Message from Atty. Cynthia G. Casino

CORPORATE SUSTAINABILITY and the RIGHT TO VOTE

By the time this issue of Southlink comes out, we would have already exercised our right to vote, and we would have already known which candidate won. In fact, as I am writing this, we already know, and we are just waiting for the formal promulgation and swearing into office of the winning the candidates. This being the case, I hope we have sufficiently recovered from the hype of the election campaign.

Unlike the right to vote which culminates upon the casting of one’s vote. Corporate sustainability is an ongoing responsibility and, possibly, may only cease when the company decides that it is no longer strategic to pursue the same. Unlike the right to vote which we usually exercise every 3 and 6 years, corporate sustainability is meant to be exercised every day. It is not seasonal. Rightly so, as corporate sustainability is a value and thus is meant to be part of everyday decision making, everyday choices, everyday practices.

There is one distinct similarity between CS and the right to vote and that is it is both a responsibility. Mere practice and exercise though do not make one automatically a responsible corporate and Philippine citizen. Both must be done wisely. Wisely because for corporate sustainability, the company’s resources are not infinite. So, the Company must be strategic in its priorities and initiatives and opt for choices that are aligned with its value chain so that our initiatives will create impact at scale. For the right to vote, a voter must evaluate the candidate’s values, track records, plans, and programs. We are selecting someone who will lead us and so it is our responsibility to choose one whose character, past performance and future aspirations will benefit all Filipinos. After all, similarly, government’s resources are not infinite, in fact, now, more than ever, we need a leader who will be prudent in the use of our country’s and our government’s resources.

The components for corporate sustainability, i.e., environmental stewardship, social consciousness and ethics in decision making, transactional dealings and behavior, are no different for a government setting. The winning candidates, products of our right to vote, who will sit in government has the responsibility to safeguard our natural resources and to use them in ways that will ensure that the same will still be available for many generations. In the same way that a corporation should be responsive to the needs of its employees, communities; customers and other stakeholders, the government should also be responsive to the needs of its citizens, especially the less fortunate. Finally, both organizations must be fair, ethical, transparent, and accountable for its decisions and actions.

When I think about the foregoing, I hope we have factored these in our choice of the candidates we voted for.

Ultimately corporate sustainability and the wise exercise of the right to vote, are both a choice for the future, the collective future of our country, the collective future of the next generation.

Atty. Cynthia G. Casino

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