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Newsletter, What's New in FSSI

Investing in Women, an initiative of the Australian Government, provides an analysis around the impacts of COVID-19, previous pandemics and recessions, on the economic position of women through a rapid review of academic and grey literature on gender, COVID-19, and women’s formal employment. It also presents risks and opportunities looking ahead. Here is a summary of some of the key report findings. You can access the full report here 

What Previous Recessions and Pandemics Tell Us 

There are unequivocal findings showing consistent common themes that women’s economic security, formal employment participation, political representation, health outcomes, and educational achievement are negatively affected by economic and health crises, more so than men’s. These outcomes have a long-term negative impact on women’s human capital formation and economic security. Further, economic and health crises exacerbate pre-existing inequalities and set gender equality back.  

Women and girls are disproportionately vulnerable to economic shocks compared to men. Pre-existing gender inequalities mean that women have less access to productive resources, which translates to lower earnings and bargaining power; thus, women’s limited ability to develop their capabilities, make strategic choices, and participate on equal terms with men in the economy.  

The negative consequences of economic and health crises on women are compounded by the systematic lack of women’s participation and leadership in crisis response and recovery strategies and the failure to include gender-specific analyses in these strategies. The recovery period following recessions is estimated to be 3–7 years and previous crises demonstrate that a lack of attention to gender equality in national and business response recovery strategies will set gender equality back decades.  

Women and COVID-19 

The COVID-19 crisis is more significant than previous economic or health crises in both depth and scope. Women have been affected immediately and are likely to be more adversely affected in the longer term unless gender progressive interventions are made.  

The worst affected sectors include retail trade, accommodation, food services, tourism, and manufacturing – all of which are highly feminized, making women exposed to the heaviest burden of job loss and a prolonged decline in income and labor force participation.1 

Women are also disproportionately employed in the health sector and associated industries operating at the frontlines. The World Health Organization estimates that 70% of the global healthcare workforce are women. While health workers represent a relatively small proportion of the total workforce in Southeast Asian countries where Investing in Women works – the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Myanmar -they are exposed to the direct health risks of COVID-19, often without adequate personal protective equipment and for very long hours, vulnerable to infection and worried about passing infection to their families.  

COVID-19 has also intensified pre-existing gender division of labor and the double burden of paid and unpaid work. Social norms mean that many women have found themselves responsible for home schooling their children, caring for elderly family members, and doing household chores even while working. Where working from home has been implemented, there have been some reports it has driven a more equitable division of work and care2 while others have reported this has contributed to an elevated risk of domestic violence.3 

Post-COVID-19: Risks and Opportunities  

In a crisis context, there is a risk women may face a ‘new normal’ or a return to the ‘old normal’ of reduced employment opportunities as employers prioritize male employees in the allocation of work and in the rehiring and promotion process. Women may also face work conditions being degraded due to financial pressures, reflecting the prioritization of economic efficiency over labor rights. 

The COVID-19 crisis is an opportunity to revalue economic and care work. If gender-sensitive policies, including work from home arrangements, are carefully implemented, this could improve pay and conditions for the female workforce. Men’s exposure to the full domestic experience during lockdown could also prompt a positive shift in the gendered division of labor. Sharing the burden of essential unpaid work could have positive normative and economic effects on women’s economic participation. 

There are opportunities post-COVID-19 to embed gender equality at the center of national recovery strategies in line with the global commitment to improving women’s workforce participation (G20, 2017).  

As governments and businesses focus on immediate concerns of health, livelihoods and the economy, gender equality may take a ‘backseat’ in crisis management. However, gender-blind policies could have damaging consequences for workplace equality. Previous recessions have shown that diversity and inclusion strategies also fall in priority. If economic recovery strategies are gender responsive, there is an opportunity to ‘build back better’ with women and girls as a focus in crisis management and recovery (UN, 2020).  

Gender equitable recovery strategies will also boost national productivity, deliver inclusive growth, and underwrite the Sustainable Development Goals 2030. These strategies should include policy measures that support women’s formal employment opportunities, women’s entrepreneurial activity, and unpaid care work.  

