School gets a face-lift from BPO volunteersBy Stephen Norries A. Padilla |Philippine Daily Inquirer
EM’S Signal Village Elementary School (ESVES) in Taguig City got a sprucing up just in time for the holidays when Telus International Philippines (TIP) employees gave up their rest day to volunteer in refurbishing the entire school.
It was the company’s sixth annual Day of Service. Jeffrey Puritt, president of the business process outsourcing services provider, said doing volunteer work not only helped the area where a business was located but also made a company’s employees “heroes in their communities.”
Puritt travels from Canada to the Philippines every year to participate in the event. He said he believed that living TI’s philosophy—“We give where we live”—and helping communities would, in turn, help the company flourish.
He added that “good corporate social responsibility (CSR) recognizes… that there’s a symbiotic relationship” between the health of the community and the health of the company.
Living the philosophy
“It’s a win-win situation,” noted Canadian Ambassador Christopher Thornley.
Wearing company shirts and caps, the employees repainted fences and rebuilt exteriors, cleaned classrooms and toilets, tidied up gardens, conducted fun activities for kids and rehabilitated sheds, a basketball court and other school facilities.
ESVES principal Remedios Antonio, along with the teachers, assisted volunteers with the various tasks. Antonio said the school was chosen as this year’s beneficiary on the recommendation of Hands on Manila, TIP’s partner charity.
Obligation to share
Puritt said, “A day like today underscores many elements of our vision—and what I believe makes us unique as a company.”
He added that they have a commitment to foster safe, happy and healthy communities “through an authentic and inspiring spirit of volunteerism.”
TIP agent Rod Mojal who, like others in the graveyard shift, went straight from work to ESVES, said it was his first time in his three-and-a-half years in the company to do volunteer work for the community.
With his friend, John Paul Alonzo, he repainted fences and acted as bus marshal, making sure other employees boarded their designated shuttle services.
Since its start in 2007, the Telus Day of Service has grown from 250 volunteers to nearly 2,000 this year.
“The CSR fever here in TIP has been contagious, as more team members have been answering the call to volunteerism year after year,” TIP vice president Warren Tait said.
Apart from volunteer work at ESVES, TIP’s Day of Service also included a wide range of activities for the company’s 2,000 employees, held in different areas with other partner charities like Gawad Kalinga (GK) and Bantay Kalikasan.
Other employees built homes at Telus-GK Villages 1 and 2 in Tandang Sora and Batasan Hills, respectively, in Quezon City. Some went to La Mesa Eco Park, also in QC, for a cleanup drive.
“Our annual Day of Service… is a day when our team members can proudly say their teamwork, sacrifice and perseverance have paved the way for other people to have better lives,” said TIP president Jeffrey Uthoff.
The event was also attended by GK founder Tony Meloto and Hands on Manila vice president Mia Tambunting-Padilla.
photos by Stephen Norries A. Padilla, Contributor