MANILA, PHILIPPINES — The Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) Philippines, the marketing and promotions arm of the Department of Tourism (DOT), held its corporate social responsibility activity last August 23-24 as the agency continues to strengthen its commitment to sustainable tourism.
The CSR program was done in partnership with Haribon Foundation, which provided proper awareness training, educational sessions, and hands-on environmental activities for the participants in the La Mesa Nature Reserve and the Southern Sierra Madre Mountains. Content creator Cha Ocampo also joined TPB’s CSR program, as one of the leading advocates for environmental awareness in the Philippines.
The program kicked off in the La Mesa Nature Reserve where participants went through a guided tour of the Petron Trail. This immersive activity served as an opportunity for them to learn more about the Philippine native trees and understand the species’ importance in sustaining biodiversity.
TPB also participated in a community native nursery activity in Tanay, Rizal to study how seedlings are correctly prepared for planting. Facilitators and community partners guided the TPB participants to increase their knowledge of forest restoration.
Environmental advocate and content creator Cha Ocampo shared that the more people know about nature, the more they are able to understand how to conserve it. “As we were educated during the CSR program, we learned that native trees help recover and, at the same time, expand forest habitats for native species of plants and animals. They also protect watershed and freshwater resources to support the livelihood of local people. All of these new learnings are crucial information for forest conservation,” she said.
Apart from investing in environmental education, TPB also joined the Forest for Life Movement’s Adopt-A-Seedling Program on August 24. Through this program, TPB was able to plant 1,250 native seedlings in the Southern Sierra Madre Mountain Range located in Brgy. San Andres, Tanay, Rizal. The program also included community training and nursery establishment, livelihood incentives, site preparation, and maintenance and monitoring of the seedlings for three years.
These CSR activities are crucial to preserving the longest mountain range in the Philippines: the Sierra Madre. The Sierra Madre Mountain Range is not only a green tourism destination but also a water source and a barrier against strong storms for multiple cities. Thus, learning about native trees and planting native seedlings in the Sierra Madre Mountain Range can help preserve its beauty for future generations and also protect the lives of various Filipinos.
“These CSR programs are aligned with the Tourism Promotions Board’s goal of making the Philippines a sustainable and uniquely diverse travel destination. It is important for our employees to immerse themselves into these conservation activities. TPB recognizes that the Sierra Madre Mountain Range plays a vital role in the local tourism industry and the everyday lives of Filipinos. Thus, we wanted to protect the country’s longest mountain range by educating ourselves on conservation practices and planting native trees on the Sierra Madre,” said TPB’s Chief Operating Officer Margarita Montemayor Nograles.
The native tree trek, community native nursery activity, and exclusive tree planting project are some of the CSR programs that TPB has engaged in since 2015. In fact, TPB already conducted 26 activities from Luzon to Mindanao for this year’s CSR program. TPB will continue to take part in environmental and community-based initiatives, in commitment to its goal of supporting green and sustainable tourism.