Investing in Women, an initiative of the Australian Government, catalyzes inclusive economic growth through women’s economic empowerment in Southeast Asia. Established in 2016, Investing in Women uses innovative approaches to improve women’s economic participation as employees and as entrepreneurs and to influence the enabling environment to promote women’s economic empowerment in the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam and Myanmar 


Newsletter, What's New in FSSI

The Foundation for a Sustainable Society, Inc. (FSSI) is extending a business rehabilitation loan to social enterprise (SE) partners affected by COVID-19 and the ensuing community quarantines.  

The loan with discounted interest rates is one of the identified needs of partner SEs to help them recover from the effects of the quarantines on their business and cope with new or additional business requirements through access to financial services.  

The Business Rehabilitation Loan will cater to current partner SEs of FSSI significantly affected by COVID-19 and the community quarantines, including those which have suffered a 20% or more decline in their revenue or income in the past months and in their projected revenue or income for 2020 and 2021.  

The loans may be used for working capital or fixed asset acquisition, and priority will be given to SEs providing essential goods and services, such as those in food production and distribution.  

With the travel limitations being imposed under community quarantines, FSSI is making adjustments in its operations by tapping local coordinators to ensure processing and approval of loan applications are unhampered. FSSI is also working with member networks to continue to provide development and technical assistance to SE partners.  

In March, FSSI announced extension of due dates for all loan payments during the quarantine period.  



Building Better in the New Normal

Sixto Donato C. Macasaet

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us on a “new normal,” with many of us still coming to terms with the radical changes enforced in our lives.  

From the way we do business, to our health habits, and even in our social interactions, COVID-19 has pushed us to rethink our priorities and strategies.  

At FSSI, since the start of the enforcement of community quarantines in March 2020, we have implemented work-from-home schemes, with targeted planning of the delivery of urgent tasks so we can still service the needs of partner social enterprises (SEs).  

We have also announced extension of due dates for all loan payments during the quarantine period and are discussing loan restructuring for some partners. Aside from these, FSSI has developed a Business Rehabilitation Loan, a loan package with discounted interest rates to help current SE partners cope with new or additional business requirements as they work to recover from the effects of COVID-19 and the ensuing community restrictions.  

The government has announced it is ramping up support to workers of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), including SEs, whose workers have lost their wages and/or whose business operations have been affected. You can find a compilation of the summary of 

 these programs in the newsletter. What we aim to do at FSSI is to complement or help fill the gaps for social enterprises, especially those of the poor and vulnerable. We are currently revisiting and adjusting our plans for the rest of the year so we can be more responsive to the challenges brought by COVID-19.  We also intend to review our Strategic Plans for 2020 to 2024. 

Even when the lockdowns end, experts forecast that the fight against the coronavirus would be far from over.  

In addition to the pandemic, our country has also been recently hit by attacks on our democratic rights and freedom of expression.  In early May 2020, the government shut down ABS-CBN.  Earlier this month, it rushed the approval by Congress of the Anti-Terrorism Act, and on June 15, Maria Ressa and Reynaldo Santos, Jr. of Rappler were convicted of cyber-libel.  These certainly run counter to FSSI’s vision of “Empowered communities upholding social justice, respecting integrity of creation, and realizing fullness of life” and to our core values of inclusivity and good governance. 

Facing these medical, socio-economic, and political storms, what we can, and should do for now is to hold the line, brave the winds, act in solidarity with one another, and collectively build a better normal and a future with fullness of life for all. 


Photo courtesy of Bote Central Inc 

There seems to be no clear end in sight yet to the coronavirus pandemic. The government has put a name on the “new normal”— the general community quarantine (GCQ) involves more relaxed measures compared to the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) that is still in place in Metro Manila and other high-risk areas. Businesses now have to adapt to the long-haul reality that COVID-19 brought upon us.    

