By: Tiffany Tan, ASP Board Secretary
SM Supermalls wins The Anvil Award of Excellence for its SM Cares Program. The Anvil Awards is an annual event of the Public Relations Society of the Philippines (PRSP), the country’s premier organization for public relations professionals. The Anvil Awards is considered the Oscar Awards for local PR profession. Out of 293 nominees, SM has won two awards. Click here to read more.
And to think it all started from an autiSMistake. In 2004, Ruby Javier searched frantically for her 17 year old missing autistic son. After 12 hours, Francis was found.
SM Mall President Annie Garcia acknowledged: “the mall’s responsibility in extending full assistance to all our customers and we did try to help look for the missing boy as soon as we received notice of the situation. With this experience, please be assured that we will subject our guards to a training session regarding autism so that we may better appreciate all our customers.”
Witnessing how the SM Cares program evolved since the first orientation for mall managers in 2004; ASP Chair Emeritus, Dang Koe has this to say: “Even after the SM MegaMall incident (referring to the lost autistic boy), nobody imagined the extent SM Supermalls would go through in ‘looking after’ people with autism…..”
“SM has more than an anvil; SM has a big heart. SM Cares program for all customers with disabilities is more than a public relations; it is a way of life in SM,” Dang continued.
SM Supermalls and Autism Society Philippines have forged a partnership agreement aiming for mall-based events leading to education, advocacy, services and support of people with autism and their families. This partnership is coined as AutiSM. Click here to read more.
SM Supermalls has also made their malls’ environment non-handicapping and barrier-free for all people with disabilities. And since the partnership, SM Supermalls has supported ASP’s major projects like the Angels Walk for Autism, Colors of A Spectrum Exhibit, Sensory Friendly Films and the Autism Beyond Borders Conference.
Sharing the Anvil
SM Committee on Disability Affairs, headed by Chair Eng. Bien Mateo; invited Dang and ASP National Vice President, Peng So to witness the Anvil Awards, last February 26, at EDSA Shangrila Hotel.
SM bigwigs, headed by Mr. Hans Sy (SM Prime Holdings President) and Ms. Annie Garcia (SM Supermalls President); were joined by National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA) Chair, Lovely Romulo and other leaders of different PWD advocacy groups.
SM truly considers PWD group leaders as partners, not as beneficiaries only; for after accepting the award, SMCDA’s Eng. Mateo passed around the Anvil Trophy to all invited PWD group leaders and said: “THIS ANVIL IS FOR ALL OF US.”
SM Committee on Disability Affairs and other group leaders of PWD advocacy groups
ASP congratulates SM Supermalls and the SM Committee on Disability Affairs for winning the Anvil Award of Excellence. ASP National and its 42 Chapters continue to believe in your ongoing commitment in caring for people with autism and their families.