Winding Down, Gearing Up
Sixto Donato C. Macasaet
We are at the year’s end. The past two years of the pandemic have been difficult, but they led us to learn new ways of engaging our world. At the Foundation for a Sustainable Society Inc. (FSSI), we have learned to make the most of our resources to continue to serve our partners especially at these times.
As we prepare for the year 2022, we are currently developing a robust engagement and marketing plan and exploring new ways to reach and partner with more social enterprise (SEs). We have also been re-strategizing our SE development program to further promote the triple bottom line (3BL) among our partners and engage our members in providing capacity building services.
Last October, we warmly welcomed FSSI’s new Chairperson, Mr. Martin “Mart” F. Lasaga III, who is representing the National Confederation of Cooperatives (NATCCO). Mart has been a Board member of NATCCO for five years and is also the Chairperson of the St. Vincent Ferrer Parish Multi-purpose Cooperative of Romblon province. St. Vincent Coop is poised to soon become the first billionaire cooperative in Region 4B (MIMAROPA). Mart’s leadership and expertise will boost our capacity and confidence to achieve our goals for the coming year.
As our country begins to ease up restrictions due to lessening COVID-19 cases and increasing vaccine roll outs, we at FSSI are slowly getting back to the office, while still observing safety protocols, giving us more opportunities to work together more fully. We are also underway to a full implementation of our business continuity plan in 2022, to ensure that we continue to provide unhampered services to SE partners.
We started this year with cautious optimism, making sure that our plans and activities are based on careful consideration of the effects of the pandemic on our organization, and on the partners and stakeholders that we serve. We, however, have already been living in the new normal for quite some time. I must say there is a reason for hope in 2022, but hope is only sustained by action.
The coming national elections gives us the power to put our country back on track and to elect leaders who will rebuild trust and confidence in government. We are in dire need of leaders who are qualified, just, and have the heart for public service. It is also high time for a clear, strategic, and liberating pandemic response and recovery plan. In recovery, we need a government that fosters a sustainable economy that benefits all Filipinos. Closer to FSSI’s advocacy, we need a government that provides appropriate support to social enterprises and micro, small and medium enterprises, which as we saw during the pandemic, form the backbone of our economy.
With a new administration, there is hope that government efforts and spending will be about reaching out to the most marginalized sectors of our society.
The implementation of the Mandanas ruling starting in January 2022 is also an opportunity for civil service organizations (CSOs), as part of devolution transition committees, to work with local governments as active partners to enhance transparency, accountability, and good governance. You will find more information on this in one of our learning papers from the Zero Extreme Poverty 2030 learning sessions which FSSI supported. Along with it, we are glad to include in this issue a number of knowledge resources from our network that could be of benefit to us in the SE sector.
We are also sharing some updates from our members and partners on their new products and activities.
Finally, we invite you again to get a copy of our 25th anniversary book through a special microsite we have created. It can be easily accessed through this link. You may also provide feedback on FSSI’s knowledge management and communications support by answering this brief survey. Your responses will help us improve this e-newsletter and our other communications channels.
On behalf of FSSI, we thank you for a challenging, yet fruitful and insightful year. May the coming holidays be an opportunity for us to wind down and gear up for an exciting and transformative year ahead.