Fortunately for the local coffee industry, a social enterprise (SE) invested in changing the mindset and empowering coffee farmers to process and roast their own coffee. Now their investment is paying off, as some farmer cooperatives and groups continue to operate and sell their products in their own localities, keeping their livelihood despite the disruption in the supply chain caused by the lockdowns.  

Empowering local coffee farmers as agro-entrepreneurs  

According to Vie Reyes, co-founder of Bote Central Inc., the lockdown has affected the supply of raw coffee beans from Mindanao, Visayas, and Cordillera to processors in Manila, illustrating the plight of many farmers who are unable to sell their produce to the market.  Now, more than ever, farmers are realizing how important it is to have their own coffee processing.  “Swerte ‘yung mga magkakape na may mga sariling processing, na may roasting machines, kasi nabubuhay sila. In fact, nakakapagnegosyo pa rin sila ng kape dun sa communities nila, sa areas nila,” Reyes shares.   

Bote Central Inc., a partner of the Foundation for a Sustainable Society, Inc. (FSSI), is a social enterprise that promotes the sustainability of the Philippine coffee industry through rationalizing the supply chain and embedding Fair Trade principles in their business. Bote Central empowers farmers to be more than suppliers, and enables them to move up the value chain as small-scale processors.   

The enterprise was able to drive local economic development through technology. Bote Central designs and builds their own coffee roasting machines, which they share with their partner coffee farming communities across the country. Their roasting machines, suitable for smallholder farmers, made it possible for these farmers to economically process and sell their own coffee, paving the way for community-based coffee roasting business facilities. In that way, farming communities can add value to their raw coffee beans and create sources of income for their families.  

Photo courtesy of Bote Central Inc

In the end, Bote Central’s intervention is not only in providing these machines at a reasonable price to local small farmers, but in opening up opportunities, ones that used to belong only to bigger players in the industry.   

Grounded in market reality over promise of false hopes  

Besides taking ownership of their role in the coffee value chain, Bote Central also imparts to farmers the value of speaking their minds. “‘Yun ang ginawa namin na change as an SE, na baguhin ‘yung values or ‘yung confidence, ‘yung mentalidad ng farmers,” Reyes shares. Bote Central, however, understands that this is only one side of the equation.  

If you talk to the farmers, balewala na sabihin mo sa kanila na magtanim kasi maganda ang presyo…

Ang dami-dami mong pwedeng sabihin sa farmers, pero we call them the false promises. Kasi you’re just giving them false hopes.

Dapat konektado ang lahat ng binibigay mong promise or hope sa market.”  

When Bote Central entered the world of coffee, it was not only the farmers that they saw needed to be changed, but the market itself. Both the farmers and the market concerns in-address naminKasi ‘di pwedeng production lang. Kailangan may kasabay siya na consumption. ‘Yung promises dapat may kabangga on the other end of the value chainYou cannot just promise the farmers na they will have gold at the end of their rainbow.”  

Bote Central imparts that the farmer himself and the communities where the farmers reside are part of the market. Reyes emphasized that, in fact, that is the primary market that the farmers should focus on. Mismong sa bahay nila umiinom sila ng kape. ‘Yung kapitbahay ni farmerumiinom ng kape, ‘yung barangay, umiinom ng kape, she explains. This is the very same market which currently operating businesses take advantage during this lockdown, given limitations on travel and mobility. 

Besides the sale of roasting machines which unfortunately has temporarily stopped, Bote Central is also engaged in the sale of coffee sourced directly from their partner farming communities. They have developed brands to cater to different market segments, but they still only move within 10 to 15 percent of the market, which they try to expand. “Consumption of coffee in the Philippines is 85 to 90 percent commodity coffee. As an SE, if you want to really make an impact sa economy natin, sa market natin, sa farmers natin, dun ka gagalaw, Reyes shares.   

Their business philosophy  

Reyes is thankful that although it is not a basic necessity like rice or meat or vegetables, coffee is part of the food mentality of Filipinos. They were also lucky to stock up on a full inventory of coffee beans before COVID-19 hit. Their Basilio brand is still available in supermarkets, and they are also pleasantly surprised with the number of online orders they receive during the ECQ. It helped that they have set up online ordering prior to COVID-19 and are ramping up online sales. However, she admits that it is nothing compared to corporate accounts, institutional accounts, and monthly orders which make up most of their revenue and are currently suspended due to the ECQ.  

