Today, let us hear from JR Demacais, our resource person on corporate social responsibility.
He takes note of some positive developments he has observed, in spite of the pandemic we are experiencing right now:
The COVID-19 pandemic has broken a lot of glass ceilings as we tally the response to the crisis we are confronting. The pandemic has made us realize that when push comes to shove, the government, businesses and even us as individual citizens can define what “essential” is for the survival of humanity.
For over a month under enhanced community quarantine, we are seeing the immensity of the problem at hand that requires extraordinary problem-solving skills. We observe organizations, local government units, some in the private sector and even individuals who have exhibited excellence in their sworn commitment and duties.
Formal institutions are responding with urgency to beat the unseen enemy. Hospitals equip themselves with protocols of care. Private sector businesses pledging support and guaranteeing their employees of continued remuneration. Nongovernmental organizations extending support to their communities and sectors to the best of their resources. The national government and the local governments are working with each other with a diverse approach we have never seen before.
What has been so meaningful and heartwarming in this difficult situation is humanity’s response.
Front-liners show up to their work every day, recognizing fear but remaining firm in their commitment to battle this out (We salute you!). This challenging time is urging the goodness in us to reveal itself and move to action. Social responsibility’s meaning has returned to its root, which is people’s natural urge to care for the other. Sustainability is achieved when individuals look into their principles, values and how they manifest them in actions. Being able to initiate change and eventually turning them into habits of good-doing is sustained social responsibility. If you ever wonder how it looks like, here are the forms it has taken, so far:
Doing personal fundraising to support the front-liners to provide protective equipment, food and other needs
Moving farmers’ products from the provinces to where it is needed to bridge food shortage
Helping on online counseling sessions for those who are experiencing anxiety and depression
Extraordinary Facebook groups such as Order Hero wherein canceled orders are posted so that Facebook members can buy, Life Cycle PH wherein bike owners allow front-liners to borrow bike as means of transportation, Bounce Back PH helps micro, small and medium-sized enterprises navigate the unknown for them to be ready to bounce back, Flatten the Curve PH features positive narrative and messages to ease anxiety and help in the flattening the curve
Online fundraising concerts by artists, musicians and celebrities
Prayer groups of diverse faiths
Kindness and generosity shown by individuals featured in the news
Kindness Center in Sorsogon province
The list goes on and on. The goodness of humanity at this point in time is just so extraordinary. There is no set playbook or framework for this pandemic. But we are acting beyond normal social responsibility. This unprecedented response is showing us hope that despite the fear of the unknown, human beings will continue to ensure its survival by showing the world the best versions of ourselves. You probably have your own narrative of caring for others in this dark time. Sharing these narratives will be a symbol of hope to other people. Share it and let it be known.