My Reflection for Ethics and CSR Course

As part of the last requirement for CSR course this term, I am writing my last journal for CSR to share what I have learned, experienced and realization for this course and for taking my MBA. Taking MBA is one my goals that I really want to pursue, and this year 2017 I am fulfilling my dream. My first term for my Masteral Degree, and one of my first subjects is Ethics and CSR, though I have an idea about what CSR is, I was excited to learn new things and knowledge not just from the professor but from different people, since MBA is an advance level of learning and understanding I really want to advance myself in order to perform in managerial position. For me, taking MBA is another challenge and stage of my life and I want to accomplish and finish this Masteral with expertise and new learnings that I can share with other people and contribute in my organization. I realized while taking this first course i realized my journey in MBA would not be easy but I know it will be worth it. MBA is definitely different from my college days, it is more than the knowledge I could get in the book in which I will certainly learn through experiences from different people in different field.

Ms. Pia shared different insights from the topic in the class, she impart more importantly about being ethical in the business, real experiences, and shared her knowledge about what is happening in our surroundings not just in the Philippines but in other countries, I have learned more about the different industries and companies that performs ethical or unethical from different aspects. In addition, I also learned and understand the importance of interacting and engaging in the community though service learning, and that is one my favorite part and activity in CSR class.  Ms. Pia also, cites examples that I am not aware of, and this made me realized that other than working in a corporate world I will really learn from taking this MBA course that is really interesting and informative

After 14 weeks of meetings in Ethics and CSR class, I understand throughout this course, that business ethics is significant for the business. We have to consider every aspects of the company from the operation, people, environment and what would be the effect and impact of the business not just to gain profit but for the people and environment. Corporate Social Responsibility must be performed and practiced in every organization not just to benefit the company but for the beneficial of all.

Other than learning about Ethics and CSR, since this is one of my first subjects in MBA, I could really say that I enjoyed the class of Ms. Pia and never felt discourage to continue my Master Degree. I also like the active participation of the class to give some insight and give the full potential of the students, and this challenged me and make sure that I am ready every time I attend class.  I was able to meet new friends and colleagues in the class. I was able to communicate and socialize from different professionals. Although sometimes I was intimidated by my classmates because of their position in their company and there are times I doubted  myself and think if will still continue my MBA, I just used this as my strength and realized that these people would help me to excel and boost my confidence to do my best in MBA and in work. I consider this as a process, since 4 year since the last time I attended school. I will surely enjoy my next subjects because it will definitely give additional knowledge and another good learnings and experiences.

 

People, Planet, Profit

Sustainable growth is significant to evaluate the business success, through the triple bottom line that consists of three P’s: profit, people and planet, are used to measure the performance of an organization or corporation for financial, social and environmental. It is important to evaluate the overall performance to create better implementation of a certain business. Considering this triple bottom line it helps to measure how profitable the business really is.

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Image Source: http://transparentplanetllc.com/essentials/

 

One, profit, it measures the gain or loss of corporations that affects the economic sustainability. This is important in order to continue the operation of the business.  Usually the objective of the business is to earn profit regardless of how it will earn. However, the economic sustainability is not just the focus of the business but as well as the impact created for the people and environment. It considers how a certain product or type of business will beneficial for greatest number of people.

Second, people, this measures how the organization be socially responsible for the stakeholder. It is significant to value the relationship with people and society to consider the effect of the business in the community. The people in the organization affects the performance of the business, and the company should be active in human development. Social sustainability includes the human rights, health, safety, and as well as being concern in work-life balance.

As human we are dominant and has the ability to take control of the decision we make. In a company there are always people who has in the higher position and the followers, both must find ways to satisfy the need of each other so the company will work. Thus, it can create a good environment and competent people.

Lastly, planet, measures the sustainability of the environment for natural resources. It is one of the important thing to consider since it is the main source of how humans live every day. The impact in the environment, must be monitored in terms of consumption and waste emission so we would know how to implement solutions to resolve or reduce the damage we have done. Going green is one of the strategies to reduce negative effect and possibly zero effect to the environment. Through this kind of movement the environment will be protected and it will less harm for the people.

