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Presented to

The Faculty of the Graduate School

Management Department

Ateneo de Zamboanga University

Zamboanga City

In partial fulfilment

of the requirements for the subject BA 587

Governance, Business Ethics, Social Responsibility and Citizenship

Submitted to:


Submitted by:


March 9, 2018

Mrs. Josephine Miranda was once one of the most productive employees in Shemberg

Marketing Corp., the Philippines’ biggest seaweed processor and exporter with plants operating in

Indonesia, Zamboanga City and Cebu. Back then, seaweed processing was a newly introduced

industry and its market was still in its first phases. Nonetheless, these factors did not hinder her

from conceptualizing what would someday be the primary dried seaweed supplier of a number of

seaweed plants in the city, including Marcel Trading Corporation – situated in San Jose Gusu and

also one of the most famous seaweed processing plants in Zamboanga City with both national and

foreign target markets. Realizing the long-term benefits of engaging into the very industry that she

was working for and recognizing that she had the necessary resources and experience for such

decision, she decided to leave a stable job in Shemberg Marketing Corporation for her to focus in

establishing her own enterprise. Thus, in 1990, the JM Seaweed Center was born. The firm was

formally registered with the Department of Trade and Industry in 2003. Their business has been

earning recognition in its line of industry ever since, and it is the only known business in Tetuan

that is engaged in the seaweed industry.


JM Seaweed Center is a sole proprietor. The business is engaged into direct buying of dried

seaweeds from different local suppliers and farmers of the said product in the region and

distributing/selling the same (or specific selections of the product) to major corporations and

enterprises located in various parts of Zamboanga City. Due to the small size of JM Seaweeds

Center, management is much more of a familial approach than that of what we can find in a


To the Employees

Quality over quantity in terms of employees is the premise that JM Seaweeds Center has

capitalized on. Despite having a mere 6 workers, the workers that they have in employment are all

loyal to them and ultimately reliable due to the business being socially responsible with their

welfare and interest, which is a thousand times better compared to big businesses that do have a

lot of employees, but such employees are more likely to be disloyal and mediocre in their

performance, even to the point of cheating and committing fraud.

To the Customers

Interestingly, product quality is not the most important thing for its customers. The reason

behind is that defects do not greatly affect the usability of the seaweeds and the chance of it being

sold to different buyers. This is in consideration that most of the seaweeds that they get from

Zamboangeño farmers are subpar since the seaweeds are only left to mature for 20 days instead of

the much preferred 45 days. Due to this, they have extended their sources for seaweed supplies to

those in Jolo, Tawi-Tawi, and other places outside of Zamboanga that follows the 45-day maturity

process. Naturally, the costs are greater than that from the local farmers. In spite of this, JM

Seaweeds Center’s has a system of checking the quality of seaweeds that they get from their

suppliers on a timely basis. This is why the firm enjoys a strong business relationship with Marcel

Corporation, their number one seaweed buyer, that uses the raw seaweeds to manufacture other

To the Suppliers

Despite the difference between the qualities of seaweeds here in the city and that from the

outside, JM Seaweeds Center still prefers to buy from Zamboangeño farmers. Not because of the

lesser expenses that they can incur, but rather because this is in line with their vision and mission

to encourage more people, specifically from our Muslim community, to engage in the seaweed

industry of Zamboanga so as to provide for them the chance of making a livelihood in spite of the

economic status that the country is suffering in now. Below you can observe the supply chain of

JM Seaweeds Center, from their suppliers to the buyers of their product:

The enterprise acts as an intermediary or mediator between the farmers/cultivators of the

seaweed and the big corporations of the said industry in the local market. The firm directly

purchases the dried seaweeds from the farmers and distributes them to the major seaweed

manufacturing plants of the city. In line with corporate social responsibility, they ensure that their

existence and function are consistent in the supply chain so as not to disrupt the flow of the product

in the local market as a whole. As a result, this improves the economic returns attributed to the

said industry and the contribution of the same to the aggregate performance of the local economy

in a macro perspective. Their performance in the supply chain, viewed at a larger scale, has in fact

contributed to the wellbeing of both the market and their stakeholders.


