Volunteerism is about sharing ones three Ts: Time, Talent and Treasure”, so says Mr. Joselito de Vera of the Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency (PNVSCA), the government body that encourage and work with volunteers nationwide. The message that resonated during the toolkit session of the members of the Lopez Group CSR Council on Volunteerism last February 15 at Rockwell Business Center was that our companies are not new to volunteerism but that we need to do it together to create more impact. The activity entitled “Building a Culture of Volunteerism” is the first of the 2018 Toolkit Series of the Lopez Group Foundation Inc. (LGFI) and was attended by over thirty participants from fourteen companies and foundations within the Lopez Group. The activity invited two resource speakers: Mr. Dondon Marquez of Hands on Manila and Mr. Joselito de Vera from the PNVSCA.

During the toolkit session, the two speakers talked about their agency’s take on volunteer services and volunteerism. Mr. Marquez shared best practices by various companies in volunteerism as part of employee engagement. He stressed that all successful volunteerism program starts with a clear plan and design, with strong leadership from the heads of companies and volunteer champions and that these are further harnessed by partnerships developed along the way. Furthermore, employees must be fully engaged and successes must be measurable to also ensure sustainability and growth. Mr. de Vera on the other hands talked about volunteerism as giving one’s time, skills and resource (3Ts) to help others to achieve public good and that these volunteers do it freely, with no financial gain for oneself and for the benefit of a third party.

 Four Lopez companies and foundations also took turns sharing their volunteer programs. The ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation Inc. (ALKFI) talked of their highly developed and efficient external volunteers mobilization system that permeates their three core programs: Bantay Bata, Bantay Kalikasan and Oplan because, according to Ms. Mae Mendoza of ALKFI, “Volunteerism is an integral moving force in realizing ALKFI’s vision for our country”. First Balfour, on the other hand focused their volunteer program to mobilizing employees in four major volunteer activities: bloodletting, brigada eskwela, coastal clean-up and tree planting. The Energy Development Corporation on the other hand talked of their Emergency Response Team. The EDC-ERT is the vehicle where employee volunteers are trained and mobilized during times of emergency/disaster. Mr. Dimpy Jasmines talked about SkyCable’s volunteer program which also harness both internal and external volunteers. SkyCable’s volunteer program complements the company’s marketing activities also. Dimpy also shared the Walk-the-Talk initiative of the Lopez HR Council and LGFI which is the vehicle for Lopez Group-wide employee volunteerism at the moment.

During the open forum, some companies shared that they too have volunteer programs. Ms. May Ceniza of DZMM pointed out during the discussion the need to coordinate the volunteers’ mobilization efforts lamenting about their consistent call throughout the year for volunteers from the Lopez Group employees for blood donation. She suggested that it might be better if the Lopez Group coordinate this effort by doing it simultaneously across companies to show our commitment to volunteer action. This was taken well by the group and would be a major consideration in the formation of a Lopez Group Volunteerism Network in the near future.