The triple bottom line cycles affects one another, thus it will always consist of people, planet and profit. When people set green acts like recycling, using green technology, and be responsible as the care taker of the environment it will have positive effect to the planet, and the planet will generate enough resources that the people can use to create profit. I realized that in any business we always consider the profit we can gain from it, however, environment should be part of a business plan and should be used with care. I’ve come to realized that as consumer or business, we are all responsible with our own actions to ensure sustainable development for both human and planet.

Post-Service Learning

One of the highlights after the service in the community was the realization and reflection we have experienced during the service learning, the things that we can do for the community. I believe that people appreciate the time and effort we put in doing our community service base on how they response to us. Helping out others has made me learn so much about them as well as myself that in a small token you can give to others, might have a huge effect which can change their perspective in life. Although, we had our service learning in J12 Doulos for more than the required hours, it is still not enough to serve them and know the people and their environment better. Our activity in J12 Doulos made me think what I could give more for the people in need. It could be my time, effort, assistance or material things, anything even in a very simplest thing.  Maybe next time I can still assist the organization and do the service again. I still want to be part again of any organization and be involved in the society that contribute positive changes to our own community and not just our own but to other society outside our country.   This is an eye-opening experience that in our society we need to give equal opportunity for everyone, which the government must take action for the need of the people, because many people are still need to reach out help and assistance so that they can move forward and continue their journey to also contribute to their family and others as what we did for them.

Next time, I would like to address the service learning through different social issues particularly in poverty, education, hunger and other issues we are now facing in the Philippines. It is more than a community service but to address also the problem we have in our country, those people who were affected and have not given an equal opportunity. Through this actions and kind of movement we can educate and give awareness to others in a more productive and fast approach.

I would like to encourage some of my friends in doing service learning and motivate them by being active in doing community service, to promote an activity that is interesting for the participant. In addition it is better if we work with a team and achieved something significant for the community, It is not only the community but as well as the volunteers and the people conducted the service because there comes a respect for one another, form camaraderie, creates friendship, companionship and even develops to build leadership skills by leading to different people.  Through my service learning I want give more time and do better for the community. I also want to make sure that I will do community at least once a year. In addition I will be more open to any opportunities and possible way to reach out the people in the society even just in a simple ways. And because of my service learning I have realized to appreciate more things in life and share the blessing to everyone. I feel so happy to be able to do even smallest things for someone.

This service learning help me to become better and help others as well. I consider this as one of my accomplishment and purpose in life. A way to give back for everything I received in life. I could say that this is a very humbling experience, and made me realized how blessed I am and blessing to others by means of sharing.

Marcopper Case

The Marcopper incident is one of the biggest and worst mining disaster in the Philippines. As one of the interrogator of Marcopper Case, I also studied and did some research for this case and was able to learn more about mining, and what would be the effect in the environment and to the people.

Marcopper Mining operated their business in 1969 in Marinduque, it is one the poorest province in the Philippines. The 40% of Marcopper Mining Corporation owned and managed by Placer Dome, a Canadian company which is the 5th largest mining company in the world. The company provides jobs and employs 1,000 people, Marcopper Mining Corporation were able to grow a $30 million a year for local good, services and electricity for the province. The company also contirubute 1.7 billion foreign exchange earnings for the Philippine economy. However, the business have numerous trouble in mining operation, particularly in health of the people and environmental problems. (polluted waterways, killed fish and flooded agricultural fields).  In 1996 the Marcopper Mining disaster happened, the pit tunnel to the river fractured, spill the amount of waste into the Boac river. The immediate effects were disastrous as the community experienced floods, agriculture was affected and the marine life was devastated. The government issued the Environmental Compliance Certificate which allowed them to use the Taipan pit for mine waste storage but they cover up the they did not know the about the tunnels.  After the disaster, Marcopper close down mining in Marinduque with lack of finance. The Mar copper took no action immediately while the Placer Dome accepted the responsibility for clean-up but eventually separated itself from Macropper. The people simply want their environment to clean up, to get compensation and assurance that it will not happen again. Although there’s a Memornadum signed by between Marcopper and government for rehabilitation, there’s no assurance that they will something about it.

