By Fatima Cielo B. Cancel Reporter
THE Department of Tourism (DOT) recently signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with ABS-CBN’s Bantay Kalikasan for the launching of Green Initiative, a joint program that aims to protect and nourish the country’s natural biodiversity.
Under the MOA, the signatories would implement strategies that will improve the quality of life of everybody especially ordinary people whose income depends on the gifts of nature.
DOT said it will focus more on creating and investing in tourism infrastructure and complementary facilities that could lead to more tourism opportunities, with the help of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
Besides building construction, DOT will also will take the lead in promoting the tourism infrastructures as prime tourist destinations in the country once they are completed.
“The complex issues of climate change and biodiversity are some of the biggest challenges facing society today. Going green is no longer just a fad, no longer for a small slice of the population. Going green has rather become a necessity and lifestyle in which we all must participate for the welfare of future generations.” Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. said.
“The Philippines is uniquely positioned to lead the way, and the DOT remains supportive of programs such as the Green Initiative. With the protection of the environment as one of the major thrusts of tourism, our role in DOT is to generate positive awareness and create demand for these ecotourism destinations. Through convergence programs with partner agencies and private sector, we are working very hard so that infrastructure is built to ensure seamless travel and that sustainable practices are implemented in these areas.” Jimenez added.
Meanwhile, ABS-CBN Corp. said that they will ensure that people are aware of the project and will continue to expose other tourism projects with the support of Miss Earth Foundation.
“My conviction is that we would not only alleviate poverty but also drive in a new paradigm of thinking, one that benefits the environment and the community,” ABS-CBN Foundation Inc. Managing Director Gina Lopez said.
Other signatories of the MOA are the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (DENR-PAWB) represented by Secretary Ramon Paje, Department of Agriculture (DA) represented by Secretary Proceso Alcala, and the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) and DPWH represented by Secretary Rogelio Singson.
ABS-CBN has been a long-time partner of the Tourism department in “promoting and positioning the Philippines as a world-class ecotourism destination.”
Some of their past joint projects were the ecotourism sites of Sibuyan and Cobrador Islands in Romblon province, Puerto Princesa and Brooke’s point in Palawan province and the La Mesa Ecopark in Quezon City.