Another successful venture to preserve the majestic sea turtle species in Bataan concluded on August 25, 2023, as the Provincial Government of Bataan partnered with the Provincial Government of La Union through the sponsorship of GNPower Dinginin Ltd. Co. (GNPD), to capture La Union PG-ENRO’s best practices in preserving their pawikans, including their ordinances and notable statistics about the species.
The group, consisting of representatives from Bataan’s Provincial Government Environment and Natural Resources Office (PG-ENRO), Provincial Tourism Office, Provincial Veterinary Office, Bataan Peninsula State University, Sitio Fuerte Sagip Pawikan Association, and GNPD’s Community Relations Department, were welcomed by La Union Governor Rafy Ortega-David.
Governor Ortega shared how the province is now keen on putting the environment before tourism. “Naniniwala kami na walang tourism kung hindi maayos ang ating environment dito sa La Union.” Arcel Madrid, GNPD AVP for Community Relations, said “We value our commitment to our environment and allotted 60% of the department’s budget to environment-related projects to foster our corporate social responsibility.”
To further introduce the Bataenos to their pawikan conservation efforts, the team proceeded to meet and discuss with Carlos Tamayo, President of Coastal Underwater Resource Management Actions (CURMA) their methods in rehabilitating injured pawikans, and inspiring volunteerism in the province. CURMA, one of La Union’s flagship associations in preserving marine life, is currently restoring a malnourished sea turtle in their facility. La Union is not only passionate about saving pawikans – it also aims to enrich all kinds of life, as introduced by Toby Tamayo of Beekeeper’s La Union Farm. Amidst the tall bamboo trees and vivid forests of the farm were innovative practices on how bamboo species that may not survive in Philippine weather can thrive in the right hands.
After a very productive visit at CURMA, the team was awed by the sprawling corals of Immuki Island and the mangroves of Bauang Bakawan Eco-tourism Park, which furthers the environmental ties of the province with GNPD. The group had a chance to witness the corals and mangroves in the area, which are also part of GNPD’s prospects back home in Bataan.
The benchmarking program concluded with the message of Bauang Mayor Eulogio Clarence Martin P. de Guzman III, who shared his enthusiasm for the partnership between the LGUs.
GNPD is dedicated to developing long-term, dependable environmental and social development initiatives relevant to nurturing and supporting our community and environment to co-create positive change and empower progress.
Initiating and sponsoring the benchmarking event between Bataan and La Union helps solidify its P.R.O.G.R.E.S.S. roadmap: Protect marine life, Reforest land, Optimize wealth from waste, Generate livelihood skills and income, Rehabilitate social infrastructure, Elevate Educational opportunities, Safeguard quality health access, Strengthen Disaster Resiliency.