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August 16, 2016

Globe-Pusod, Inc. partnership boosts Taal Volcano's ecotourism

Taal’s ecotourism has received a big boost from the partnership between Globe Telecom and the nonprofit environmental organization Pusod Taal Lake Conservation Center (TLCC). 

The collaboration of Globe and Pusod Inc. is working together to empower communities around the lake through environment education and sustainable enterprises.

Pusod is an environmental non-profit organization which works with small fisher folk communities in Batangas and Cavite to conserve ecosystems and empower them through environment education and sustainable enterprises.

A member of Taal Volcano Protected Landscape Protected Area Management Board, in 2012, Pusod tapped Globe for the use of ICT to enhance implementation of the Taal Volcano Protected Landscape (TVPL) Management Plan designed to ensure the economic and environmental sustainability of the Taal Lake ecosystem which covers 13 municipalities and 3 cities in Batangas and Cavite.

One of the key programs implemented by Globe and Pusod to address the area’s environmental issues is the promotion of ecotourism which gives a low-impact alternative to commercial tourism. This not only helps protect the environment but also provides livelihood to communities around the lake.

As the result of the partnership,  the Pusod Taal Lake Conservation Center (TLCC) has increased earnings by 1400% from P40,000 upon its establishment in 2011 to P600,000 in 2015. It now provides sustainable livelihood opportunities to the local communities surrounding the Taal Volcano Protected Landscape (TVPL). The earnings came from various sustainable tourism initiatives such as Knowledge Tours, Kayak rentals, and sales from honey, coffee, and vinegar.

Globe creates positive societal impact by fostering connectivity for families, businesses, and the nation, providing jobs across our value chain and by developing partnerships that support sustainable livelihood and conservation as part of our sustainability strategies,” said Fernando Esguerra, Director, Globe Citizenship.

“Lakes take a long time to respond to conservation measures. Those that are still connected deeply with the livelihood that the lake provides are less and less reliant on it. It prompted us to take action because a lot of people really depend on the lake for livelihood. The goals of all protected areas should be sustainable development, preserving the characteristics and the life forms in an ecosystem,” said Atty. Ipat Luna, Executive Trustee and Founding Member of Pusod, Inc.

“The only way we can really save the lake is if they take pride in it: I live in a protected area source of pride,” said Atty. Luna.

A photo exhibit entitled “Pusod: Ang Pagkakaisa ng Pamayanan at Kalikasan”, will give you a glimpse of the Taal community through endearing snapshots of the scenic views of Taal Volcano and Lake, as well as its natural beauty. 

Photos of the TAAL Ecosystem  displayed at the Globe Art Gallery from August 3 to 31. Photos were taken by Globe Employee Volunteers (DRMHWS). Proceeds of the exhibit will support Pusod’s conservation work in TVPL.

Together with Globe, our work entails us to work with communities and tell them more about the ecosystem where they are and to eventually help them to protect it and create enterprises around them,” said Ann Hazel Javier, Executive Director, Pusod, Inc.

We started with the eco-tourism program. We have built capacities for the people in the volcano island, the tour guides and the boat guides, our local caterer and the community volunteers. Their main motivation is really to help conserve and protect the ecosystem,” said Javier. 

“As an organization, we hope to connect humans to nature and vice versa. Aside from the conservation work, we work a lot with communities and we see the need of the communities to have economic activities so that they can participate in the conservation activities as well,” she added.

Here are Globe-Pusod Inc. Partnership Highlights

Since 2012, Globe:
- Established a monitoring system involving 5,000 fisherfolks of the Kilusan ng Maliliit na Mangingisda ng Lawa ng Taal through the TxtConnect facility for the E-Governance Program. TxtConnect, a web-based platform that enables them to broadcast messages critical to the implementation of the TVPL Management Plan. 
- Paved the way for mobile financial services to reach almost fisher folk communities across the 13 municipalities and 3 cities in Batangas and Cavite under the TVPL by distributing 5,000 SIM cards with discounted call and SMS rates. 
- Improved productivity of 276 households in Barangay Calawit, Balete, Batangas with the provision of solar lams through the Stiftung Solarenergie collaboration 
- Helped provide employment for 131 community-based tour guides, boat operators, horse guides and hospitality practitioners for the Sustainable Tourism Program 
- Sparked citizens’ and employees’ participation through the Boat Building Activities and Knowledge Tours
Pusod, Inc. established Taal Lake Conservation Center (TLCC) in Sitio Lipute, Barangay Kinalaglagan, Mataasnakahoy, Batangas which is the central knowledge hub of the TVPL.

It operates the Taal Ecotourism Program which highlights the Taal Knowledge Tour. includes Briefing on the lake region; eruption history of the volcano;  Boat Ride from TLCC to Calauit, Balete on Volcano Island and back; Horse Ride or Trek to the crater view deck with local tour guides; Snacks and lunch of Batangas fusion cuisine and local refreshments; Conservation contribution; Boat Sailing; Kayak and Stand Up Paddle Board.

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