In the Philippines, Coca-Cola has shared a century of happiness with Filipinos through the Company’s efforts in many areas that include social development and sustainability.
These efforts have not gone unnoticed. On February 28, the government of the Philippines recognized the Company’s efforts with President Benigno Aquino III sending a letter of thanks for the Company’s CSR initiatives, acknowledging their importance in the country’s progress.
The sustainability efforts of Coca-Cola in the country have been focused on well-being, women and water.
For well-being, Coca-Cola has focused on the areas of education and nutrition through two initiatives. The first is one of the longest-running programs of the Coca-Cola Foundation Philippines (the social investment arm under Coca-Cola Philippines) called The Little Red Schoolhouse which aims to provide multi-grade education for underprivileged children so they can complete elementary education and enjoy a better future. Recognizing the need for classrooms in public schools, particularly in the remote areas of the country, Coca-Cola started building three-classroom schoolhouses in 1997 in partnership with the Department of Education and the Philippine Business for Social Progress. In February 2013, the 101st Little Red Schoolhouse was turned over to the Department of Education.
The second initiative is the Nutrijuice program. Coca-Cola Philippines partnered with the Philippines’ Food and Nutrition Research Institute in coming up with specially formulated NutriJuice to address iron-deficiency anemia among schoolchildren. The orange-flavored juice drink, which is fortified with iron, zinc, lysine, and vitamins A and C, has been distributed free of charge to more than 200,000 school children nationwide.
Coca-Cola Philippines also focuses on women empowerment by partnering with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) to train women who own or operate small stores (called “sari-sari” in the Philippines) from across the country with the Coke TESDA Sari-Sari Store Training and Access to Resources (S3TAR) Program. The program aims to help women become better entrepreneurs through the combination of components that will help them overcome the barriers they face in the retailing business. The Coke TESDA S3TAR Program is part of the 5by20 Global Initiative of The Coca-Cola Company to enable the economic empowerment of 5 million female entrepreneurs across the Company’s value chain by 2020. In March this year, 10,000 female entrepreneurs in the Philippines will graduate from the program.
Coca-Cola Philippines utilized a centuries-old technology which uses natural kinetic energy contained in free-flowing water to provide families in upland communities with a reliable source of water through the Agos Ram Pump project.
Water stewardship is also one of the sustainability goals of the company. Thus, Coca-Cola Philippines utilized a centuries-old technology which uses natural kinetic energy contained in free-flowing water to provide families in upland communities with a reliable source of water through the Agos Ram Pump project. Working with Earth Day Network Philippines Inc. and the Alternative Indigenous Development Foundation, Agos ram pumps have been installed in 23 water-poor communities across the country, providing water to over 18,000 people.
Upon receiving this letter, Atty. Adel Tamano, Public Affairs and Communications Director of Coca-Cola Philippines, said, “President Aquino’s letter is both an affirmation of the fruitful partnership between The Coca-Cola Company, the Philippine government, and civil society for the country’s economic and social progress. Moreover, it is an inspiration for us to strive to create value and opportunities for our partners in business and for Filipino consumers that have supported us for over a century.”
Finally, Guillermo Aponte, President and General Manager of Coca-Cola Philippines, said, “We are encouraged by President Aquino’s letter. It is a testament that the success of our company in the Philippines is due to the overwhelming acceptance and support of Filipino consumers who have embraced our brands and our products. To receive such a letter of recognition from the official representative of the Filipino people is a great honor for The Coca-Cola Company.”
See below for a photo of the president's letter to Coca-Cola Philippines:
Jennifer Lai is Editor at Eight Partnership who helps write stories for The