Turning Promises Into Concrete Actions
The year 2017 marked several turning points for the Aboitiz Foundation. From a change in leadership to the innovations in our CSR strategies, we took a more challenging course to translate the Aboitiz Group’s brand promise of Advancing Business and Communities (ABC) into co-creating safe, empowered, and sustainable communities nationwide.
To meet the demands of more meaningful CSR programs, we revisited our strategic pillars and committed to increase collaboration with various stakeholders, further engage our team members, be more innovative in developing program frameworks, improve communication and digital platforms, and build organizational capacity through better people, processes, and systems.
We devoted the year to align our vision, goals, and strategies, as well as build the capabilities of our internal resource: our team members and CSR partners in the Aboitiz business units. We updated our policies and guidelines, implemented process improvements, and launched a new project management system to simplify processes, fully automate KPI and reports generations, and make documentation easier.
In 2017, we looked at how we can make our CSR projects more impactful to our stakeholders. We will accomplish this by implementing more integrated, innovative, and scalable projects that truly make a positive impact on the lives of our beneficiaries.
Moving Towards Advancing Business and Communities
For the past 29 years, we have categorized our CSR projects based on four program areas: Education, Enterprise Development, Environment, and Health and Well-Being. Moving forward, we will scale up our projects by integrating BU CSR initiatives, making these more holistic in addressing community needs. We will also make our projects area-based to ensure that we match the community’s needs with the BUs’ resources.
While we continue to recognize the Foundation’s program pillars of education, enterprise development, and environment, we constantly think outside the box so that these pillars become catalysts of change. We will scale up our education program to provide access to holistic and inclusive quality education leading to further education, gainful employment, and entrepreneurship – making education an enabler to reduce poverty and uplift lives. We will maximize our enterprise development programs to generate jobs and create entrepreneurs; at the same time, we will build capability by conducting learning sessions. Our environment program will ensure that our efforts will not be put to waste as we mitigate risks to our natural resources.
With all of these, we recognize and are grateful for the contributions and commitment of our partners. Our meaningful engagements with Aboitiz team members and our partners in the public and private sectors help us become an organization driven by purpose and committed to its promise. We are an organization that unites various stakeholders to bring a sustainable change that will benefit our generation and those to come.
Advancing Business and Communities is a promise to harness and maximize our resources, innovate our processes and operations, and strengthen meaningful relationships to contribute to drive change for a better world. Going forward, you will see how this promise turns into concrete actions through our CSR projects.
First Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
For WeatherPhilippines, we continued to strengthen our promise to advance business and communities by helping build a #WeatherWiser nation. We expanded our network of partners, improved our technological services through our new mobile app version and website improvements, and engaged more communities in our nationwide weather-related trainings.
With our increased reach in both our online and offline channels, the #WeatherWiser campaign moved to greater heights with more stakeholders gaining access to improved forecasting methods. Our initiatives were recognized during the 2017 IABC Quill Awards with WeatherPhilippines receiving the Top Award for Communication Management.
In 2017, our pool of sponsors increased, with CitySavings Bank, Davao Light and Power Company, Therma Marine, Inc., Sem-Calaca Power Corporation, and Source Telecommunications, Inc. joining us as Gold Sponsors. We look forward to new opportunities with our expanded partnership with Pilipinas Shell Foundation, Inc. under our Weather for Agriculture program, an inclusive collaboration for #WeatherWiser future Filipino farmers.
We also formalized our partnership with the Manila Observatory (MO), which partly involves the integration of MO’s 80 automated weather stations (AWS) to our existing AWS network. We will also explore how our comprehensive data could be utilized better through research conducted by MO.
Movement to Multi-Model Forecasting
In line with our efforts to improve forecasting capability, we also shifted to a multi-model forecast system from the previous Global Forecast System (GFS). For the July to December 2017 period, the accuracy of our forecasts for a 24-hour rainfall period improved from 73% to 84%.
New mobile app and website version
We stepped up our commitment to build a #WeatherWiser nation through our vastly retooled mobile app. The updated app launched in 2017 has new features including (1) improved forecasting accuracy; (2) new weather parameter – rain probability; (3) more detailed, hourly forecasting; (4) better location tagging; and (5) a more user-friendly design. It is still far from perfect as we have issues on the speed of the information appearing on mobile devices. We are currently implementing fixes on the back end of the system.
Meanwhile, the new website version features a lighter look and feel while retaining its helpful features that provide access to enhanced satellite maps and AWS data for all locations.
In 2017, the free WeatherPhilippines mobile application was downloaded 12,581 times during the year, with the app user-base growing by 57% to around 35,000. The app was accessed 259,956 times (sessions) by users, signifying increased interest in the mobile app as their source of weather information.
From 2012 to 2017, we provided weather knowledge to 5,096 individuals from public and private sector organizations. We continued with our flagship training activities – Weather 101 and Tropical Cyclone 101. Meanwhile, our tripartite agreement with City Savings Bank and the Department of Education (DepEd) focused on the education sector. Under this collaboration, the WeatherPhilippines team conducted several training sessions for various DepEd divisions. These initiatives were on top of the several training sessions held for various corporate entities and communities during the year.
In 2018, we will continue to provide free and accessible weather knowledge to our stakeholders and expand partnerships with the public and private sector. We will continue to improve on our forecast accuracy and further enhance our weather app. We will ensure that the communities we are supporting will be empowered enough to secure their safety, growth, and social development.
Our partnership with the Pilipinas Shell Foundation, Inc. will support our efforts to establish more sustainable and weather-resilient farming communities. Together with our partners, we will embark on several initiatives to improve and expand our weather forecast services, ensure the reliability of our weather network, and widen our geographical reach.
CSR is more effective when we build mutually beneficial relationships. There should be an alignment in meeting the needs of the business as well as the communities we serve and the rest of our stakeholders. To this end, WeatherPhilippines embraces the Aboitiz Group’s brand promise of advancing business and communities by helping build a #WeatherWiser nation.