 

After discussing and analyzing the case with the group, we decided to take the point of view of Marcopper, and answer the problem with, What should Marcopper do to address the problem/ damages occurred in Marinduque?

The following are the alternative course of action to be taken

  • ACA 1 – Marcopper will not spend more than the $71M spent by Placer Dome to clean the Boac river and the $1M paid for lost wages
  • ACA 2 – Marcopper will continue with the rehabilitation, clean-up and repair of the pit but will be allowed to operate again
  • ACA 3– Marcopper will liquidate all its assets and setup a rehabilitation  fund to be managed in  coordination with representative from stakeholders –  local residents, government, Marcopper  and international independent body.

As the result, using Markulla Framework ACA 3 got the highest score considering the utilitarian, duty, justice and fairness, care and virtue of actions to be taken.  And I agreed that Marcopper should take full responsibility for the damages they have done in Marinduque particularly for the people in area and for the environment.

In this case, when the question were asked in the class what would be our side in mining companies, if we will allow or not the mining in the Philippines. For me, I have realized that this mining companies, provides opportunities for the people in terms of giving job, and contribute to the economy in the Philippines. But I think we have to consider the negative effect in the environment and for the people. This incident made me realized that mining industry damage our nature and affects each and every one. If the government allow mining industry to operate there should be proper regulation and investigation from the them before giving certificate and permit.I believe that we are responsible to provide a clean and livable planet for the people, and for the next generation.

 

CSR Service Learning

It is always one of my goals to reach out others and volunteer in any organizations and community. This service learning have given me an opportunity to be part again of the people who need help and want to feel that they are part of the society.

After the planning for our service learning, July 8, 2017 is the first day of our actual community service. One of the agenda for the day is to visit the children in Pureza which is a depressed area and see how they are, before we go to the location, I was excited to meet the people in the community and talk to them about their lives.

I’ve seen the way each family live and what they normally do for a living. Even though they live in a depressed area, I have seen simple life with them and they are still satisfied of what they have especially the children. While waiting for the service car of the children going to the center where the program will be held. The children were playing and running everywhere but that is the simple happiness in their heart. I remembered when I was young playing in the streets and just enjoy without thinking any problem, but that was a long time ago. We also had an interview with the children and their parents, I asked one of the parents why they want their children to join in J12 Doulos, and she said her daughter can able to do other activities instead of staying at home.

Another agenda was to bring the books that we have collected from donations from different good people. The books will be used by the kids for learning session every Sunday. We decided to have book drive so that even if our service learning is only 6 hours, we can give something to them that they can use for the long term. I asked 2 of the kids if they are happy with the books we have donated, they said, yes! And very excited to read especially the storybooks. That is a simple gift but the joy and happiness in their eyes is really unforgettable. They appreciate everything they receive in life.

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Last agenda for the day was assisting the J12 Duolos for their activities in fellowship. The children were so active in participating throughout the activities. In the program the kids were introduced in the life of God, that one thing that really interest me in the organization because for them to be able to believe that there’s hope in life, we should always have relationship with God.2

On our second day of activity, we helped the J12 doulos volunteers for learning session. The toddlers were separated from graders. I’m so happy to be part of the learning session because it get me closer to one one my dreams and that is to teach someday.

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I have realized how to appreciate simple things in life. Everything we have is a blessing from God. Like in the topic from the fellowship, we must accept the fruit of life, and everything we have in life is important most especially when we shared. I’ve seen the eagerness of the children to participate in the program and know more about God. I am also amazed with all the volunteers who put their time and effort just to be able to conduct this community service for the kids. And I believe in response to the mission of J12Doulos,  this organization would really enhance and empower the children to become the leader of the next generation in the society, and that is the positive impact it can have on the lives we touch.

 

The New Market Opportunity

As one of the reporter of case 7 (The New Market Opportunity). Our group discussed different point of view about the case, but to sum up the main problem of the case, it is about economic growth and environmental sustainability.

To give the background about the case, in 1994, Chinese government invited leading international automobile companies to submit plans for a car that is designed for the growing Chinese population for the economic boom. The Chinese government has specified that the car should be less than $5000, big enough to fit a small family with one child, rugged, and using parts made from China, however environmentalists are worried with the effects of having car manufacturer’s response to the call of the Chinese government.

