The roots of the Bank of the Philippine Islands go deep.
The Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) is the first bank in the Philippines and Southeast Asia. Incorporated in 1851, it still maintains a large rural branch network, with some branches dating back to the Spanish or American colonial periods. Its network of 831 branches is by far the largest in the Philippines.
BPI feels a great sense of responsibility to its country, and believes strongly in continued nation building. It is also of the mind that its prosperity as an organisation is dependent on the well-being of their nation. Hence, BPI makes it their aim to be inclusive organization responsible for helping boost the economy by contributing to the welfare and sustainability of the communities they serve.
Through good management, prudent risk taking and spending, as well as savvy investment, the bank registered a total net profit of Php22.42 billion in FY2017. In the same year, BPI invested Php87 million back into community development programmes.
While BPI contributes to growing the Filipino economy by helping scale up enterprises across industries nationwide through their specialised financial products and services, the BPI Foundation was established to plan and execute the Corporate Social Responsibility activities and social innovations of the bank. The Foundation’s role is to reach out to deserving markets to ensure that they gain access to formal financial channels, and help them contribute to the betterment of the economy. These roles support and help give the community means to better manage their cash flows, raise capital, and receive financial advice to enhance their economic potential.
BPI Foundation’s primary goal is to improve the lives of Filipinos through the core pillars of the Foundation, namely, Financial Education, Entrepreneurial Development, Sustainable Environment, and Employee Engagement. These core pillars of the Foundation are aligned with sustainable economic development goals based on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These support the national development agenda and help improve the lives of the underprivileged. Each of the bank’s CSR initiatives build on an integrated ecosystem that aims to change how people become financially healthy.
BPI’s social entrepreneurship programmes are designed to identify and train social entrepreneurs, mainly micro, small, medium entrepreneurs (MSMEs) to accelerate their businesses. BPI collaborates with the Department of Trade and Industry to reach the MSME community, and offer training programmes to help smallholder farmers build scale and practice sustainable agriculture. In 2017, 949 micro entrepreneurs and 56 social entrepreneurs from various industries received skills training in food, handicraft, fashion, ecotourism, and arts and culture across the country.
To promote financial inclusion and financial security in the community, BPI’s financial education programmes reach out to the young and old to educate them in personal financial management. The foundation has tapped YGOAL (?) for financial education for the youth. In 2017, BPI’s financial education programme helped over 97,378 grade school and senior high school students from public schools, 6,328 teachers, and 1,050 migrant workers and 250 families in managing their finances better.
BPI ensures that while these programmes drive economic growth, their efforts are coupled with environmental sustainability. As of 2017, the Foundation worked alongside MUAD (?), WWF (?) and Hinebalan Foundation to help 15 agrarian reform cooperatives and 20 indigenous families/farmers in implementing good farming practices and sustainable agriculture.
BPI employee volunteerism has been vital to BPI Foundation’s success. In 2017, over 10,800 employees of BPI’s workforce contributed personal time for community projects through BPI BAYAN. That same year, the BPI Social Immersion Lab (SoIL) had a total of 31 BPI officers assisting farmer cooperatives in different locations in the areas of financial planning, business development, and crop-related financing. These extensive programmes over the years have empowered communities to create prosperity for themselves and extend equal access to opportunities.
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