Look up #Simlong and #Pinamucan on Instagram. Most of the selfie posts feature scenic coastal backdrops and gorgeous sunsets. For local residents, these two barangays offer picturesque views. For the Batangas City government, they are the next-wave growth spots in the country.
The fast-developing province of Batangas, in particular Batangas City, has been experiencing rapid industrialization and commercialization in the past few decades. Businesses located in the area, like the JG Summit Petrochemicals Group (JGSPG), aim to create progressive opportunities for its communities. By providing local employment and active commercial trade within the area, businesses like JGSPG help boost the economic development of its communities. By crafting and spearheading targeted development programs together with the community, all stakeholders become united in pursuit of one of the fundamental aspects of economic progress and sustainable development.
In line with forging lasting partnerships with its host barangays, JGSPG dedicates various corporate social responsibility (CSR) projects in Barangays Simlong and Pinamucan Ibaba. Projects are conceptualized, planned, and executed in cooperation with the community and local government, thus ensuring maximum participation and increasing the potential for success. More than providing avenues to sustain mutual development, these efforts also encourage interest, cooperation, and volunteerism among the employees and the residents within its host communities.
Prioritizing welfare of its communities
As part of community-building, JGSPG has donated an ambulance as well as medical equipment and supplies for the health centers of both barangays. “Given the distance from the area to the nearest hospital, the ambulance is an essential need we identified together with the barangay,” shared Marino Agbayani, the JGSPG Vice President for Expansion Projects and Government Affairs. “Also, by providing the community health clinic with medical equipment and supplies, the facility would be able to render more effective basic health services for the barangays’ residents,” he added.
JGSPG likewise donated various emergency equipment and tools for the barangay tanods to aid emergency response in the community. The company and its employees have also been actively organizing and conducting relief operations whenever various natural disasters such as floods and typhoons affect the area and its residents.
Advocating children’s education, 20 years and counting
Since the start of the company’s operations in 1998, JGSPG employees have been conducting educational outreach programs under the employee-led Abot Kamay Program. The company and its employees have been active supporters of Brigada Eskwela and Balik Eskwela activities with its annual school clean-up drive, donation of school supplies and outreach programs benefiting the elementary students of the barangays. In addition, JGSPG and its employees also support some of the barangays’ deserving high school and college students with much-needed scholarships, covering expenses like tuition, books, uniform as well as monthly stipends. The flagship Abot Kamay Program has been recognized with a Certificate of Appreciation from Simlong Elementary School and a Certificate of Recognition from Pinamucan Ibaba Elementary School for the program’s committed advocacy in promoting education and the welfare of the children in its communities.
Planting one million tree seedlings
Tree-planting projects are one of the company’s ongoing pro-active environmental efforts. JGSPG has put up a three-hectare mini-forest and tree nursery in Pinamucan Ibaba in keeping with its pledge to distribute one million seedlings to nearby communities. In Barangay Balibago, volunteers from the Lobo Municipal Environment Office, the Lobo Agriculture Office, the Batangas Provincial Government Environment and Natural Resources Office (PGENRO), and the local Philippine National Police planted 5,000 narra, molave, and mahogany tree seedlings. As part of the government’s “Oplan Tokhang” rehabilitation program, around 50 local drug ‘surrenderees’ under the local government’s supervision also helped out. Since 2016, a total of 200,000 tree seedlings have already been distributed and planted in different areas.
Protecting and conserving marine resources
In 2017, JGSPG spearheaded a garbage collection operation in Batangas City. On International Coastal Clean-up (ICC) Day, volunteer personnel from JGSPG and sister company Universal Robina Corporation’s Packaging Division joined residents and local government officials to clean up bodies of water like beaches, coasts, rivers, waterways, and underwater dive sites in the area. At the end of the day, the group collected a total of 1,347 kilos of trash and debris. According to JGSPG Community Relations Officer Arnel Paclibon, “The annual activity gets bigger every year. Clearly, this a reflection of the growing awareness of the role and responsibilities that each group has to play in helping take care of our environment, and we are glad to be taking an active part in making this happen.”
As part of its contribution in the efforts for the conservation of the Verde Island Passage terrestrial and marine corridor, the company has partnered with the Batangas Community Divers Seal, Inc. in building and deploying artificial reef blocks as fish and coral sanctuary in the area. Since 2002, 243 concrete reef blocks have been deployed over 112.5 square meters at the coastal zone of Barangay Simlong. The area is monitored regularly to assess its contribution to fish abundance and diversity within the area, and has been found as of last monitoring that fish species richness has already improved considerably with respect to total fish species count of both ecologically important and commercially important species The artificial reefs have a continuing positive impact to these coastal communities since the abundance of marine resources support not only marine biodiversity but also the economy of the local fisher folk. In the future, these areas may likewise be considered a potential diving site that could promote local jobs associated with tourism and recreation.
JGSPG and its employees take pride in devoting time and resources into social development, environment protection, and capacity-building initiatives for its neighboring communities. The company continuously conducts dialogues with barangay residents and local government, soliciting ideas, inputs, and feedback as we collaboratively expand our CSR projects further together with their host communities. Moving towards longer term #SustainableGoals., Barangays Simlong and Pinamucan Ibaba are proof that a mutually beneficial business-and-community partnership model is possible, is effective, and works.
JG Summit promotes a culture of accountability in the group, ensuring that resources are used wisely and that systems and processes are up to standard. It also promotes a culture of care among industry peers and joins in the collective effort to preserve natural resources.
Learn more about JG Summit's sustainability strategy here!