Progress can’t be achieved without transforming our behavior towards the ENVIRONMENT.

Climate change impacts many aspects of development like food security, livelihood, and governance.

To better prepare communities, we work with experts in developing solutions for sustainable cities—from helping businesses adapt to climate risk to working with local governments for disaster-readiness. 

We also work with smallholder farmers in increasing their lands’ yield through sustainable farming practices.

BPI Foundation and WWF Philippines Unveiled Food Houses for Food Security in Negros Occidental
Sourced from Alo Lantin, WWF-Philippines | MUAD-Negros
February 22, 2019

March 6, 2019 marked the inauguration of the first eight food houses to be constructed under the Climate-Proofing Agricultural Landscapes (AgriClima) project of the World Wide Fund for Nature Philippines (WWF) Philippines, BPI Foundation, Inc. and the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA). The food houses were constructed in the community of Ilijad with the support of project partners, the Federation of Multi-Sectoral Alliance for Development Negros (MUAD-Negros) and Nakalang Farm Workers Association.

Food House Farming is a compact, protective and diversified food production system. It adopts green farming technologies which practice waste recycling by composting, rainwater harvesting for irrigation, natural pest control, container production and integrated nutrient management to produce healthy food for the family and the community on the whole. 

One model of food house requires an area of 50 sq.n. including the open space and access pathways. The actual production area is 48 sq.m. The crop components are 100 heads broiler chicked, 20 trays of lettuce and other leafy vegetables, and 60 containers of fruiting vegetables such as eggplant, okra, tomato, pepper and cucmber and other suitable crops. The minimum production cycle is 40 days for chicken and leafy vegetables. The capital requirements is between P30,000 to P40,000 per unit. And it generate net income of P2,500 to P5,000 per production cycle,
The Food House Farming System has been developed and promoted by Raynic S. Alo and MUA-Negros in partnership with We Effect for food security of assisted small farmers and urban communities. Soon it will be introduced to the sugarcane farmers in Negros for the diversification of their sources of food and income particularly during the off-season. This will be done through the partnership project of WWF-Philippines and BPI Foundation, Inc., Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) and MUAD-Negros.

AgriClima is a BPI Foundation's program in partnership with WWF Philippines to ensure the sustainability of the Ara-al-Najalin-Marayo Watershed of Negros Occidental. The project utilizes a landscape approach in securing resources. This means that all aspects of the watershed, both physical and human, are addressed for the sake of its conservation. An arrangement between local government units and private bodies is being made to protect the watershed, while various opportunities are being pursued to help local small-scale farmers become climate-smart and resilient. The food houses were constructed as part of this latter effort, and are intended to help bolster and diversify the income of farmers.

Core Program
Ensuring Food Security and Sustainability of our Environment
Our 2018 Environment Programs in Review

The Agricultural sector is the perfect industry to engage with to address the challenge of food security, while promoting environmental sustainability. AgriClima provides opportunities for farmers to take an active role in ensuring food on our table, without compromising our natural resources. Initiated in 2016 in partnership with WWF Philippines, the program aims to measurably reduce the most significant environmental impacts of agricultural production of commodities, such as sugarcane, while capacitating smallholder farmers through climate-smart agriculture practices both at the farm and catchment levels.  

AgriClima focused on sugarcane production, because, in spite of having high economic importance in the country, it is also an industry with the poorest farmers due to its planting challenges, including its one-cycle harvesting. The program was also piloted in Negros Occidental since it is the largest producer of sugarcane in the country, accounting for 60% of the Philippines’ sugar production.  

In 2018, at the watershed level, the program facilitated the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between 4 concerned LGUs in the Aaral-Najalin-Marayo Watershed and DENR-EMB Region 6 for their commitment to protect and better manage the watershed. The watershed covers 22,163 hectares of land, with 178,175 households.  

At the farmer enterprise level, AgriClima has capacitated 8 cooperatives of 400[1] smallholder farmers with social preparation interventions on business, organizational and financial management. This has prepared them for an engagement with the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA), wherein these cooperatives will gain access to funding from the Sugar Industry Development Act (SIDA).  

The Mindanao Rainforestation program brings initiatives towards food security and environmental sustainability to conflict-areas in Mindanao. The program not only aims to restore the ecosystem and consequently bring more rain to increase agricultural production; aside from planting indigenous trees in 100 hectares of denuded forest, the program’s objective is also to engage the local communities into becoming stewards of the rainforest. This is done through a partnership with Hineleban Foundation, wherein the program provides families with sustainable livelihood opportunities, transforming them into partners in ensuring the conservation of the reforested area.