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Image source: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/27/opinion/cartoon-heng-on-chinas-anti-corruption-drive.html

One, even if the car would be environmentally friendly, there still a negative impact in the environment because of the cumulative environmental effect. Then, even if automobile companies will propose an electric car, China will consume more natural resources that will cause greater harm in the environment.  Lastly, it will increase the prices of oil in which US is one of the top users, and will deplete the supply of oil in which new sources of oil must be discovered. The possible negotiations of China in Middle East countries to trade weapon for oil the will cause a risk of war, also the chances of intervening of United States, as one of the super power nation in the world, it is the duty of US to protect its welfare and the world from any possible chaos or destruction due to lack of oil supply and increasing oil prices.

Analyzing the problem, we came up with the decision that we should take the point of view of international car companies. Our statement of the problem was, what action should the international car companies take in response to the invitation of China?

 

Here are the three Alternative Courses of Action the group have agreed on:

  • ACA 1 – The International car companies will not participate in submitting a proposal to China
  • ACA 2 – The International car companies will submit a proposal to China for an alternative mass transportation
  • ACA 3 – The International car companies will submit an intent to form a joint venture but will suggest a collaborative  research and development for eco-friendly cars

 The objectives of our group is to be able to identify a solution for reducing the negative impact of cars in the environment, and also to come up with a proposal that will follow strict regulation in the environment. Using the merkulla framework, ACA 2 got the highest score. And I think this course of action was fair for all stakeholders and environment. I have learned that public/ mass transportation emit less pollution, and that would help to reduce the negative impact in the environment.

It is difficult to decide if we were still be proposing a plans in China because if we were going to focus on economic growth, automobile accompanies will definitely submit, but we realized that it is possible to sustain profitability and sustaining environment as well as reducing the emission of pollution by proposing Mass Transportation.

While doing the case, I realized how important to take care of the environment, because it will affect many aspects of our lives, and we should always protect the environment. In any business, the sustainability of profit, people and planet are important. Now, I am more sensitive in terms of using the energy in day to day activities to live in a clean environment. We should never compromise the environment just to earn and gain profit.

 

 

 

 

 

Ethics of Job Discrimination

Discrimination is still a topic and issue in the any part of world even in the Philippines, as to define it,  it is unjust or biased treatment of people, and based on the discussion in CSR it is a negative sense to refer to differentiation not based on individual merit but rather on prejudice or some other negative attribution. For me, discrimination is happening everywhere, in school, church even in work and I don’t think it is fair to judge a person based on categorically rather than individually. Like for example, people are usually underestimating the capabilities of those who are not in high social status. Our thinking is to overestimating the elite because we believe that they are the only one who can contribute in our society.

One of the topic in CSR is job or employment discrimination, it is a prejudice leading to a harmful or negative impact on the interest of employees. It discriminates about religion, gender, age, origin and identity of employees. And I think to discriminate a person is wrong because it violates the person’s moral rights and everyone should be treated equal.

In some company, there are some qualifications that they are looking for to an applicant which I could say, that it should not be the basis but rather the capabilities and competencies of an employee. I realized, during the discussion that most of the companies  are looking for the qualified employees based on their schools where they graduated, but some of the top students were not just from the good universities and colleges, so everyone must be given an equal opportunity and don’t limit the people’s opportunity. Practices of discrimination in a company is really unethical.

To share some of my experienced in job discrimination was where one of the departments are looking to an employee based on their physical appearance in which it is very questionable, I was shock knowing that there are still management who is actually tolerate this kind of discrimination in the company. I believe that a person’s contribution in the company will not be based in physical appearance especially if intelligence, expertise and knowledge are what’s important in the position. Another experience I would like to share is when I asked my roommate about their company where I could possibly apply for a job but she said that a company is only looking for “Christian or born again” employees, and my reaction was, really? Is religion of an individual really matters in your company? I was thinking that even my religion is different from them I can still work and be part of their organization. Another story of my friend, that even in a design or construction companies in the field of architecture and engineering, discrimination in gender is a common problem in a way that male gender is a requirement for some companies most especially in Middle East. Base on my examples, discrimination in work are extensive and uncontrollable in every organization. Another form of job discrimination is sexual harassment, this is an act of unwanted act of sexual to other employees and it is intimidating and offensive in working environment.  Any act of physical or verbal is a form of sexual harassment and as woman I won’t allow anyone else to do that action even if the involve person is my boss or in the higher position.

