Siargao is world famous for surfing.
George Tapan
Globe pushes biodiversity conservation in Siargao
Rhodina Villanueva (The Philippine Star) - January 4, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Following its recent rehabilitation efforts in Boracay, Globe Telecom launched an awareness campaign on marine biodoversity conservation in Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte, considered the surfing mecca of the Philippines.

The campaign was made possible through Globe myBusiness which caters to the business needs of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). This is in partnership with Save Philippine Seas (SPS), an independent non-government, non-profit organization that aims to protect the country’s rich marine resources.

Several stakeholders including 30 business owners and a representative from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources attended the one-and-a-half-day marine biodiversity workshop to discuss best practices on sustainability and biodiversity.

“This program of Globe about marine biodiversity and sustainable business practices is a big help to the municipality of General Luna. The program serves as a tool to give proper education and awareness to every household and every barangay in order to solve our solid waste management problem. I would like to appeal to the local community and all business establishments here in General Luna that we help each other and work together for the success of our environment conservation efforts, for the prosperity and progress of our own municipality,” said Jose Wilbert Gorgonio, municipal environment and natural resources officer of General Luna.

While the island is very progressive and has become a booming tourist destination, Siargao is not yet too commercialized, thus early intervention is ideal to avoid the pitfalls that Boracay had encountered.  Siargao has several establishments in the capital of General Luna which are working together to create a better, more sustainable development, making it one of the best places to start the awareness campaign.

Harana Surf Resort, for instance, gave a commitment through its general manager Veda Alcos that while the establishment is not yet fully plastic-free, “we are aiming to be one very soon.

”The Philippines is considered one of the 25 biodiversity hotspots in the world but it is also the third largest polluter of plastic into the ocean, according to Earth Day Network, prompting Globe myBusiness to help address the issue.

“We want to help combat this growing concern on marine litter. Through the workshop, we were able to inform and influence business stakeholders that this advocacy on marine conservation and the problem on plastic litter is everyone’s responsibility. They have a big role in this endeavor and together, they can create huge positive social impact,” said Derrick Heng, senior adviser for Globe myBusiness.

During the workshop, Globe myBusiness and SPS shared tips on how to integrate sustainable best practices into day-to-day operations of businesses. These include the use of ecobags, reusable utensils, refillable containers and the reuse of printed tarps and signage. The business owners were also requested not to use sand, seashells, corals and sea stars as decorations as well as avoid balloons and lantern releases.

Globe Telecom has committed to contribute to 10 UN Sustainable Development Goals which include Sustainable Cities and Communities, Responsible Production and Consumption and Life Below Water.

At the same time, Globe myBusiness, being a trusted business partner of MSMEs, gave participants a sneak peek into its “Lakbay session” by providing them with useful information on how they can utilize technology to run their business more efficiently in order to provide the best experience to their customers.

“We have prepared a portfolio of business solutions to give them the competitive advantage to improve efficiency and productivity, reduce cost and further grow their business so that they can focus on what matters most – the customers,” said Mitch Peralta, head, marketing for tourism of Globe myBusiness.  Among the solutions being offered by Globe myBusiness are WiFi connectivity, digital advertising, website creation, auto SMS blast, digitized forms and a personalized loyalty program.

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