travel & lifestyle blog by ruth dela cruz


7 Years of IBM Corporate Service Corp and the #IBMCSC #Philippines15

August 18, 2015
Three years ago, I shared my story. A once in a lifetime experience that I would never get tired of sharing. I was sent to an island in Makassar, Indonesia to help and assist local government in determining solutions to economic, community and environmental concerns. I was with 9 other volunteers from different parts of the globe. We stayed there for a month. On our last day, I didn’t want to go back to the life I left in Manila.

I (from #TeamIndonesia3) with IBM CSC Philippines 15 with IBM Philippines Luis Pineda

The program that gave me such a wonderful opportunity is the IBM Corporate Service Corp. It is a leadership program by IBM that gives its selected IBM’s highest performing employees a unique opportunity to provide assistance to both local governments and community organizations.
IBM Corporate Service Corp is celebrating its 7th year and in the Philippines, there are already 15 teams who visited the country and worked with organizations like CHED, NEDA and DSWD. There were also 15 Filipino IBMers who were sent to different parts of the globe to help in the countries like Kenya, Tanzania, Brazil, Morocco, India and Indonesia (that’s me!).

Click Read More to know more about IBM Corporate Service Corp…

Earlier today, I dedicated my time to be with the IBM team to witness the IBM Philippines 15 deliver their final presentation. The team’s pro bono consulting assignment focused on several projects at the country’s National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) and Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
Currently forecasted to be the second fastest growing economy in the world by Bloomberg, the Philippines has been enjoying a higher than average GDP growth rate in the recent years. To sustain and ensure inclusive growth, the Philippine Government is accelerating its efforts to reduce poverty incidence from 25% to at least 18% by 2016.
IBM performed work to bolster these efforts, and presented its findings and recommendations:
National Economic Development Authority (NEDA):
· IBM provided assistance in the development of the National Online Feedback Systems. The online survey will support NEDA’s Long Term Development Vision 2040 project by engaging key target groups such as youth and overseas workers. IBM’s recommendations include the use of social media for netizens to actively share ideas, creation of a strategic communications campaign to drive participation, and adoption of Analytics to gather insights.
· IBM developed a solution plan for managing the information database of the National Policy and Planning Staff. IBM recommended a cloud-based solution for easier file sharing that helps promote collaboration across teams and individuals.
Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)
· IBM came up with a set of recommendations for the KALAHI-CIDSS National Community-Driven Development Project (KC-NCDDP) to optimize program activities and increase the engagement of residents in “poor” municipalities in community planning and implementation. The IBM team performed an evaluation of the current processes and identified opportunities and technologies to improve program management practices.
· IBM evaluated KC-NCDDP’s data collection, management, and analysis procedures for the more than 800 communities that it serves. The IBM team recommended an intelligent reporting system that can help identify key community priorities and challenges and reduce time spent on data management tasks.
When I came to the event, they asked me if I came as a blogger or alumna. Putting my blogger hat on, I still speak the IBM language. 
Odd one out! 
 Although I have known how the program works, I still feel amazed listening to the people behind the IBM CSC program in the Philippines – Andrea Escalona and Agnes Africa. 
I was given the chance to ask the client how the program and the participation of the volunteers affect the employees of the organizations and Karlo De Asis (DWSD) shared that it is good to see the problem in a different perspective (from the outside). The employees are very happy to be able to learn from the volunteers (CSC Participants). 
Some of the previous teams’ recommendations have been implemented in the Philippines, including Davao City’s recovery and disaster response and CHED’s analytics course which is now offered in different university as part of the curiculum. Dr. Paulino Tan (CHED) shared that the IBM CSC Philippines 13 recommendation was successful. 

Hardworking women of IBM: Agnes Africa and Andrea Escalona. These two together with Australian Business Volunteers ensure that IBM CSC Participants skills and talents are matched to the client and project’s needs. 
IBM Philippines Luis Pineda even took a photo of my name card so (he said)
he won’t forget to visit my blog. I love how approachable and down-to-earth he is! 
IBM Corporate Service Corp truly strengthened the IBM’s presence in the country and in the global scene as an essential company. IBM is indeed essential, not only to the country, but also to its employees and community. I got a quick chat with IBM Philippine President and Country Manager,  Luis Pineda and he shared that it’s truly the IBM Values that make IBM employees stand out. I agree with him. It is the same IBM Values that are guiding me to the new life journeys I have embraced outside IBM. We always say, once an IBMer, always an IBMer. We will always bleed blue.
Thank you so much IBM for the wonderful years and thank you IBM Corporate Service Corp. 
I really wish I can do more projects like the ones I did for #IBMCSC. It is good to be essential. 

Missing you Cheryl, Marcelo, Arun, Vivek, Nitu, Javier Jessica and Tom! 
Thank you IBM for having me!
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