I have learned that everyone in the company must be treated fairly, regardless of age, gender, religion and race. I’ve seen that discrimination affects the performance of an individual because it limits the opportunities, also discrimination in workplace causes stress and anxiety that may affect the mental and physical conditions of a group or individual who experience such act.

 

 

Service Learning-Planning and Organizing

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Service Learning is part of our activity in Corporate Social Responsibility we have to choose a community wherein we will develop our sense of caring for others. Our group chooses between conducting a program regarding dengue prevention and clean up drive or help the organization by teaching homeless children. We went to both community and observed in terms of the program and activities that we can contribute. The group decided to choose the JK12 Doulos for Christ for the homeless children or out school kids and member of the church.   We came up with this decision because among those two community this will give more impact or influence to the children. The group already made the proposal on our first visit and on the second visit we were able to do our plans and objectives for the service learning. The group agreed in terms of the chosen organization and the time schedule.

As we coordinate in the organization, they introduced to us that JK12 Doulos for Christ is really to develop children and should be raised up in the fear and knowledge of God and His Word by cultivating leaders. Our group will assist the fellowship and teachings for Saturday and Sunday class, but other than teaching the children, we decided to gather books specifically Christian books and storybooks, in addition, the group will be the one to go to the place of out of school kids and encourage them to attend regularly to the learning sessions because other kids are not interested anymore for the reasons that they are busy, their parents don’t allow them or limited volunteers to do the “bahay bahay” that will encourage them, and so we decided to join them as part our objective in community service. I am excited to see their home, because based on our interview to other volunteers, the kids live in a depressed area are really lack of comfort in life, I would like to see how to help them more other than teaching. Also, as part of our service is “book drive”, this is something that we can contribute to them for the long term that can be used every session. These books will empower and encourage to read and write.

asdfgh.jpgAs per discussion of the group we really wanted to address literacy and develop their characters and values. And at the same time in line with the vision of the organization is to secure the future generation and take care of the younger ones because they will be the future leaders of our society.

Our group will do the service on Jul 8 and 9 and I am excited to attend this kind of activity again, since I have attended and joined several community service in the NGO , I am always interested to listen to their different stories and know more about their lives. The last charity that I did was feeding and giving school supplies for children of helper and vendor in  Quezon and I am very touched as they are thankful enough saying, “thank you po sa blessing”. And I’m so blessed that I was able to share my blessings for others. And now, this year I will be able to share again my blessings not just a material things but also my knowledge and the teachings of the Lord God.

For our service learning that we will conduct hopefully our group will be able to inspire the homeless children and will promote proper education even just for a short-term. I believe that these kids are in great need of help to be able to sustain their desire to learn.

 

Brian’s Franchise Case Study

Brian’s Franchise was the first case study that we discussed for CSR, the topic was a bit serious because it is about the business of “marijuana” by breeding and raising indoors, in which we all know, it is prohibited  by the government here in the Philippines and other part of the world.

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Image Source: http://marijuana.ca/files/3214/6133/2229/PlantAgainstWhite2.jpg

To give a brief summary regarding the case, the marijuana gains a big percentage of an income in agriculture in US compare to corn and soybeans. Brian dropped from college to continue breeding the marijuana indoors but the government eradicate the widespread production of marijuana, but it didn’t stop the farmer from producing it and Brian used advanced technology to continue his operation in Amsterdam that was operated completely by a computer and can be monitored from distance.

The first group presented the problem, “what should Brian do to continue its marijuana operation while making it a legitimate business, and what other career can Brian do to make a living? and the group presented and recommended was to explore business partnership opportunities for state in the US where medical marijuana is legal.