Raw coffee beans are also waiting to be transported from their source communities. “Ang essence talaga ng survival ngayon is move the beansWhen we say “move the beans,” it’s literally moving and selling,” she says.  

Under ECQ, Bote Central is operating at 20% production. Only select employees are also qualified to move around, following government policies. As with other businesses, their plans this year were also pushed back. However, in the midst of these concerns, Bote Central sees several windows of opportunities. For now, that opportunity is working with the Office of Vice President Leni Robredo and other volunteers in providing free coffee for front liners. We made it into an opportunity kasi lahat naman ng business opportunities come from a problemGanun kami mag-isipGanun rin yung binibigay namin na value sa mga farmer. Kung may problemapag-usapan natin, at tingnan natin kung merong solusyon.”  

Besides the significant decrease in production and income, they also experience a higher cost of moving their products around. In terms of needed support from the government and other organizations, the enterprise considers loans and grant facilities important to help them weather this crisis; relaxed loan settlements and tax relief will also be of great help.  

FSSI has provided its partners a 60-day extension on due dates of their loan amortization and is discussing additional flexibility terms as needed to help partners cope with the effects of COVID-19 on their operations. 

Bote Central’s “after-COVID” plan is already in the pipeline. They will be putting up more coffee roasting facilities in partnership or joint venture with other SEs, businesses, or individuals who share the same business endeavor.  

In the meantime, Bote Central is shipping its coffee products nationwide in a limited capacity. In these extraordinary and trying times, let a good ol’ cup of a hundred percent locally made, sustainably sourced coffee brighten your day.  

Their Basilio and Alamid coffee are available for deliveries. You may place your orders online through You may also follow  Bote Central and Basilio: Coffee to Share on Facebook



Chairperson’s Message

Norman Joseph Jiao

As I am writing this, Luzon is under an extended Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) until the end of April 2020 and the whole country, in fact, the world, is reeling from the effects of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

We started 2020 with high hopes.

Building on an external evaluation we commissioned late last year which showed that FSSI’s partner SEs were satisfied with the services of the foundation, as well as an assessment of the internal conditions of FSSI and the external environment in which we operate, we crafted our Strategic Plan for 2020 to 2024. This Plan includes the refined Vision, Mission, and Core Values of FSSI. We have also set our strategic goals for our four key result areas of Financial Services Delivery, Social Enterprise Development, Asset and Investment Management, and Organizational Development.

This year we are also celebrating FSSI’s silver anniversary. We have crafted plans to mark the event, including holding a series of forums, publishing a book, and launching an accelerator program focused on sustainable agriculture SEs.

And then COVID-19 came.

Some social media commentators have quipped that we should re-start the year 2020 because it has a virus. As that is not possible, we need to face the difficulties that lie ahead. In doing that, we draw strength from the courage and dedication of the ‘frontliners’, both those inside health facilities and those outside, attending to our essential services.

We also draw energy and inspiration from the many volunteer efforts – big and small, national and local – that have independently sprung up to provide the needed personal protective equipment (PPE), transportation service, shelter, food and other necessities needed in our people’s fight against COVID-19. Within our network, various efforts have been launched to help support our frontliners and the most vulnerable Filipinos affected by the crisis.

So, even with COVID-19 and the extended quarantine, we look forward to celebrating FSSI’s 25th year, launching our new 5-year plan, and jointly creating a virus-free future for 3BL enterprises and for all Filipinos.


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted to an unexpected slump in the Philippine economy. The latest report from the National Economic and Development Authority estimates that the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth will likely be at 4.3 at best and negative 0.6 percent at worst, assuming the impact of the crisis is felt until the middle of the year.1 This is a staggering decline from the target growth rate set for 2020 which is at 6.5 to 7.5 percent.2 Midway last month, Metro Manila was put under a community quarantine, which was eventually expanded to the entire Luzon, in an effort to contain the spread of the disease. Other provinces in the Visayas and Mindanao have also announced lockdowns.

