Message from the Executive Director
Sixto Donato C. Macasaet
Things are a little different at FSSI. Last April 6, 2022, the Foundation for a Sustainable Society, Inc. (FSSI) held its first hybrid Board meeting. It is the first time the Board Members met in person since February of 2020. Previously, Board meetings had been held exclusively online. We are gradually and cautiously resuming in-person events in our office as the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions are at the lowest level.
On May 19, 2022, we are similarly set to hold our first limited face-to-face business meeting for our 33rd General Assembly (GA), also a first since 2020. For the GA Learning Session on May 18, we have however opted to still hold it online to accommodate more participants. We invite you to join this learning session, which aims to tackle economic and socio-political post-election outlook and discuss what social enterprises (SEs) need to do in response to the situation in the near-term.
These hybrid work arrangement requires new lenses in doing business, as well as many other complexities that the COVID-19 pandemic forced us to see. It is merely days before the National Elections on May 9, and we will be faced with a game-changing moment. We are hoping the learning session can be an opportunity to refocus and see where the SE sector stands.
While the campaign season has been in full swing in the past two months, we also celebrated special occasions. The National Women’s Month in March was widely celebrated by various sectors. At FSSI, we marked the occasion with the commitment to promote the economic empowerment of women. Concretely, we kicked off the celebration by participating in the first anniversary event of the Macquarie Group and Investing In Women (IW)’s RISE Fund. The RISE Fund has supported 13 women-led small and medium-sized enterprises, sustaining over 1,000 jobs during the pandemic. As one of the project’s local impact investor partners, we are providing investment capital, technical assistance, and business development support to qualified women social enterprises. Throughout the month we featured women entrepreneurs that are contributing to post-pandemic economic recovery through support from the IW Project. We believe that having gender lens in investing is essential in a post-COVID-19 world. Celebrating women goes beyond our festivities in March. We urge you to help us reach more women-owned and women-led social enterprises by sharing the project’s briefer below.
We also continue to hold information sessions for interested social enterprises and have already deployed a local marketing coordinator in Western Visayas and Negros Oriental and we’re planning to do this soon also for Northern Luzon. We are determined to create more partnerships and offer much-needed access to financial services necessary to support small and medium enterprises to get back on their feet post-pandemic.
Meanwhile, April is Earth Month, with many CSOs doing their share in calling for climate justice and advocating for the environment to become a core part of candidates’ platforms and programs.
Finally, the Foundation adds to the many voices calling for good governance and necessary reforms from the next leadership of the country. Along with several statements from civil society and advocacy groups, we share with you in this newsletter a series of videos of FSSI leaders looking through the lens of social development in choosing our country’s next leader. Our hopes for an honest and clean government begins with a clean and honest elections. Let us all make it happen on May 9.