A ranking official of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) believes the Philippines has the potential to become a regional leader and a bright example in the development of social enterprise and inclusive business.
However, ADB vice president Stephen Groff stressed that the government and private sector must “take stronger steps to boost this sector” in this ideal time where there is “explosion and interest in social enterprise”.
“Such growth must rely primarily on local ingenuity, resources and commitment to substantially reduce poverty and deprivation across the country,” Groff said in his speech during the Social Business Summit, which opened last Wednesday at GK’s Enchanted Farm in Angat, Bulacan.
“Gains can be made by forging closer collaboration with international partners who can offer promising approaches, voluntary support, and technical expertise and financial resources,” Groff emphasized.
Groff said the government–both national and local–can serve as advocate and champion by raising awareness and providing finances to those interested in venturing into social enterprises.
“The government can also lead by example through the procurement of quality goods and services. It will help create a virtual cycle that will allow these social enterprises to grow,” he added.
The private sector, for its part, could sponsor a “bootcamp” to identify social problems, define change, construct business model and measure social impact.
Earlier, Senator Bam Aquino, the first social entrepreneur to be elected as senator, filed a number of bills that aim to support social enterprises and redefine the concept of social value in government spending.
Senate Bill No. 1026, otherwise known as the “Social Enterprise Bill,” aims to establish a Poverty Reduction Though Social Entrepreneurship (PRESENT) Program that will “provide a nurturing environment for the growth and burgeoning of strong and innovative social enterprises as tools to reduce poverty”.
Sen. Aquino also filed Senate Bill No. 1029, also known as the Social Value Bill, which redefines “value for money” for government procurement as going beyond products and services with the lowest price, to those which offer “the greatest collective benefit to the community.”
The young lawmaker earlier said, “Ultimately, our goal is to ensure that, as the country grows, more Filipinos are able to grow with us. Now that the Philippines is growing at a phenomenal rate and all eyes are on our economy, now is the time to make sure that no one gets left behind.”