First Gen chairman and CEO Federico R. Lopez and ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation Inc. managing director Gina Lopez shake hands after signing the memorandum of agreement to develop eight Bantay Kalikasan ecotourism sitesEight Bantay Kalikasan ecotourism sites are set to be developed as First Gen Corporation sealed a partnership with ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation Inc. (ALKFI).
First Gen donated P5 million to fund the development of ecotourism sites in Balud, Masbate; Pilar, Matnog, Bulusan and Donsol towns in Sorsogon; Oriental Mindoro; Sibuyan Island, Romblon; and Koronadal, South Cotabato.
Specifically, ecotourism development includes establishing bike trails in Jintotolo Island in Masbate; further developing firefly-watching activities in Donsol; putting up eco-trails for forest trekking in Koronadal; and mangrove regeneration and putting up whitewater kayaking facilities in Silonay, Oriental Mindoro.
Livelihood activities, meanwhile, include bokashi balls production; organic farming; pili, honey and taro processing; virgin coconut oil production; ALKFI, First Gen to develop 8 ecotourism sites By Ana Terrese Junio souvenir making; and aquaculture.
This is in line with Bantay Kalikasan’s GRassroots Economic Environmental (Green) Initiative. Synchronized with First Gen’s commitment to support community development projects, the endeavor assures that Green Initiative’s efforts will generate jobs and investments, increase income, and improve economic performance of local government units. An example is Ugong Rock, Bantay Kalikasan’s oldest ecotourism site in Puerto Princesa, Palawan, which earned P23M last year. (Ana Terrese Junio)