The Jaime V. Ongpin Foundation, Inc. was established on 17 December 1980 as a corporate social arm of Benguet Corporation. Originally called the BenguetCorp Foundation, its creation was inspired by the late Jaime V. Ongpin, the company’s first Filipino president, who envisioned the development of self -reliant communities in the areas where it operated.
A pioneer in the mining industry in the Philippines, Benguet Corporation operated the largest gold mines until the 1980s and the largest chromite mine in the country. Mr. Ongpin joined Benguet Corporation in 1962 and became President in 1974. He is credited for introducing corporate social responsibility as a major concern of top management down to the ranks. This was later institutionalized when he formed the Foundation in 1980.
The Foundation was initially tasked to attend to the needs of dependents of company employees which were not directly related to the Company’s business but nonetheless equally important to maintaining a productive workforce. The Foundation’s mandate later extended to the neighboring communities to enable them to transform into self-reliant communities that continue to thrive when the company’s mines cease to operate.
Mr. Ongpin eventually joined the cabinet of President Corazon Aquino in 1986 as the Minister of Finance. He later returned to private life and a few months after his death in 1987, BenguetCorp Foundation was renamed in his honor.
The Foundation became financially independent from the Company in 1997 and works in partnership with local and foreign donors, business, government agencies, other NGOs and people’s organizations. JVOFI is a non-stock, non-profit organization duly registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission. It is a certified donee institution until 2017 by the Philippine Council for NGO Certification and the Bureau of Internal Revenue.