4/26/23

Every day is Earth Day at SM Supermalls

 


1700 children celebrate Earth Day at SM malls nationwide.

 

SM Supermalls, in collaboration with its corporate social responsibility arm, SM Cares, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), local government units and partner schools and organizations joined the rest of the world in celebrating Earth Day at SM malls nationwide on April 22, 2023.

 

With the theme "Invest In Our Planet, Invest In Our Youth," SM Supermalls and SM Cares lined up various activities that aimed to raise awareness among children and their families about the importance of coming together across various sectors to take care of the environment. SM malls nationwide simultaneously held relevant and impactful celebrations with activities such as Children’s Storytelling, Coloring, and Sustainability Tours, gathering 1700 children and 350 employee volunteers. These activities aimed to encourage everyone in the family, particularly the young ones, to protect and respect Mother Earth.

 

Earth Day is an annual celebration led by the Earth Day Network that puts the spotlight on issues that are affecting the environment. First held in 1970, Earth Day was the result of a need for a unified response against various environmental problems like pollution and resource depletion. Today, the event is considered the biggest environmental movement in the world, with millions joining celebrations every year.

 




Children learn about how to protect the environment individually and as a community through art, storytelling and a Sustainability tour around SM malls

 


“At SM, every day is Earth Day. However, today we are reminded of our responsibility to protect the planet we live in. We believe that we must all come together and take the necessary steps against this climate crisis and accelerate a greener and more equitable future for everyone,” shared Ms. Liza B. Silerio, SM Supermalls Vice President for Corporate Compliance and SM Cares Program Director for the Environment.

 

SM Supermalls featured the art of multi-awarded Filipino artist, sculptor and illustrator, Manuel Baldemor. His works depict the rich cultural aspects of the Philippines and can be found in multiple institutions worldwide. His drawings and Earth Day poem inspired the Earth Day program at SM, reflecting a long-time partnership on SM Cares programs for the environment, starting with his design of SM’s first eco bags in 2007. 

 

The storytelling activity featured a special Earth Day story based on Baldemor’s artworks. The story reflected simple ways children can participate in living sustainably on their own and with their families. Meanwhile, kids and kids-at-heart were welcomed at the coloring activity section. Participants were given art materials and a selection of Baldemor's drawings to color in. Malls used recycled materials in designing the activity areas.

 

And to cap off the celebration, a sustainability tour was held wherein everyone participated in a guided tour to one or more of the mall’s eco-friendly facilities such as the EV charging stations, water recycling treatment plants, waste segregation bins, Plastic Waste Collection booths, E-waste Collection bins and various bicycle amenities.

 




Filipino artist Manuel Baldemor’s artistic contribution provide inspiration for the Earth Day program. Joining him at SM City Fairview were DENR NCR Director Mr. Manuel T. Escasura; Quezon City Vice Mayor, Honorable Gian Sotto; Ms. Andrea Villaroman, Head of the Quezon City Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability Department, Planet CORA’s Partnerships Director, Cat Trivino and SM Supermalls executives.

 

 

To highlight the role of collaborating with the public sector in driving environmental programs forward, SM City Fairview hosted the DENR Gawad Taga-ilog Awards photo exhibit, which recognized winning local government units who are leading in protecting Metro Manila’s waterways. The agency also further provided 800 tree seedlings to participants and customers through a DENR Community Pan-TREE to encourage at SM Megamall, SM Mall of Asia, SM North EDSA, SM City Fairview, SM City Novaliches, SM City Marikina, SM City East Ortigas and SM Southmall.

 


The Quezon City Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability Department also promoted the city’s Trash to Cashback program to encourage its citizens to be Eco Warriors and promote recycling.

 


Youth participants join forces with SM Supermalls for a sustainable future.

 

The Earth Day celebration is just one of the numerous ways that SM is promoting sustainable living among Filipinos, and the company has other programs aimed at helping care for the environment. These are the Trash to Cash Recycling Market held every first Friday and Saturday of the month; daily water recycling systems, and environmental campaigns such as the Green Film Festival, Green Retail Agenda, and the International Coastal Cleanup Drive, just to name a few.

 

SM Cares is the corporate social responsibility arm of SM Prime Holdings, responsible for initiatives that promote sustainability and the development of the community. SM Cares’ advocacies include programs on Women and Breastfeeding Mothers, Persons with Disabilities, Senior Citizens, and Children and Youth, as well as the Bike-Friendly SM initiative, in addition to its Programs on Environment.

 


To learn more about these, visit www.smsupermalls.com/smcares.

Five urban development aspirations for Metro Manila

 


Metro Manila is comprised of 16 cities and 1 municipality - is the economic, political, and cultural capital.


