MANILA, Philippines – There is no safe level of lead exposure. Lead is toxic and harmful not only to the environment but to the health as well. However, lead is still used for products such as batteries. According to the United Nations Environment Programme, around 86% of the total global consumption of lead is for the production of lead-acid batteries.
With a large number of batteries being produced each year, proper disposal and recycling of batteries is also a concern. To help address this problem, Ford Philippines together with Ford dealers nationwide, Motolite, and the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) forged a collaboration to recycle used lead-acid batteries (ULABs) through the Balik Baterya Program.
“Through the Balik Baterya Program, we are able to bring to life Ford’s global commitment on environmental sustainability in the Philippines, and work with our Ford dealers and like-minded partners such as Motolite and PBSP to reinforce this advocacy. At the same time, the program provides an opportunity for our dealer partners to create and even expand their corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs to support more beneficiaries,” said Ford Philippines President and Managing Director Michael Allen Breen.
One of Ford’s dealerships, the Laus Group, has taken a step forward in being the pioneer dealer group to implement the Balik Baterya Program early this year. “Being in the business of automotive dealerships, we knew that the PBSP’s Balik Baterya Program was a great way for us to create a positive impact, as we push to incorporate sustainability in the way we do business. It is our hope that through this program, we are able to affect change in our communities by pioneering sustainable business practices, geared towards promoting progressive development not just in the countryside but nationwide that is now shared by all,” said Laus Group Dealer Principal Lisset Laus-Velasco.
15 YEARS OF GIVING OLD BATTERIES NEW LIFE
Launched in 2006, the Balik Baterya Program is Motolite’s flagship CSR initiative advocating for the proper disposal and legitimate recycling of ULABs to protect the environment from hazardous wastes. The collected used batteries are reprocessed and recycled for commercial use. The proceeds from the used batteries are then used to fund development projects for communities in need such as provision of new classrooms, school desks, books, and supplemental feeding for children.
“Around 5,825 tons of ULABs is what the Balik Baterya Program partnership with PBSP has been able to recycle. More so, these wastes transformed to the greater goal of advancing communities through funding social development programs,” said Corporate Citizenship and CSR Manager Khairon-Niza Magundacan.
To date, the program has generated around P147 million pesos which supported and implemented around 169 projects nationwide. These projects benefitted at least 115 public schools and communities.