Round Table Discussion with Legislators

November 24, 2014: Round Table Discussion, Philippine House of Representatives
12 noon to 4 PM / RVM Bldg. Conf. Rm 6

Resource Speaker: Dr. Kim Jae-Gu, President, Korea Social Enterprise Promotion Agency (KoSEA is the government body mandated to promote and support social enterprises in South Korea)

Co-organizers: Office of Senator Bam Aquino, Office of Congressman Cresente Paez, House Committee on Small Business and Enterprise Development and Poverty Reduction through Social Entrepreneurship (PRESENT) Coalition

A. Brief

This year, the discussions on poverty in our country has one seething message –  the number of poor in the country remain unchanged for the last decades despite economic growth and that other strata in society are substantially benefitting from this growth more than others. In 2012, the income of top 20% families is 8 times bigger than the total income of bottom 20% families in 2012, which is much higher than in 2006 and 2009 according to NSCB.

Round Table Discussion with Legislators

That poverty and inequality as a twin policy issue is set against a context of increasing environmental challenges requires a new of looking at our economy, environment and poverty reduction. The Philippine which ranks 3rd globally among 173 countries most prone to disasters such as typhoons, earthquakes, and tsunamis— while affects everyone, it is the poor who finds it most difficult to rise after each and every disaster and this also erodes our previous gains in poverty-reduction. These issues which compels us to rethink old ways of managing our resources and think of sustainable and inclusive ways of eradicating poverty, addressing inequality and creating more resilient communities.

In the Philippines, the social enterprises – social mission-driven organizations engaging the poor in economic activities have been improving the incomes and capacities of the poor and their communities. SEs engage in economic activities but wealth created is reinvested back to the poor or the organization for the fulfillment of their social missions – a wealth redistribution and social change philosophy that we cannot find in other economic actors. The SE sector, helps government address poverty, local and sectoral issues such as lack of health services, education facilities, employment, disability, among others. Apart from identifying a social issue as a business agenda, SEs are also different because it also identifies who does business –  the poor as owners, suppliers and/or workers of the SE – an important characteristic in the taxonomy of SEs which sets them apart from traditional business organizations and the reason why it is an agency for wealth distribution and resiliency.

Round Table Discussion with Legislators

The SE sector is a  30,000-strong force for change but it needs political commitment to grow. If this sector is supported with access to finance, market development, incentives and treated as an economic engine in economic planning, social enterprises can also contribute to solving larger social goals including poverty-eradication, sustainable development and inclusive growth.

This is the meat of the Poverty Reduction Through Social Entrepreneurship (PRESENT) Bill, The bill has four major components: 1) recognition of SEs as partners in poverty-reduction through social entrepreneurship (PRESENT Program); 2) the eligibility of social enterprises; 3) support programs for social enterprises, and; 4 )incentives and benefits.

Round Table Discussion with Legislators

In countries like UK, Germany, France, Australia, Korea, policies on SEs have recognized SEs as an economic and social partner for achieving national and global development objectives. As we work toward the next set of development ambitions after the Millennium Development Goals, we know that our past work was not enough and a new set of players and approaches must be supported to change how wealth and resources are used for addressing longstanding problems.

Social enterprises in the country has the proven experiences, practice and approach. It needs a conducive policy environment to work better. In this phase of policy development, we look at the social enterprise policy of Korea as a way of understanding the place of social enterprises in economic development and how this role is being supported by the government. We also look at the context of our social enterprises, their capacities and needs in order to draw and help advance an appropriate framework and enabling environment for the development of the social enterprise sector in the country.#

B. Objectives

  1. To build understanding on the benefits of economic mainstreaming of social enterprises in the country
  2. To discuss the PRESENT Bill among champions and potential allies on its salient features, progress and discussions as a policy agenda for upscaling social enterprises for poverty-reduction in the country

C.  Program: 12 noon to 4 PM, RVM Building Conf Rm 6, House of Representatives

12:30 – 12:40
Opening
Rep.  Neil Benedict A. Montejo, Chairperson of the House Committee on Small Business and Enterprise Development

12:40 – 1:10
Social Enterprises, Poverty- Reduction and Recent Policy Discourse
 ISEA, Dr. Lisa Dacanay

1:10 – 1:40
Salient Points of the PRESENT Bill
Rep. Cresente Paez, Principal Author of PRESENT Bill

1:40:2:10 (video presentations)
Social Enterprise Experiences in the Philippines 
Foundation for These Abled, Foundation for a Sustainable Society and MicroVentures , GK

2:10-2:40
Social Enterprise Policy in Korea
Dr. Jae Gu Kim, Korea Social Enterprise Agency

2:40 -3:30
Panel of Reactors (10 minutes each)
Rep. Teddy Baguilat
Rep.  Susan Yap
Rep.  Winston Castelo
Rep.  Pablo Nava III
Rep. Gus Tambunting

3:30 – 4PM
Open Forum

4PM
Closing Ceremonies