But the class analyzed the statement of the problem that based on the case, it doesn’t fully answer and support the possibility of legalizing the marijuana, by looking at the timeframe of the case it will never be legal and use for medical purpose, and at the same time, the group didn’t discuss and consider the other career that Brian can still do to make for a living if he stops producing marijuana. There’s no other areas of consideration that the group presented related to change of career. The group was hesitant to recommend to use Brian’s knowledge in farming other products, because they thought that not finishing his college degree, won’t be able to find other opportunity for good career, but for me, some successful personality like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and even Mark Zuckerberg were all dropped out in college but now successful. It’s true that education is important factor for us to be successful in our career but Brian had experienced and knowledge in farming. He can shift his skills in farming by producing different kind of product in agriculture.

Another concern in the case is by intervening by the government in the market, I agree that the government has to intervene in order to control and eradicate the production of marijuana, to protect the people and consumers because using it without control has a negative effect and impact not only for the user but also in the society. Relating in our government, most people use marijuana as cigarette or for fun or to satisfy themselves and  it is totally prohibited and the government will not think twice but will arrest the accused. Just in case the marijuana will be legalized all over the world I suggest that proper provision and supervision must be implemented because this has always a negative effect if in case of excessive use of it. I’m afraid that if the person has been addicted consuming it, they cannot control or handle themselves that can cause death or crime.

I believe that the case may resolve in different point of view, but I have to consider the ethics of the business. As I have observed the presentation, since they are the first group, I realized that we really have to consider the ethical response in giving the recommendation in the case and look at the timeline of the problem, being ethical in the business must properly and always be observed, because being legal doesn’t mean being ethical, and sometimes the government has to intervene in the market to protect the people.

 

 

The Ethics of Consumer Production and Marketing

 

In producing a new product in the market, we have to consider our consumers and the welfare of others, at the same time how it will affect the environment and everything that surrounds us. As human we have to be aware about the effect of the products introduces in the market, and consumer product safety must always be observed in manufacturing a new or existing products.

A business is producing a product that is safe for the consumer demand, and  has to be protected from injury or any loss. A free market needs to deal with safety, risk and value issues. Of course, I believe that sometimes the business or the product itself has given all the information or how to be safe using the specific product but the question is, how well informed the consumer in consuming and using it, but sometimes producers cannot protect the consumers by their ignorance, so we cannot classify who to blame. In any case a consumer has a duty to protect their own interest in buying a product while producer has their duty to protect and keep their consumer interest, so both party should know their own responsibilities.

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Image Source: http://findjustice.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/CONSUMERPROTECTION.png

It’s very important that in every business a contract disclose everything about the product or services. For me, if in case a problem may occur everything is indicated in the product, on what the consumer should do and there is full knowledge in terms of agreement for both parties.

I have learned that there’s no product that is totally risk free, but knowing that there’s no 100% risk free we have to know up to what level  is acceptable in which the seller is accountable of presenting the risk of the product.  For example as a buyer of make-up product I read first about the content of the item, since every product has its own indication on what type of ingredient or chemical is mixed  which my skin may be irritated if not properly use, I also consulted others regarding the side effects of the product to be aware and realized that as a consumer I am also responsible for using it.

Another thing that a producer has to be aware is making unintentional false advertisement, with such reason of fearing that consumers may not buy the newly introduced product which made me realize that consumers has its own fear. For example, if the seller told that this was the last item inside the store, we may be impulsive to buy the product because of such reason that we won’t find another product or price they offer to other store. I realized this is one of the marketing strategy , that somehow, it’s a form of compelling the buyer.

After product safety, we have to introduce in the market the product, and we market it in different ways, there’s a saying,” good or bad publicity or advertisement still publicity”, and that might affect the consumers in deciding of buying a product, and this is the time that people talked about the advertisement that increases their sales. Advertising is simply use to sell the product in prospective buyer. In introducing a new or existing product advertising is also a way of market communication, for me technically it is effective to advertise a product as long as it is not misleading the consumers in buying it.

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image source: http://adsoftheworld.com/media/print/lemon_twist

During the discussion, most of the examples in the advertising/ or billboards is really unethical, at some point we have to consider the people and the audience, and  I’m just curious why particular management approved indecent commercials, billboard, magazine and any other materials for marketing and advertisement, and I always find it unethical.