Primer Group of Companies: A culture of care fortified by four core pillars
The Primer Group’s employees — aptly called KaPrimers — have built a culture that champions activities that are both inclusive and sustainable. The company has been recognized several times for its commitment to the CSR initiative. Among the awards that the Primer Group has received are the 2010 Pacific Asia Travel Association Gold Award, the 2013 Quill Merit Award for Employee Engagement and for the Nature Class Program at the Philippine Quill Awards, a citation from the 2015 Asia Sports Industry Awards for Best Corporate Social Responsibility, and the 2018 Asia CEO’s Circle of Excellence Award under CSR Company of the Year category. As KaPrimers advance the company’s CSR goals, partnerships with several other local organizations along with members of the community are also formed. Non-government organizations (NGOs) who already have existing foci in different communities are given a hand in advancing their plans. Residents of the barangays are conveyed ownership of projects, building more meaningful collaborations. At the conclusion of the activities, the beneficiaries not only enjoy a better quality of life but they also move forward with a more genuine appreciation of the solution and process. Seeds of humanitarian service are planted and the aftermath is encouraging. Job Creations The Primer Group’s care towards the community does not end as soon as the beneficiaries receive the help or assistance. In fact, it only marks the beginning of Primer’s mission to create a lasting impact on society. A perfect embodiment of this is the Sustainable Tourism Entrepreneurship Program (STEP) or Tubong Lokal. In the said program, Barangay Alas-As in San Nicolas, Batangas was given a tourism boost that also resulted in new livelihood opportunities for the residents. Tubong Lokal involves immersion into the community, identifying its needs while learning more about its potential especially in the tourism aspect. With Barangay Alas-As situated near the world-famous Taal Volcano, the area is already an instant spot for sightseeing and nature trips. A couple of places also stand out in the barangay, namely the bird sanctuary, Lava Walk, and Pansipit river. The Primer Group provided assistance to tourist guides of the hiking trail in the form of outdoor gears and signages. A number of activities are included in the tour package, highlighted by an up close look of Taal Volcano and Vulcan Point Island. The trail is then capped off by a lava walk — tourists will be taken to a lava formation that is more than half-a century old — and some bird watching With an empowered community, more residents are better prepared to take on the influx of opportunities in tourism. They know their product. They understand how to take care of it. And of course, every profit that comes from this endeavor goes straight to the residents. Environmental Conservation The outdoors hold a special place within the culture of the Primer Group of Companies. Being an exclusive distributor for some of the top and premium international outdoor brands, it is only fitting that the company embeds an environmental focus in most of its activities. In fact, some of the Primer Group’s clients have their own environment-friendly activities which the company also supports.
Internally, awareness is constantly being promoted and employees participate in nature-focused projects. A coastal cleanup was organized together with the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines at the Las Piñas-Parañaque Critical Habitat Ecotourism Area. Furthermore, tree planting and nature class sessions that tackled flora and fauna as well as biodiversity were also conducted. The Primer Group also does its part in promoting a cleaner mode of transportation through its bike sharing program. One doesn’t have to be an environmental expert to realize that Metro Manila is not the least polluted place in the country. But by becoming a part of the solution, the company hopes to inspire others in the use of bicycles whenever feasible.
The Primer Group also sponsors athletes who brave the elements and go beyond their physical limitation to achieve something special. Mench Dizon was a picture of perseverance as she ran the Boston and Big Sur Marathons. Cara Durano went against the forces of nature in her quest to climb Mt. Everest Base Camp. Carina Dayondon is a mountain climber who had history on her eyes as she embarked on a seven-mountain ascent — the first Filipina to work on such feat. Mark ‘Aga’ Joseph Casidsid provided inspiration, especially to the visually impaired, as the “Blind Runner” who, along with Edgardo ‘Gado’ Pelingo Jr., form the Primer Group’s “Team Posible.” In cooperation with Freewaters, residents of Barangay Bucana in Palawan and an indigenous group in Aurora Province were granted a water system, addressing their dire need for clean water in response to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal # 6, which is Clean Water and Sanitation, while also providing livelihood opportunities to the residents. KaPrimers have also taken part in and initiated disaster-relief efforts whenever calamity strikes. The list goes on for the Primer Group and its CSR initiatives for the community. Employee Volunteerism Employee engagement has always been very high when it comes to the Primer Group’s CSR activities. The company promotes an inclusive culture among its employees. It starts from the top and it trickles down to everyone within the company. Employees share whatever resources they’re able to allocate, whether finances, manpower, or networking — everybody chips in. Among the noteworthy examples of this is the fundraising activity conducted as part of the water system set up in Barangay Bucana in El Nido, Palawan. A donation drive among Primer employees was set up with the total funds collected reaching a six-figure amount. The company even held a raffle to signify its gratitude towards those employees who donated. Employee volunteers are encouraged to come up with outreach activities — from conceptualization to implementation — and they’re given the chance to do so on multiple occasions throughout the year. A diverse set of beneficiaries, those who are considered as underserved, is targeted that includes both the young and old. There’s no limit to helping and this is something that is being driven among the Primer Group’s employees. While employees are empowered to coordinate CSR activities on their own, the company remains on top of things. The Primer Group has always been aware of the talents and capabilities of volunteers. These are being utilized by allowing them to participate in activities where their expertise can be harnessed.
The Primer Group’s employees have always been dedicated to serving the less fortunate, devoting personal time and resources to their outreach activities. It’s a beautiful thing that hopefully inspires others to join them in their advocacies.