The “enhanced community quarantine” in Luzon, now extended to April 30, has included the suspension of public transportation, classes, and work for non-essential businesses. Big and small businesses alike have continued to bear the brunt of the crisis as the general population is encouraged to stay at home. Social enterprises are not spared. Among FSSI partners, 31 out of 35 surveyed said that reduced mobility has affected their enterprise.

LiveGreen International is one of the few social enterprises that are able to operate, despite limited personnel. LiveGreen is engaged in the production, processing, and distribution of 100% fresh organic vegetables. Paris Uy, President and CEO, shared that their ongoing production is due to farmers continuing to work despite the crisis. Crops were planted in January and there is still a steady supply of farm produce. LiveGreen has around 30 to 40 partner farmers in Benguet, and some 10 to 15 in Batangas, Cavite, and Tanay.

Helping farmers who feed us

For Uy, the crisis is a wake-up call for society to support the farmers who are relentlessly producing our food. This calls for stronger links between the national and local governments and a better logistical support in transporting produce from farmers especially in the north to where the demand is across the country. Uy shares that they had difficulty transporting vegetables in the first few days of the lockdown, “Tuloy-tuloy ang production. Ang problema lang ay confusion and intervention of the LGU shutting down while the national government said food-related [cargo] can pass through.”

LiveGreen hauls five tons of vegetables from Baguio to Manila daily. In Baguio, farmers who come down to deliver goods to their La Trinidad warehouse often encounter delays due to the lockdown. Fortunately, it became easier when the Department of Agriculture (DA) issued food passes to ensure the unhampered movement of agricultural products through the numerous checkpoints across Luzon.

Uy also identifies the importance of coordination between government agencies concerned in the food supply chain and bringing food from producers to consumers. Come harvest time, if farmers are unable to bring their goods to Manila and with the decline in purchase orders from big businesses due to closure as what they have experienced during the lockdown, farmers are forced to dispose their produce — when local governments could have purchased these to be given out to families as part of COVID-19 relief efforts.

The DA has recently moved to consider workers in the agriculture and fisheries sector as front liners in the country’s fight against COVID-19. Various programs are also lined up to empower these front liners and boost local food production and manufacturing.

This crisis is changing the way we understand our health and even our food. For LiveGreen though, it is more than buying and eating local.

“Natural food is still the best food. Eventually the best way to keep ourselves healthy is to boost our immune system,” Uy shares.

Naturally growing products is the way to go. LiveGreen has always put prime in making sure that they provide organic, clean, and healthy food produced without the use of harmful chemicals. He also encourages backyard farming, as growing your own food makes a lot of difference now when most are confined in their homes and are finding limited access to groceries.

Opportunities ahead

As with every enterprise, the crisis is a continuous learning experience on resiliency and business continuity. This year, it has become clear to LiveGreen that their strategy must be scaling up online. Aside from physical distribution to supermarkets, the enterprise saw triple sales through online deliveries. They also saw an increase in the demand for other vegetable besides lettuces. People buy tomatoes, cucumbers, and carrots more than usual, most likely to secure healthy food options for their households.

LiveGreen is determined to bring their systems online for the long term. Along with this is their vision to help farmers build among them a consortium that could potentially bring the price down by cutting off the middle man through an online database where consumers could readily access information on where to source fresh produce.

There may be a long way ahead in the fight against COVID-19, but the end of this pandemic is not about returning to normal; it’s about learning and thinking of ways to become better, and ultimately putting investments where our priorities should be. Our front liners such as our partners at LiveGreen and their partner farmers are seeing us through this crisis. It must be our turn to take care of them as well.




Beneficiary families bought food and other essential items from their cash aid.

