My group conducted research on the business activities of Charoen Pokphand (CP) Foods Corporation, a Thai company operating in Samal, Bataan, and on how they affect the lives of the residents living in the area.
We know that most businesses are profit-driven and CP is one of them. CP is a multinational company with a big market share in Asia and advanced production capacities utilizing comparative advantages. It engages itself in the production process from gathering raw materials, food processing, packing, until retailing.
When CP built its factory in Samal, Bataan, it brought optimism to the local residents. They hoped for development of the town and employment for the residents. But what materialized were contrary to their expectations. They complained of the foul smell coming from the factory and the health problems arising from it, false promise of employment for the locals, and passive local government regulation.
With these criticisms, CP installed ozone generators to filter their emissions, hired locals as employees and contractors, and submitted to local government inspections. The company also donated facilities to the local public school and installed deep wells in the community.
Pursuing profits is not an excuse to encroach on someone else’s rights and liberties. Every company should treat its consumers and the community it interacts with as ends themselves and not as mere means to gain profit. May CP serve as a reminder that companies should not be blinded by profits and to always keep in mind that they have social responsibilities to fulfill. Businesses, ideally, should not only serve their own purposes and interests. They should also contribute to the welfare of the community. Therefore, it is just right that CP compensated the local community for the inconveniences it caused them. I hope that it doesn’t end there and that CP will reform its activities which cause negative externalities to surrounding parties.
-Rizza Dela Fuente (2012-02915)