  In 2018, the program continued to engage with 92[2] household members from 20 families in the Amai Manabilang community in Lanao Del Sur through the adoption of a family food security cycle, and training workshops on abaca production, harvesting and fiber classification. These provide other sources of livelihood and income for the community members, keeping them away from slash-and-burn or “kaingin” activities that denude the rainforest.

[1] Data on number of farmers is based on MUAD-Negros estimate of 50 farmers in every cooperative.

[2] Data on number of household members is based on Philippine Statistics Authority 2010 census on the average household size of 4.6 members per household.

BPI holds first BPI Sustainability Summit
A first in the Philippine banking industry
September 17, 2015
The Bank of the Philippine Islands held the first BPI Sustainability Summit last September 17, 2015 underscoring the 164-year-old bank’s commitment to creating shared value as a cornerstone of its business. 
Arindom Datta, Executive Director of Rural and Development Banking of Rabobank India Group, talked about how Rabobank strengthened its competitive positioning with large corporate clients by innovating to serve a population that most global banks ignore: smallholder farmers.

BPI is the first financial institution in the country to organize a sustainability summit, during which the bank reported its sustainability performance and initiatives, and how sustainability has become imbued in its various products, services, and financial advisory. The summit also served as a platform for leading global banks to share their experience in incorporating sustainability into their business model.  

“We continue to empower our people to innovate services, systems and products that address the nation’s biggest sustainable development challenges—poverty, food security, climate change, ecosystems degradation, among others—while generating significant value for our business and shareholders,” noted BPI President and CEO Cezar P. Consing, in his joint message with BPI Chairman Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala in the 2014 BPI Sustainability Report.  

BPI has focused its sustainability efforts on three areas where it could deliver most impact as a financial institution—financial wellness, financial inclusion, and sustainable development initiatives.  

Financial wellness  

Through financial advisory and innovative and suitable products and solutions, BPI aims to help every Filipino attain a strong financial foundation, and build financially healthy and productive lives. These offerings are designed to foster a culture of saving, responsible borrowing, informed investing, and protection of assets.  

As a result of efforts in this area, for 2014, BPI reported, among others:

 67% increase in its Save-Up accounts. A Save-Up account is linked to a regular ATM-based savings account, and serves as a recipient account to where a fixed amount, as determined by the card holder, is transferred from the regular account on a weekly or monthly basis.

 40% growth in OFWs’ investment in BPI Asset Management’s Regular Subscription Program, an investment program that allows the account holder to purchase units for an investment fund account on a monthly or quarterly basis.  

Financial inclusion  

BPI continues to give particular attention to the low-income segment—its Easy Saver deposit product, which does not require a maintaining balance, helps individuals start a relationship of trust with the bank. In 2014, the bank’s total savings volume attributed to Easy Saver accounts increased by 27%, contributed by a 14% increase in the number of accounts.  

Sustainable Development Initiatives

BPI has taken deliberate steps to enable investments that foster sustainable development, especially in the countryside. Of the total financial services provided in 2014, P94 billion went to investments in the countryside, boosting wholesale and retail trade, agriculture, manufacturing, real estate, and other business activities.  

The bank also financed P27.5-billion worth of investments in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and climate resilience.  

“We realize the extent of change we seek to create sustainable value for our clients, for the environment, for society, and for our stakeholders via our various activities,” added Mr. Consing. “What we achieved in 2014 inspires us to do more in the coming years.”

BPI President and CEO Cezar P. Consing urges the financial sector to create more social value in his closing remarks at the BPI Sustainability Summit.

How ready are we for climate change?
February 27, 2015
The Philippines is the third most climate-vulnerable country on the planet, according to the United Nations World Risk Index.

Typhoon Haiyan, the strongest typhoon in the world, tested the resilience of the Filipino in times of crisis. With climate change as a new norm, have our cities geared up for larger man-made and natural calamities ahead? Are we planning our future through a climate lens?

Managing Risks in Big Cities

The Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) Foundation and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Foundation visited 11 cities last February 2015 to discuss the findings of a newly-completed climate adaptation study aimed at preparing big cities for escalating climate change risks.

“Business Risk Assessment and the Management of Climate Change Impacts” measured the climate vulnerability these 16 major cities in the Philippines: Baguio, Cebu, Davao, Iloilo, Cagayan de Oro, Dagupan, Laoag, Zamboanga, Angeles, Naga, Tacloban, Butuan, General Santos, Puerto Princesa and Santiago.

“We can climate-proof our cities if we act decisively. By gearing up for climate change, we can protect businesses and save lives,” said Fidelina Corcuera, Executive Director of BPI Foundation.

The study enlightens the private and public sectors on the risks and opportunities that lie with gearing up for climate change to ensure cities respond more competitively in a climate-defined future.

