the pandemic and hastening the country’s recovery.

“The events of 2020 only strengthened our resolve to leave no one behind. The year began with relief operations for those affected by the eruption of Taal Volcano. At the height of the pandemic and the lockdown, our food business ramped up operations to ensure food would always be available and accessible. We donated PPEs, medical supplies and equipment, on top of providing fuel for a free shuttle program and waiving toll fees for frontliners and medical workers. Our facilities at Ginebra San Miguel were repurposed to product and donate disinfectant alcohol. We set up our own RT-PCR testing laboratory to test almost 55,000 employees nationwide and allow them to re-enter the workplace with greater confidence. These are only some of the measures we took to help our country.”

Quantified, these efforts have amounted to more than PhP13 billion. At the same time, SMC continues in its commitment to invest in infrastructure projects that will create jobs, such as the Manila International Airport, the Skyway Stage 3, and the SLEX toll roads.

But this is the part that really pulled at my heartstrings. The letter also came with a prayer card (stampita) of the company’s patron saint, St. Michael the Archangel. (SMC evolved from La Fábrica de Cerveza San Miguel, a brewery put up in 1890 in San Miguel, Manila.)

The prayer and Mr. Ang’s final message below are very apt invocations for these difficult times.

“…let us reflect with gratitude on the blessings we have received. May the New Year bring us a renewed sense of courage, resilience, and hope in better days to come.”

San Miguel Corporation – my kind of business.

Mr. Ramon S. Ang – my kind of business leader.

(Banner photo source: https://www.sanmiguel.com.ph/)