Exemplary Employee Treatment

According to them, the hiring process is based more on a personal relationship and the

knowledge that these people are hardworking and diligent rather than on the educational

background (most of their employees are college graduates of 2 year courses and only one is a

high school graduate) or prior working experiences that they have. JM Seaweeds Center hires

people that they know since it will cut short the time of having to assess them as to being productive

employees or not. To ensure their workers utmost loyalty, the Center provides wages that are above

minimum wage plus incentives. Every worker receives the same fixed wage weekly, assuming

they have the same work time. The variability lies in the incentives. These incentives are in the

form of when there is a greater load of seaweeds to cater to, a particular employee which handled

the said workload can earn more. More work can let them earn more income while still having

fixed wages that are paid to them on a weekly or in rare occasions, daily basis. In other words,

such incentives are distinct from what they receive weekly, which is already above minimum

wage. Moreover, they are only expected to work on weekdays, from Monday to Friday, starting

from 8 in the morning to 5 in the afternoon. The minute that they exceed working from 5 pm is

considered overtime work for them, resulting also to additional payment. All the employees also

enjoy particular health benefits from SSS, Philhealth, and PAG-IBIG to ensure that immediate

medication can be given in case of times when there are accidents that may occur or when they

feel ill or sick. What makes these benefits all the more better is that such insurances are not

deducted from their fixed salaries. This is a way for the business to emphasize that they do care
for their workers even if it would mean more expenses on their part. It is an expression that the

management does not compromise the safety of its employees just to earn more.

Like what has been mentioned prior, the familial treatment between management and

employees allows the workers more leeway than in other businesses. Because of this close

relationship, birthday gifts are also given to the employees. All of these things that are evident of

the social responsibility of the JM Seaweeds Center’s management has benefited to having loyal

employees that will not work in any other business but that at JM Seaweeds Center. As a matter

of fact, two of their employees have been working in the Center since the establishment of the

business in 1990, more than two decades ago.

Responsibility to the Community

JM Seaweeds Center practices their social responsibility for their community well. This is

evident with the zero complaints since they started their operations that they are enjoying from

barangay Tetuan, the place that they are situated in. The management assures that the smell of

seaweeds is not a problem for their neighbors since the seaweeds are dry and there is no

involvement of chemicals that can cause significant harm to the people that live close by to the

Center. Due to such considerations, they make sure the conduct of both the business and its workers

are in line with public policy and public safety.

Political Participation

As the sole supplier of seaweeds in its respective barangay, JM Seaweeds Center is

nonetheless active in performing its duty of attending meetings and conventions of firms or

businesses regarding changes or improvements of business provisions and similar issues.

However, due to lack of time, constricted finances, and a busy schedule, the management has

rarely attended seminars about their industry and the social contribution policy related to it, and

the firm has seldom done significant contributions to certain sectors of the community in terms of


Environmental Compliance

JM Seaweeds Center being a buying-and-selling-of-seaweed business has no waste or

chemical disposal since they do not incur waste and use chemicals of any sort. These actions just

intensify that the business in regards to social contribution, is well assessed and accepted by the

Tetuan community. The actions of human kind have hurt the environment since time memorial

especially those done by businesses and corporations. This is why when talking about corporate

social responsibility, environment and the effects and consequences of business activities to the

environment are at the forefront of this discussion.

Chemicals Management, Resources Conservation, and Product Recycling

The firm uses no chemicals and promote for natural and clean processes as far as the nature

of their business is concerned. Because of this, the business’ operations have practically no

negative effects on the environment. They have also affirmed that the greatest evidence of this is

their DENR License, which are not given to businesses or firms that have detrimental effects to

the environment. Since the business is concerned only with the proper storage of dried seaweeds

and efficient distribution of the said product to suppliers, JM Seaweeds Center has no assets (i.e.

equipment) that produce chemical waste, toxic gases or similar pollutants. Furthermore, they pride

themselves in how seaweeds can be recycled and used as fertilizers so as to minimize waste in the
long run. Although seaweeds in its dried form is basically useless and obsolete if not processed or

manufactured, the business is in a pursuit for alternative uses for the product that are more

environmental friendly and ways on how to effectively recycle it. This, again, is a manifestation

of CSR as far as product recycling is concerned.


To conclude with, the paper has proven that corporate social responsibility is not dependent

on the size, industry classification and resources of a business. It can exist even in the absence of

formality, technicality and legitimacy. After all, corporate social responsibility is not measured

based on how much funds you invest on it or the number of your activities, but rather it is on how

such actions have extensively affected the welfare of the community and society as a whole. JM

Seaweeds Center, despite its size and simple nature, has done what most large firms cannot and

will not do. That is corporate citizenship in its most profound and excellent level.