About the Book 

Message from FSSI’s Chairperson | Mr. Martin F. Lasaga III

“Last September, we formally culminated the simple but meaningful celebration of our 25th anniversary year with the publishing of our new book titled “FSSI: 25 Years of Growing Community Enterprises,” which we are delighted to share with you here. The book recounts the experience of the Foundation for a Sustainable Society, Inc. (FSSI), endowed with a debt-for-development swap, and one of the very first institutions in the country to have been established as a result of a unique cooperation between the civil society organizations (CSOs) and governments in two countries.”
Read Full Message

Message from H.E. Alain Gaschen, Swiss Ambassador to the Philippines

“On the occasion of its 25th anniversary, we congratulate the Foundation for a Sustainable Society, Inc. (FSSI) on the implementation of many successful projects aiming at sustainably developing local communities in the Philippines. The story of FSSI is compelling and a demonstration of what two countries together with a strong civil society can achieve for a common purpose. The FSSI’s accomplishments give me confidence that the Foundation will also in the future be able to contribute with creative solutions and programs, complementary to governmental efforts, to the empowerment of communities, to resilience, and to sustainable development. In working together towards these goals, Switzerland remains a constructive and reliable partner of the Philippines.”

Read Full Message

FSSI was established in 1995 as a result of a debt-for-development swap between the governments of the Philippines and Switzerland, following a vigorous and sustained campaign by civil society organizations in both countries.

Our anniversary book traces back our journey through the Foundation’s first twenty-five years.


Hear from FSSI’s most crucial founders, Eugene Gonzales and Rory Tolentino on their experience setting up and leading the first years of the Foundation.

Eugene Gonzales was a former consultant for Caucus of Development NGO Networks (CODE-NGO), the coalition of Filipino non-governmental organizations that was chosen by the Swiss NGO Coalition as a debt swap counterpart in 1995. Gonzales’ role as a consultant was to help ensure that NGOs’ voices were heard in negotiations between the Philippine and Swiss governments. This led Gonzales to eventually become the first Executive Director of FSSI.

Rory Tolentino was the first Chairperson of FSSI as the representative of Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP).


FSSI has supported over 240 social enterprises since 1995. Get to know the stories of 25 of these SEs and their impact on their communities.

Self-Reliant Team La Trinidad Cooperative of Benguet.

SRT La Trinidad is a 12-year old social enterprise composed of 413 small and marginalized farm operators aiming to promote protected cultivation technology, a farming technique that utilizes greenhouses for optimal development of crops and protection from typhoons.

Protected cultivation technology, combined with other techniques, contributes to the improvement of the livelihood of Filipino farmers, as it gives them the capacity to sustainably plant and harvest up to ten cycles yearly––as opposed to the maximum of three cycles with traditional farming.


I. FSSI’s Social Investments and Development Portfolio
From the outset, FSSI has committed to supporting the development of community enterprises through the triple bottom line (3BL) approach of people, planet, and profit. FSSI’s Assistant Director for Development Services, Jerome Ignacio, expounds on the different approaches utilized by the Foundation to better and widen the impact of its social investments.

II. Balancing Social Impact and Sustainability
FSSI gives utmost importance to the sustainability of its projects. Learn from FSSI’s Financial Services Manager Leah Embuido on how the Foundation assesses prospective partners with the goal of maximizing social impact.

III. FSSI’s Remedial Services
Amado Reclusado, former remedial officer, recounts his experiences and insights on project development, portfolio, and remedial management.

IV. Promoting Environmental Sustainability
One bottom line cannot be prioritized at the expense of another. Learn why the Planet bottom line can never be separated from the People and Profit bottom lines through the experience of social enterprise Greentropics and their engagement with the Indegenous Peoples of Mt. Matutum in Polomolok, South Cotabato.

V. The Triple Bottom Lines: Challenges and Successes
FSSI’s pursuit for sustainable development and empowered communities through the 3BL approach is a story of collective success with FSSI members, partners, and the communities we serve.

FSSI Executive Director Dodo Macasaet talks about our ikigai and what drives us to persevere in our organizational mission even more in the coming years.


We thank the organizations that have helped us in publishing the book.





Contact Us

  • FSSI: 25 Years of Growing Community Enterprises
  • Copyright © 2021 by the Foundation for a Sustainable Society, Inc.
    • Softbound/Paperback: ISBN 978-621-96603-0-3
    • PDF (downloadable): 978-621-96603-1-0

No part of this book may be reproduced or used in any manner without the prior written permission of the copyright owner, except for the use of brief quotations. To requisition for permission, please reach out to us through the contact details below.

Foundation for a Sustainable Society, Inc. (FSSI)
46-E Eugenio Lopez Street near corner Samar Avenue
South Triangle, Quezon City, Philippines 1103
Telephone No.: (+632) 8928-867
Email: fssi@fssi.com.ph