The study, launched in 2010, gathers city-level data 20 years in the past, and with the help of scenario building exercises by Brain Trust, the study also looks 20 years into the future.

Key Findings and Recommendations

The world is getting hotter. NASA reported that 2014 was the hottest year ever recorded. “With more heat comes more extreme weather. Studies show that we will experience more storms like Yolanda in the future”, explained Lory Tan, National Advisory Council Vice Chairman of WWF Philippines.  

Two out of five (40%) Filipino families are food poor, according to the 2008 Social Weather Survey. With urbanization rapidly expanding, rural-urban linkages will become crucial. So as not to face deficits, cities must protect their food production zones and their watersheds and rivers. For this, a city’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) is key for sustainable development.

From 1971 to 2011, electric power consumption per capita in the Philippines rose 174%. As the energy needs of the country continue to grow, investing in sustainable energy is increasingly important. Renewable sources are not only eco-friendly but also retain their value through time.

Global warming will force up to 150 million "climate refugees" around the world to be displaced in the next 40 years,  the Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) warns. In-migration, or the migration into a community or city, is something cities need to be ready for.

Transport and accessibility is vital to a city’s economy. However, only some cities are equipped with all-weather roads. Only 7 out of the 16 cities have airports that meet Airbus standards. None of the 16 cities have retro-fitted ports, built to withstand sea level rise.

Cities need to have stable and ample amounts of resources. City reserves, as well as buffer stock in food and water need to be monitored, so that in case of calamity, the city has enough resources to manage emergencies.

Financial reserves, climate-proof infrastructure, good governance and the sustainable management of resources are key to ensure responsible growth and resilience.

Action taken by Cities

Each city has its own issues; therefore solutions vary from place to place. The study presented localized findings and recommendations which prompted many cities to jump into action to mitigate risks and set up sustainability strategies.

Business chambers in Davao, Angeles and General Santos are actively pushing the study recommendations forward. The National Competitiveness Council (NCC) lauded the four-year assessment and underscored the importance of public-private collaboration. The study also prompted the private sector of Cebu to create the Mega-Cebu Consortium to influence development in infrastructure and in climate change adaptation and risk reduction. The local government of Iloilo took on the recommendations of the study to build All-Weather Urban Routes.

“We encourage businesses, local governments, and the public to use and maximize the results and recommendations of this study,” concludes Corcuera. “The Philippines is our shared gift. Preparing it for the impacts of climate change is our shared responsibility.”

For a summary of the 4 year project please watch this video

SHARED RESPONSIBILITY. BPI Foundation and WWF Philippines believe that all sectors must collaborate to create a climate-resilient Philippines.

Photo from Lory Tan, WWF Philippines View image
ARTERIES OF THE ECONOMY. Roads, airports and seaports are the channels that trade depends on. Many cities, however, do not have all-weather roads, flood-proof runways and retro-fitted ports.

Photo from Gregg Yan, WWF Philippine View image
ARCHIPELAGIC PROBLEMS. Different cities will incur different problems – there is no general solution for all. For example, cities in the north are more prone to flooding due to increased rainfall; while cities in the south are more
ADAPT TO BE RESILIENT. Lory Tan of WWF Philippines urges the sectors of the different cities to collaborate to build smarter and more resilient communities.

Photo from Ebony Lautner, BPI Foundation
THIS STUDY IS FOR YOU. USE IT. Fidelina Corcuera, Executive Director, BPI Foundation invites private and public sectors to use the study’s findings to their advantage.

Photo from Ebony Lautner, BPI Foundation
ALL IN. Representatives from the private and public sectors of Zamboanga City, BPI Foundation and WWF Philippines join hands in building a climate-resilient country.

Photo from Ebony Lautner, BPI Foundation View image

Since BPI takes climate change very seriously, it provides consultation services for businesses to become more efficient and sustainable. Watch this video to learn more about BPI's products and services geared toward strengthening businesses to do more with less.  

Core Program
BPI teams-up with WWF on 16-City Climate Change Study

From 2011-2014, BPI Foundation and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Philippines conducted a study on "Business Risk Assessment and the Management of Climate Change Impacts". The study assessed the vulnerability levels of cities most likely to be gravely affected by climate change. The study gauged the selected cities’ exposure to environmental degradation and climate change, socio-economic sensitivity, and adaptive capacity. Sixteen cities were identified and studied in a course of 4 years. This was not only crucial to the development of climate risk adaptation methodologies of BPI business partners, but also to the local government and communities that formulate site-specific strategies to better respond to future disasters. In 2015, the team will go on a road-show across the 16 cities to discuss findings and have forums with local groups on finding common solutions.

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