Expanding Social Accountability in the Private Sector: The Toshiba Learning Event

By Adelfo V. Briones, ANSA-EAP Learning Manager

The author and ANSA-EAP's Executive Director, Dondo Parafina at the lobby of the Toshiba Information Equipment, Inc.The Affiliated Network for Social Accountability in East Asia and the Pacific (ANSA-EAP) has ventured into a partnership with the private sector in the hope that the latter, as a sector, will become a more active player in social accountability work.

ANSA-EAP conducted a seminar workshop titled “Power, Ethics, and Accountability” to 26 managers at the Toshiba Information Equipment (Philippines), Inc. (TIP) located at the Special Export Processing Zone, Laguna Technopark, Biñan City. The learning event was made possible through the invitation of the Human Resource Department of the company.
Redempto S. Parafina, ANSA-EAP executive director, and Adelfo V. Briones, ANSA-EAP learning manager, facilitated and served as resource persons.

The half-day seminar workshop, the first of a series, was intended to underscore the importance of power, ethics, and accountability as integral components of good governance in the workplace in particular and in society in general.
Specifically, the learning activity highlighted the sources of power and how it is used to influence and modify attitudes and behaviors in the workplace; underlined the importance of integrity and trust, both of which are anchored on character and competence, in governance; and put emphasis on accountability as walking the talk, acting strongly for one’s convictions, and subjecting one’s self to the same standards we subject others.

TIP is a fast-growing and fully-expanding manufacturing company located in Laguna engaged in the production of cutting-edge storage devices. The organization was established in 1996 and is composed of high-performing teams and competent individuals who continuously bring the company to the forefront of export sales in the Philippines.
While still exploratory, the engagement of ANSA-EAP with a business organization like Toshiba Philippines may be considered strategic because such a partnership could provide the stimulus and serve as a model for the private sector to be more active in social accountability efforts in the long run.

 In addition, corporate values such as those espoused by TIP could also serve as a platform for a more ethical citizen-government engagement such as in the area of procurement of goods and services. This is not to mention the latent power of thousands of employees—all citizens—whose practice of corporate social responsibility (CSR) can very well be aligned with social accountability work in their specific communities.

The next seminar workshop is scheduled on December 19, 2014, also at the same venue.