Metro Manila’s forecast of becoming a global power city is challenged by the consequences of rapid urbanization. The UN-Habitat lists the effects of climate change, natural disasters that hamper urban infrastructures and city competitiveness, unequal livability, job creation, and poverty reduction.

 

Is there a way out of Metro Manila’s challenges? Architect and urban designer Chintan Raveshia, and urban planner and sustainability consultant Tony Chan of Singapore-based Arup emphasize urban development should also consider people’s aspirations, its changing needs and expectations, and the national identity of the residents.

Finding the identity of the city

 

Raveshia inspires responsible stakeholders to ask themselves first the most fundamental question: “What’s the identity of the city and how do we make its residents proud?”

 

He quips, “Singapore, a city that is high on everyone’s liveability list, is also working with citizens and grass roots organizations to inculcate a sense of ‘lovability’ for the city. This helps to strengthen the societal bond, increase equity, improve community safety, and exude pride and a feeling of ownership of the city amongst the residents. The balance of liveability, efficiency, and lovability paves the way for a true success of our cities in this climate emergency era”.

 

For his part, Chan believes that a successful sustainable urban development goes hand in hand with the capability to enhance people’s quality of life. “We must develop and harness models of development that have low-carbon targets, which are also of a human scale, thriving and inclusive; models that are also just, secured and enhances the quality of life for all its residents. In addition, we should look at creative ways to increase local citizen participation as well as new technologies or products that can support the overarching vision and development objectives”, says Chan.


 


Melbourne is considered by many experts as one of the most liveable cities for the past decade.

 

If Singapore reclaims lands for more affordable housing and increased integrated city developments and Melbourne builds accessible green spaces to promote social interaction, what plans would best fit Metro Manila’s sustainable and livable future while maintaining its identity?

 

Here are five urban development aspirations Filipinos hope for the country’s main political and economic hub.

 

1. Accessibility across all social classes

While Metro Manila is the Philippines’ major economic driver – accounting for 32% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) – it’s often challenged in sustaining accessible living conditions for residents across all social classes. UK-based The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) ranked Metro Manila 105th out of 139 cities in the Global Liveability Index 2022. The increasing population density in Metro Manila has resulted in some inconveniences in daily conditions like vehicular traffic situations, least green open spaces, high carbon footprint, inaccessibility to affordable housing, and unequal income opportunities.

 

Urban planners and developers suggest mixed-use planning in the metropolis and coastal developments because they are crucial to achieving the 15-minute concept. Here, residents across all walks of life are encouraged to live a healthy, affordable, and sustainable lifestyle because residential, commercial, and office spaces are integrated within a single development.

 

 




2. Open green spaces for a healthy and sustainable living environment

Despite land scarcity, Singapore manages to be one of the greenest cities in the world with over 400 parks, more than 3,300 hectares of nature reserve, and over 300 kilometers of park connector network.

 

Studies shows that Metro Manila has only 5 square meters of green space available per person, this number is well below the 9 square meters set by the World Health Organization.COVID-19 had the entire world reassess their health conditions, lifestyle practices, and environmental situations. The impact was even more drastic in Metro Manila due to population density, crowded space, and insufficient parks and open areas.

 

Aside from improving air quality and enhancing biodiversity, green spaces also moderate temperatures during the warm season.

 

3. Enhancing Human health and wellbeing

Cities with sufficient healthcare facilities, access to health coverage, and infrastructures that enhance well-being and promote a healthy lifestyle, produce prosperous societies.

 

The way cities are planned, designed, and executed has a crucial impact on how people live as it presents opportunities and effects on their lifestyles and overall well-being. While there is evident progress in Metro Manila’s health sector, rapid urbanization continues to pose risks in communities due to challenges in overcrowded neighborhoods, vehicular emissions, heavy traffic, pollution, and flood-prone areas.

 

4. Resilient community

Resilience is the capacity of individuals, communities, and systems to adapt, survive, and grow in the face of stress and shocks, and even transform when conditions require it. Relevant dimensions under the City Resilience Index (https://www.cityresilienceindex.org) by the Rockefeller Foundation & Arup, other dimensions include Health & Well Being, Economy & Society, Infrastructure & Environment as well as Leadership & Strategy

 

As Philippines and Manila grows, we face a dual challenge of adapting to climate change and the need to alter development strategies that are increasingly contributing to global warming. Philippines is among the top 10 countries in the world most affected by climate change in the past 20 years, according to the Global Climate Risk Index As an archipelago, impacts resulting from climate change are immense. In addition, metro Manila’s safety and resilience are endangered by various natural disasters.

 

Natural disasters persist every season due to our geographical location.

 

Well-planned and executed urban designs have the power to build safe and resilient communities in Metro Manila.  Infrastructures like proper bike lanes and walkable streets ensure residents’ safety, accessibility, and comfort, whereas science and technology-based solutions that can build flexible structures, multi-use systems, and technologies can help residents adapt and prepare for changing conditions.

