ASSIST joins PBSP’s Annual Membership Meeting and Foundation Day

30 01 2012

Asia Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation (ASSIST) Managing Director Sreenivas Narayanan and Group Associate Mahnaz Zanganeh joined the Annual Membership Meeting and Foundation Day Celebration of the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) as guests last January 24, 2012 at Makati’s Intercontinental Hotel.

With the theme “Harnessing Business Solutions Against Poverty”, the event served as a gathering for all its Board Members to hold their Annual Board Meeting, recognize of new trustees and member companies. Most importantly, the organization celebrated its 41st anniversary.

During the meeting, the board led by Manny Pangilinan discussed the key results of PBSP’s efforts in 2012, and planned programs and events for 2012. In addition, the board encouraged progressive efforts to create lasting impact on health, basic education, environment and livelihood  by fostering collaboration among its partner corporations.

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And at the Foundation Day Celebration, Keynote Speaker US Ambassador Harry Thomas Jr. came to express his support for PBSP’s advocacy and efforts geared towards poverty reduction.

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ASSIST and PBSP are planning to become partners in sustainability initiatives for the industries. #


Ten Photos to Shake the World voting on Facebook begins!

25 01 2012

Asia Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation (ASSIST) is pleased to announce that the Facebook voting for the top 24 entries of the Ten Photos to Shake the World Photo Competition has begun today, January 25, 2012, and will last until February 1. The entry with the most number of ‘likes’ wins a (separate) special prize.

The panel of judges was composed of Inquirer Photojournalist Raffy Lerma, Center for Environmental Concerns Executive Director Ces Quimpo and ASSIST Research and Knowledge Management Director Sheena Carmel Duco Opulencia.

Launched last year, the competition sought “ten compelling photos to shake the world and promote awareness on the state of the world environment.”

Winners will receive cash and gift packs from sponsors Petron, Kraft and Nestle.

Visit the competition’s official Facebook page by clicking here.#

SAFE Cambodia conducts Gap Analysis of pilot companies

17 01 2012

The SAFE Cambodia Structured Program to Achieve Food Safety Excellence in Cambodia initiative conducted a Gap Analysis among nine pilot companies in Phnom Penh, Kompong Thom and Battambang last Dec. 12 to 17, 2011.

A Public-Private Partnership (PPP) initiative of TUV Rheinland and  Asia Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation (ASSIST), it seeks to instill mass awareness on international food safety and cleanliness standards amongst local SMEs operating in the agriculture and fishery industry.

For the Gap Analysis, project partners TUV Rheinland and ASSIST assessed the companies’ capacity in implementing the international standards Good Manufacturing Practices, Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points (HACCP) and Food Safety Management System (FSMS)/ ISO 22000).

Following this activity, Project Consultant Ma. Lourdes Mangaban will develop the action plan for the companies to ensure compliance of their documentation and records to requirementsof GMP and HACCP.

The action plan will outline the steps to take, to prepare the participating companies for the rigorous certification process.

Pilot companies include caterers, water bottlers, and farm produce distributors.#

ASSIST Now! Volume 2, Issue 4 now available

17 01 2012


PRO-FIT initiative opens with a multi-stakeholder forum

17 01 2012


Food safety practitioners gathered for the multi-stakeholder forum of PRO-FIT (Promoting Food Industry Competitiveness Training Program) last January 12, 2012 at the Marriott Hotel in Pasay.

Co-financed by Sequa and BMZ, PRO-FIT is implemented by Asia Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation (ASSIST), AFOS Foundation for Entrepreneurial Development Cooperation (AFOS), TUV Rheinland and UP Institute for Small Scale Industries (UP ISSI) that will run for 2 years.

It aims to train practitioners on a variety of qualification options on food safety and sanitation practices at the UP ISSI.

The vocational training courses will target Micro, Small and Medium enterprises of the country’s food products as well as beverage manufacturing sectors.

TUV Rheinland Philippines COO Tristan Loveres (COO, TUVR) welcomed the participants to the forum, while DOST XI Regional Director Dr. Anthony Sales and AGHAM Partylist Chief of Staff Dr. Florentino Tesoro discussed Food Safety Initiatives.

Meanwhile, AFOS Country Director Dr. Stephan Kunz and UP ISSI Director Prof. Nestor Raneses talked on the state of food safety in the Philippines, its challenges and opportunities. ASSIST Managing Director Sreenivas Narayanan provided a Project Overview.

Finally, TUV Rheinland’s Business Development Manager Pinky Villacrusis discussed the next steps and closed the program.

Through the event, the project implementers were able to solicit inputs from the representatives on the strengths and opportunities for harmonizing initiatives towards achieving food safety. Organizations also expressed support and offered contribution to the development of the training curricula.#

ASSIST India inspires environmental awareness among the youth

13 01 2012

True to its thrust towards raising environmental consciousness, Asia Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation (ASSIST) India joined the inauguration of the Eco Club in Dominic Savio Higher Secondary School in Santhome, Chennai last January 12, 2012.

An alumnus of the school (which also counts as its graduate ASSIST’s Managing Director Sreenivas Narayanan) and now project coordinator Mithoon RV graced the event as the chief guest.

At the ceremony, Mithoon explained the importance of simple environment-friendly practices, such as planting trees, not using plastic, and conserving resources.

As he explains in his speech, “We’re all just normal people with our routine lives who hope that maybe we can make a difference. That’s what it’s going to take, everyday people all over the world realizing that each one of us has the potential to make a difference in our community and in our environment. But it starts with us; we have to be the messengers, and we have to be the ones who start caring about this planet we live on. It’s time to step out of our comfort zones and start taking action.”

He adds, “Our cause does not start and end with this rally. We must continue this struggle tomorrow and the day after and carry with us this dedication to the preservation of this planet.”

ASSIST India intends to spread the awareness to other schools. #

ASSIST holds pilot training on Green Building for IFC

11 01 2012

Nineteen architects convened in Ho Chi Minh City’s Energy Conservation Center (ECC) last December 17 to 20, 2011 for the Green Building pilot training of Asia Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation (ASSIST) under the International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) initiative Energy Efficiency Training Product and Trainer Development.

The event sought to develop the learning materials that can be used by Vietnam-based builders in designing Green structures. With content focused on green buildings, it is hoped that the material will spread environmental consciousness among policymakers, academe, and members of the infrastructure and construction industries.

For this endeavor, ASSIST serves as consultant and project management.

A member of the World Bank Group, IFC is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in developing countries. Its Green Building training initiative is aligned with one of its strategic priorities, “Addressing climate change and ensuring environmental and social sustainability.”#