Aside from promoting local tourism and raising awareness on its sustainable aspects, the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) Philippines, the marketing and promotions arm of the Department of Tourism (DOT), aims to lead by example as it takes part in protecting scenic tourist destinations of the Philippines through Fun Goes Green, its corporate social responsibility (CSR) program. Recently implemented in Laguna and Rizal, the program encourages TPB volunteers and local tourism stakeholders to do their part in preserving the natural beauty of the said destinations
As a budding tourist destination in Southern Luzon, more and more people, locals and foreigners alike, flock to Rizal and Laguna because of their rich heritage and beautiful sites. With this, the CSR is in line with TPB’s message that the environment shouldn’t bear the expense of the joy of travelling.
In partnership with the Haribon Foundation, TPB volunteers went on a two-day immersion with different activities to help protect the natural sites of Laguna and Rizal.
The first destination was Buhay Punlaan Native Tree Nursery in Lumban, Laguna where participants learned about the importance of the propagation stage of forest restoration through activities that included the collection of wildings from mother trees, soil potting and bagging, as well as seedling and seed transplantation. “It is very important to focus on the native trees because these are the species that are most adapted to the Philippine rainforest ecosystem. And that is what we want to promote across the nurseries that we established alongside our community partners,” said Joseph Riel A. Senga, partnerships officer of The Haribon Foundation.
The TPB also headed to the Japanese Garden in Caliraya, Laguna and Mount Batolusongin Barangay San Andres where employees had a trekking and tree planting activity with provincial securities and the Barangay San Andres Samahan Ng Mga Magsasaka.
“We have planted around 1,250 native seedlings here in Barangay San Andres. These seedlings, once they grow to become trees, will provide shelter to the animals living in this area. Also, this will help in giving cleaner air. This project is really important because it shows how nature and humans are interconnected. When we help the environment, it also provides us with what we need,” said Nova Regalario, Conservation Specialist at Haribon Foundation.
TPB’s visit to Laguna and Rizal is the 3rd leg of its CSR program in 2019. Earlier this year, they also implemented CSR activities in Tarlac and Ilocos Norte. Similar activities were also conducted in Iloilo, Bicol, Batanes, Banaue, Laguna, and Surigao del Sur last year.