 

5. Global and competitive city


In 2022, Singapore is placed 3rd in the World Competitiveness Ranking – the small country out of Asia even placed 1st in 2019 and 2020.

 

Metro Manila is one of Asia’s premier regions. As the country’s engine growth driver, it has growing investments in infrastructures and multitudes of business investments and developments.

 

The metropolis’ rising potential can further step up by following global models like Singapore, Melbourne, and Hong Kong which created several integrated cities and coastal developments that ushered in a vibrant economy and paved for a better urban lifestyle. These visions create an avenue to further increase opportunities for jobs, better education, better lifestyle, and bustling economic activities.

 

These can contribute to the Philippines’ national and local economies by driving tourism and infrastructure development while also creating equitable and inclusive communities. These, in turn, create a wider room of opportunities and, therefore, attracts more talent.

 

Building inclusive and sustainable growth centers

When all stakeholders are listened to and addressed, communities will be energized when introduced to well-designed, master-planned and implemented developments. This will result to a lasting impact on Metro Manila’s future and its residents because it fosters more inclusive growth and makes the urban landscape an extension of their home.

 

When a city embraces its history, celebrates its milestones, innovates and adopts for the future, and most importantly, nurtures its residents and responds to their aspirations – it is a city working toward competitiveness and unlocking future potential.

 

How about you? What would you aspire your city to be?

SM Prime, UPLB team up for sustainability scholarship

 

SM Prime Holdings Inc. (SM Prime) has partnered with the University of the Philippines Los BaƱos (UPLB) to further promote the country’s pursuit of sustainable development.

 

Through a scholarship grant, SM Prime aims to assist select students pursue undergraduate degrees in Bachelor of Science in Human Ecology (BSHE) and Bachelor of Science in Forestry (BSF) – courses geared towards sustainability.

 

The scholarship will be awarded to students from low-income households in Pasay City intended to provide better employment prospects and help reduce poverty and inequality, which are major obstacles to sustainable development.





Members of the University of the Philippines Los Banos (UPLB) and SM Prime Holdings Inc ink partnership to create scholarships geared towards sustainable development. Present during the signing are (From left) UPLB College of Forestry and Natural Resources Dean Marlo Mendoza, UPLB College of Human Ecology Dean Dr. Ricardo Sandalo, SM Prime AVP and Head of Marketing, PR, and Communications Rida Reyes Castillo, UPLB Chancellor Dr. Jose Camacho Jr., and Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Dr. Janette Malata-Silva.

 

Collaboration for innovation and sustainability

In an interview, UPLB Chancellor Dr. Jose Camacho, Jr. shared his optimism about the partnership, citing the impact of education, especially sustainability-related fields of studies, in social and economic mobility.

 

“The scholarship will enable more students to pursue their studies in areas related to sustainability such as environmental science, renewable energy, and sustainable agriculture. By investing in education in these areas, we are preparing a new generation of leaders who will have the knowledge and skills to address the complex environmental and social challenges facing our world today,” Dr. Camacho said.

 

“It will encourage research and development in areas related to sustainability. By providing support for students to pursue advanced studies, we are creating a pipeline of future researchers and innovators who can develop solutions to pressing environmental and social problems,” he added.

 

Aside from enabling students to pursue their education without financial burden, the UPLB chancellor believes that the scholarship can produce competent leaders capable of solving complex environmental and social challenges, and create a pipeline of innovative researchers.

 

He further stressed how fostering collaborations and innovation in sustainability between the academic community and the private sector can lead to new environmentally and socially responsible products, technologies, and services that contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals.

 


SM Prime AVP and Head of Marketing, PR, and Communications Rida Reyes Castillo signed the memorandum of agreement alongside UPLB Chancellor Dr. Jose Camacho Jr. The scholarship formed under the partnership continues SM Prime’s pursuit of sustainable development.

 

Ripples of social good

SM Prime AVP and Head of Marketing, PR, and Communications Rida Reyes Castillo shared that the partnership between SM Prime and UPLB is a testament to the shared commitment of both institutions towards promoting sustainability and creating a better future for the next generation.

 

By supporting the education of would-be scholars, SM Prime hopes to create ripples of social good within families and communities, ultimately contributing to the development of a more sustainable and equitable society.

 

“Improving the well-being of its partner communities and investing in people’s growth have long been among SM Prime’s sustainability pillars woven at the core of its business strategies and operations. As such, SM Prime deems it important to create programs that would provide access to quality education for all, and in the long term, create a pool of proactive human resources who can responsibly carry out and balance the economic, social and environmental aspects of a society’s sustainable development aspirations,” Castillo said.