Quezon City, Philippines – Around 130 urban poor families in Valenzuela City affected by the COVID-19 crisis have received relief assistance from the Foundation for a Sustainable Society Inc. (FSSI), through an initiative by the Partnership of Philippine Support Service Agencies (PHILSSA) and the Foundation for the Development of the Urban Poor (FDUP), in partnership with Aksyon sa Kahandaan sa Kalamidad at Klima (AKKMA) and Valenzuela People’s Organization Network (VALPONET). 

In an effort to contain the COVID-19 outbreak, the entire Luzon was placed under a month-long enhanced community quarantine starting last March 17, 2020, affecting the income and livelihood of many urban poor families in Metro Manila. The assistance, which came in the form of unconditional cash grants amounting to Php 1,500 for each family, was intended to provide immediate support to affected families, mainly for food and other basic needs. 

The priority recipients were those whose main income earners are workers in the public transport sector, wage earners under a “no work, no pay” arrangement, and other informal sectors such as vendors and other service providers. Further considerations were also given to vulnerable families such as those whose members include persons with disability, elderly couples living alone, and single-headed households. The assistance was distributed in five barangays in the city– Barangay Mapulang Lupa, Barangay Bagbaguin, Barangay Paso de Blas, Barangay Dalandanan, and Barangay Coloong. 

The response was managed by the city federation and its member people’s organizations, particularly VALPONET, with guidance from PHILSSA and FDUP. The initiative aims to be a pilot of a community-managed humanitarian action that can be replicated in other affected areas. Given the unique limitations posed by physical distancing measures in crisis response, community leaders took the lead in community monitoring, selection of beneficiary families, and information dissemination to ensure smooth and proper implementation. Money remittance service Palawan Express was tapped to manage the actual cash grant distribution to the beneficiary families through scheduled pay-out in their nearby branches to minimize social contact.  

Beneficiaries receive their cash grant from Palawan Express. 

“The situation at hand is very different and we cannot go out, conduct needs analysis in the area, and meet for planning and implementation, as what is usually done during crisis response,” said PHILSSA National Coordinator Dick Balderrama. “This time, it was the community leaders who managed the process, demonstrating localization and partnership in a deeper way. We took this opportunity to strengthen a local people’s organization because this can help in developing an appropriate and responsive humanitarian action in light of the community quarantine.”   

FSSI Executive Director Sixto Donato C. Macasaet said the foundation supported the initiative because of the role of the local people’s organization and support NGOs, which ensured good targeting of beneficiaries, and also because it was a quick response – while government was still setting up its cash grants and other support for the affected families.  

*Updated as of 22 April 2020 


What's New in FSSI

In view of the implementation of the community quarantine in NCR due to COVID-19, the Foundation for a Sustainable Society Inc. (FSSI) will observe an alternative work scheme to ensure the safety and welfare of our staff and their families and, at the same time, maintain basic office operations to continue to serve our social enterprise partners.

We will continue to assess the situation and make adjustments as needed. For urgent concerns, you may reach us at (+632) 8928 8422 or at

Thank you for your cooperation and keep safe!



Happy new year, everyone!

The start of any year offers us a chance to look back at what we have done in the past year, and to plan for, and look forward to, a fresh start. For FSSI, we are marking the beginning of our Strategic Plan for 2020 to 2024.

In this new medium term plan, we are shifting our focus from geographic- to commodity-based value chains so that we will not be limited only to priority areas, but will instead optimize opportunities from various sectors. Based on their potential for growth and improved outcome, and the presence and involvement of FSSI’s partner social enterprises, members and groups already working on the value chain, we have decided to focus on organic vegetables, cacao, bamboo, and renewable energy. While focusing on these four, we will remain responsive to proposed projects in other value chains.

Our new strategic plan also calls for more initiative in exploring the use of equity investments, in addition to loans, to support selected social enterprises, both those in the start-up and in the growth stages.

As we act on our strategic plans, we recognize the value of multi-sectoral partnerships. Related to this, one of the articles in this newsletter summarizes the lessons of Grow Asia in developing inclusive business in agriculture, such as the importance of building effective working groups which have a good mix of stakeholders (farmers’ groups and co-ops, agri-business, NGOs, government and others). There are also updates on programs of the Department of Agriculture (DA) that aim to support farmers, fishers and agri-entrepreneurs, and especially the youth. We are also sharing here some information on the latest Civil Society Organization Sustainability Index (CSOSI) for the Philippines.

