House approves bill encouraging corporate social responsibility among companies
MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives on Wednesday approved on third and final reading the bill encouraging companies to observe corporate social responsibility (CSR)—and rewarding those that do so—in the operations of their businesses in the country.
With 209 affirmative votes, zero negative votes and no abstention, the lower chamber approved House Bill 6137, or the proposed “Corporate Social Responsibility Act.”
According to the bill, CSR is defined as the “commitment of business to contribute on a voluntary basis to sustainable economic development by working with relevant stakeholders to improve their lives in ways that are good for business, sustainable development agenda, and society at large.”
The bill states that CSR-related activities include the following:
- Charitable programs and projects;
- Scientific research;
- Youth and sports development;
- Cultural or educational promotion;
- Services to veterans and senior citizens;
- Social welfare;
- Environmental sustainability;
- Health development;
- Disaster relief and assistance;
- Socialized and low-cost housing; and
- Employee and worker welfare-related CSR activities
The bill likewise allows stock corporations to retain profits in excess of 100 percent of paid-in capital stock to be used for expansion or CSR projects and programs.
Under the bill, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is tasked to recognize and reward all business organizations for “outstanding, innovative and world-class CSR-related services, projects, and programs.
“[DTI] shall likewise extend endorsement and encouragements to domestic and foreign corporations doing business in the Philippines which are candidates for recognition international award-giving buddies for their CSR-related activities,” the bill states.
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