Data Privacy

Here at World We Want, we value data privacy and are committed to keeping whatever information you share with us secure. By continuing to browse our site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

For more information please click on the Data Privacy Policy of our parent company, San Miguel Corporation.

How San Miguel engages employees through volunteerism

Employees share their personal accounts on how San Miguel promotes building a better world in and outside of the company.

For as long as she can remember, Ming Dalusung has always loved to volunteer. Growing up in Pampanga, there was never a shortage of outreach activities at school, and early on, Ming learned volunteered in the Aeta communities. She was a student when Mt. Pinatubo erupted in 1991 she would visit the displaced families in the community centers that sprouted throughout the province.

Five years ago, to commemorate the company’s 125th year, San Miguel Corporation launched its volunteer program under the brand Team Malasakit, and Ming has been a mainstay ever since, despite the demands of her job as a senior executive at SMC’s Corporate Treasury.“It’s a great way to give back,” she says. “In service to others, you do feel a sense of meaning and purpose.” Ming’s daughter Maggie, now 13 years old sometimes volunteers with her mom, “It’s important that she learn the value of serving others early on. I want her to be concretely compassionate to others and to experience the same sense of bliss I feel when I volunteer.”

Ming Dalusung (top, left most) began volunteering at a very young age. Now a senior executive at San Miguel Corporation's Corporate Treasury, she is an active member of Team Malasakit, a volunteer program launched by SMC five years ago.

San Miguel’s menu of volunteer activities is extensive. From builds with Habitat for Humanity, painting school walls or carpentry work in partnership with the Department of Education’s Brigada Eskwela, to coastal cleanups, Team Malasakit has managed to recruit an active and committed corps of volunteers some 800 strong.

Last year, over 800 employees took part in a simultaneous nationwide coastal cleanup and mangrove planting activity that saw volunteers fanning out as far north as Isabela province and Sison, Pangasinan to Malita, Davao. The record for a Brigada Eskwela activation was roughly 500 employees painting and cleaning a public elementary school in Mandaluyong two years ago.

But it’s not just the numbers that Team Malasakit is after, it’s about the experience and how it empowers employees to support causes they care about. Last year, Luisa Pineda, a 24-year old employee at the Corporate Affairs Office and a skilled skin diver worked with her counterparts at San Miguel Food Group to raise awareness for the coral reefs in Anilao, Batangas. The Food Group is an active supporter of its parent company’s corporate social responsibility programs and has two flour mills in the province (in Tabangao and Mabini), both of which sit right at the mouth of Batangas Bay.

With an extensive menu of volunteer activities, Team Malasakit⁠—San Miguel's volunteer program⁠—has managed to recruit an active and committed corps of over 800 employees.

With an extensive menu of volunteer activities, Team Malasakit⁠—San Miguel's volunteer program⁠—has managed to recruit an active and committed corps of over 800 employees.

With an extensive menu of volunteer activities, Team Malasakit⁠—San Miguel's volunteer program⁠—has managed to recruit an active and committed corps of over 800 employees.

Ming has used Team Malasakit to learn new skills. Wanting to be of more help during medical missions, she and a few other volunteers took it upon themselves to learn acupuncture, because they had heard acupuncture helps relieve stress and anxiety. “My first patient was a woman who had recently given birth and I did ear acupuncture on her. The next day I heard that she had her best sleep ever,” Ming says.

Volunteers at San Miguel come from a wide variety of backgrounds, but share the common desire to help others. They are boomers, Gen-Xers, and millennials who volunteer for different reasons: to put their free time to good use, to pay back to society, or even just find somewhere else to go on the weekends rather than the mall.

This year, efforts to deepen involvement resulted in enlisting employees to help San Miguel Foundation interview potential beneficiaries of San Miguel’s soon-to-open Better World Community in Tondo, Manila.

For many employees, it was their first time to visit Tondo and speak at length with the families there. Where builds and school activities usually boost camaraderie among work teams and get the employees to work alongside each other, the visit to Tondo allowed the over 200 volunteers to sign up to have conversations with people they would have otherwise never met or been able to speak to.

For Cedric Britanico of San Miguel’s Infrastructure group, the visit was an eye-opener. Cedric interviewed over 15 beneficiaries during the activity and admitted that up till that point, he had been oblivious to the poverty of Tondo and the poor living conditions of the families there. “We owe it to them and to ourselves to raise them,” he says.

Ace P. Aceberos of San Miguel Yamamura Packaging Corp was struck by how unflagging the sense of optimism was among those he interviewed. “They didn’t stop smiling, even if I know how hard their life is.” For Ace, a half-day of just meeting with the families provided a window into a set of realities he had never even considered. “I met a mother who had four children, all with different fathers,” he said. For him, it was also an opportunity to do away with stereotypes. Tondo has a reputation for its mean streets, but as Ace says, “the people I met were humble, well-mannered and valued things like putting their kids through school.

“I realized that the complaints we have in the office mean nothing when you see these people trying to survive,” he shares.

“As a volunteer, you’re exposed to a community you’re often not used to being a part of and you learn so many new things. It’s these experiences that push San Miguel to do more not only for its beneficiaries and the communities they work but also for the employees who can grow not just professionally but personally.”

Related Stories

The COVID-19 pandemic has created unexpected heroes

Learn More

SMC's Ramon Ang on business, sustainability and the common good

Learn More

Manabu Farms, enhancing the smallholder supply chain

Learn More

Linking the backyard economy to the formal market economy

Learn More

View More Stories