 

“SM Prime believes UPLB would be the best partner to support its sustainability initiatives in promoting a conducive learning environment while honing new Iskolars ng Bayan leaders committed to knowledge creation and public service,” she also said.


The SM Prime Sustainability Scholarship is open to students from Pasay City, under UPLB's BSHE and BSF programs with an annual gross family income of not more than PhP150,000.00

 

For more information, interested applicants may contact the UPLB OSG +63 49 536 3209 or email at osg.uplb@up.edu.ph

Medical care brought closer to low-income families in Cagayan


 

While access to quality healthcare continues to be hampered by challenges, medical missions have become an increasingly vital source of support for low-income communities. Through time, they have gone beyond providing medical care and have taken up a new role: transforming the lives of individuals and communities.

The SM Foundation, Inc. (SMFI) recognizes just this, so it has made its mission to travel from Luzon to Mindanao to provide free medical care and services to thousands of patients from various hard-pressed communities.

Just recently, the medical mission team headed to the cities of Tuguegarao and Cag
ayan in Northern Luzon and provided services to thousands of low-income families. Two of them are Roland Bariuan and Angeline Cacanindin. 

Strength to do more

 Roland Bariuan takes home free medicines after his medical check-up.

Roland has been a tricycle driver in Tuguegarao City since 1994. But, two years ago, he suddenly felt weak and had to spend money on medical consultations and examinations.

“Napansin ko na kahit malakas ako kumain, namamayat ako at nanghihina. Nalaman ko na may diabetes na po ako. Pero hindi pwedeng pabayaan ko ang sarili ko. Hindi pwedeng maging tamad ako dahil may sakit ako. Kung tamad po ako mamasada, wala kaming pangaraw-araw at gagastushin pambili ng gamot,” he shared.

Determined to care for his health, he goes to the city health office for his routine checkups. The same drive to boost his health is also what led him to SM group’s medical mission, led by SMFI: “Dahil magastos po magpagamot, kadalasan po akong pumunta sa city health office para sa lahat ng aking checkups. Ngayon, nataon pong nalaman kong mayroon medical mission dito sa SM City Tuguegarao.”

Through the medical mission, he received free consultation, blood tests, x-ray, and medicines–services that would break the bank if he had it done elsewhere. With the assistance extended to him, he had his scheduled checkup without worrying about the finances and even managed to put aside money originally allotted for medicine and laboratory tests.

 

“Ang kinikita ko sa pamamasada ang ginagamit ko at ng pamilya ko para sa aming pangangailangan. Kaya mahalaga sa akin ang aking kalusugan. Ang magandang pangangatawan ang nagbibigay sa akin ng lakas para mas lalo pang pagsumikapan ang pamamasada,” he said.

 

“Pero bilang tricycle driver, hindi namin maiiwasang magkasakit dahil usok ang kasabayan namin sa pamamasada. Kaya malaking tulong ang libreng check-up sa ang libreng gamot mula sa SM Foundation. Malaking tulong ito dahil kahit papaano, hindi ko muna iisipin ang pang gamot ko,” he added.

 

Making quality healthcare attainable


 


Roland’s fellow resident from Cagayan Valley, Angeline Cacanindin, knows full well the need to maintain a healthy body, for this is her tool to fulfill her duty as a house helper. She also believes that this is what her children can rely on as they strive in school.

 

However, her youngest daughter has been complaining about a toothache, which was already interfering with her nutrition and attendance in school.

 

“Butas na po ang mga ngipin niya. Kaya tuwing kumakain po siya, pumapasok ang kanin at nasasaktan siya. Hindi na rin po siya makapag focus sa school dahil sa sakit,” she shared.

 

“Nito lang po, tumawag po ang teacher niya at sinabing umiiyak po ang anak ko per hindi umiimik. Nung kinausap ko po siya, nalaman kong sobrang sakit na po ng ngipin niya. Umiyak din po ako dahil ramdam ko ‘yung sakit. Hindi ko siya agad madala sa dental clinic dahil nasa trabaho po ako at mahal din po ang magpabunot,” she said.

 

 

When she heard about SMFI’s medical mission in SM City Cauayan, she immediately brought her daughter for a checkup. Here, her daughter’s tooth was extracted. She also received free paracetamol, antibiotics, vitamins apt for her child’s age, and dental hygiene tips from volunteer dentists.

 

“Ang medical mission na ito ay malaking tulong kasi libre po serbisyo pati ang mga gamot. Ngayon po, makakapagsimula muli kaming subaybayan ang kalusugan ng aming anak para maganda po ang kinabukasan niya.” she said.

 


Through the ongoing medical missions of SMFI, many economically disadvantaged individuals like Roland and Angeline get lifelines–an intervention that provides immediate relief to those in need and a chance to access medical care and resources that are often unavailable or unattainable.