Mariveles, Bataan – Another successful venture to preserve the majestic sea turtle species in Bataan concluded on August 25, 2023, as the Local Government Unit of Bataan partnered with the Local 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 into the province of La Union by Governor Rafy Ortega-David.
The courtesy call turned out to be one of the wins of the benchmarking program, as Governor Ortega emphasized the fruitful partnership between the Bataan LGU and La Union LGU, which helped make the visit possible. Moreover, she 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,” Ortega stated, to which Arcel Madrid, AVP for Community Relations, agreed to, and 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) about 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. Their remarkable efforts were also initiated by volunteers, much like the Sitio Fuerte Sagip Pawikan Association, which is why the group truly made the most of the visit by sharing practices from all organizations to get inspiration on which one they could implement.
Moreover, 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.
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.