This index looks at the status of the civil society sector based on seven dimensions: legal environment, organizational capacity, financial viability, advocacy, service provision, sectoral infrastructure, and public image.

Rounding up this issue of our newsletter, we also have articles on the relief assistance for Mindanao earthquake victims, which was undertaken by the Mindanao Coalition of Development NGO Networks (MINCODE) and Kapwa Upliftment Foundation, Inc. (KUFI), with support from FSSI, and on recent FSSI institutional events. At the start of the year, we usually greet each other “Manigong bagong taon!” which is commonly translated to “Prosperous new year!” Another translation of “manigo” is to be able to attain what one hopes for, which is very appropriate for us now with our new strategic plan.

So, here’s wishing all of us ‘Manigong bagong taon!’


FSSI updates its logo as its celebrates its 25th anniversary this 2020

Strategic Plan for 2020 to 2024

The Board of Trustees has approved FSSI’s new vision, mission, core values, priority value chains, and strategic goals and objectives for 2020 to 2024. Learning from the lessons of our strategic plan for 2017 to 2019, we are now shifting our focus from geographic- to commodity-based value chains. With the new strategy, value chain development will not be limited only to priority areas but will instead optimize opportunities from various sectors.

Four commodities were chosen based on their potential for growth, improved outcome, presence and involvement of FSSI’s SE partners and members or groups already working on the value chain that we can tap or work with: organic vegetables, cacao, bamboo, and renewable energy. 

With the reassessment of our value chain focus, we also re-evaluated and simplified our vision and mission for brevity and clarity. Our core values were narrowed down to four from six but with the essential characteristics of the former core values still maintained.

VISION: Empowered communities upholding social justice, respecting integrity of creation, and realizing fullness of life

MISSION: To provide social investments to enterprises through the triple bottom line (3BL) strategy


STEWARDSHIP FSSI is committed to exercise responsible management over the resources entrusted to us, taking into full account the interests of society, future generations, and all species. We also promote biodiversity conservation and the protection of the environment.  Sustainability will always guide us in the work that we do.

INCLUSIVITY We recognize the dignity and human rights of all persons regardless of sex, gender,   culture, faith, ethnicity, age, social status or other attributes. FSSI believes in providing equitable treatment and opportunities to all in their access to and control over resources, decision-making and the benefits of development.  FSSI endeavors to facilitate access particularly for the marginalized to increase their capacities and fulfil their potential.

GOOD GOVERNANCE We demand, in all our dealings and in society, the practice of transparency, participation, integrity, and accountability. We strive to create an enabling environment for sustainable human development.

EXCELLENCE We set and demonstrate the highest standards in the performance of our duties and ensure continuing relevance, effectiveness and efficiency. FSSI commits to consistently seek out new and improved ways of partnering with and serving social enterprises and Philippine society.

Project Management Workshop 2020

With almost all of the units with full staff complement, FSSI in January 2020 held a project management workshop to review and enhance existing work processes. The workshop was facilitated by the Center for Humanitarian Learning and Innovation (CHLI) and identified areas for improvement for work efficiency.

Here are some of the suggestions discussed during the workshop:

1. Computerized project development and monitoring systems

2. Online banking and account with a different bank for faster and timely transactions with partner SEs

3. Automated document tracking system including all HR forms

4. Database for institutional knowledge

5. Creation of an occupational health and safety plan

6. Digitization of all finance documents for data security

While all of the resulting discussions were deemed important, FSSI staff evaluated those that need to be prioritized and programmed; urgent actions and persons responsible were identified. As an offshoot of the workshop, the Development Services, Knowledge Management, Advocacy and Communications (KMAC), and the Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) units held another working session where they reviewed and established common understanding on processes in the delivery of FSSI’s development services and drafted standard work operating procedures.