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DepEd, Save the Children, and Prudence Foundation cite success of School Safety Project

PH delegation mainstreams durian in CIIE 2023

E. Samar farmers finish farm business school

PSA turns over 2022 CBMS data to the LGU of Pintuyan, Southern Leyte

Farmer group in Samar town gets nearly half a million assistance from DAR

Newly-inaugurated road project to boost peace and development in Northern Samar

DPWH-Biliran DEO holds mid-year contractors’ meeting

High-powered firearm seized in Gandara, Samar clash




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Save the Children commemorates a decade of Yolanda and the impact of its lifesaving work for and with children

Save the Children in the Yolanda devastated area

Press Release
November 9, 2023

QUEZON CITY – “I can remember Save the Children very well because they were the first one to respond in Tacloban City,” recalls Lemuel Egot, a survivor of Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).

Lemuel was one of the more than 1.5 million Filipino children affected by Yolanda in 2013. “I can still remember the bright red pail full of hygiene materials. It was so helpful then because money can’t buy anything during that time. We didn’t have food either.”

In the aftermath of Yolanda, Save the Children immediately mounted a massive humanitarian response targeting the needs of child survivors and their families, especially those affected in the most geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas in Tacloban and Ormoc in Leyte, Panay Islands, and Estancia and Roxas in Iloilo.

“Save the Children believes every child deserves a future. Our Yolanda response aimed to provide affected children and their families immediate support and help them restore their lives throughout the years,” said Save the Children Philippines CEO, Atty. Alberto Muyot.

Over 550,000 people, including around 266,000 children, were reached by Save the Children’s Yolanda Response.

Save the Children provided 73 child-friendly spaces and over 50 temporary learning spaces which supported learning continuity and provided safe spaces for thousands of children to play and recover from their experiences.

More than 42,000 consultations were conducted at the mobile health clinics that were set up by Save the Children and more than 45,000 shelter kits have been distributed to families who lost their homes.

Recognizing the right of children to be protected every day and in times of crisis, Save the Children Philippines led the advocacy for the passage of Republic Act 10821 or the “Children’s Emergency Relief and Protect Act” signed into law in 2016, as well as its implementing rules and regulation.

“This landmark law is truly significant in the fulfilment of children's rights to proper healthcare, access to education, and protection from violence at all times, most especially before, during, and after emergencies.”

“As Filipino children continue to face the threats of calamities, disasters, and impacts of the climate crisis, we continue to urge the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to prioritize the development and roll-out of the Comprehensive Emergency Program for Children (CEPC) and its localization across all 1,700 LGUs, as mandated by RA 10821,” said Muyot.

“A decade after Yolanda, Save the Children not only helped hundreds of thousands of children and people recover but it also made sure that a child protection law is in place and the programs it implemented are meaningful and sustainable. I am grateful to see that many child survivors like me have become productive citizens and are living better lives because Save the Children created lasting positive change in our lives,” concludes Lemuel.





IP groups to UNSR Ian Fry

‘Support our call to stop the attacks against Indigenous Women Environmental HR Defenders!’

UNSR Ian Fry with HR Defenders

Press Release
November 9, 2023

QUEZON CITY – Indigenous Peoples (IP) organizations Bai Indigenous Women’s Network and Katribu Kalipunan ng Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas, along with Protect Sierra Madre (PSM), Mamamayang Nagmamahal sa Pakil (MANAPAK), and Kalikasan Southern Tagalog, met with UN Special Rapporteur on Climate Change Ian Fry on November 9, 2023, to share on the impacts of Kaliwa and Ahunan dams, and the Pacific Coast Cities project, to the IP communities in the Southern Tagalog region of the Philippines. Kakay Tolentino, national coordinator of Bai, focused on the attacks indigenous women face as environmental human rights defenders (EHRD).

“Indigenous women are leading the way in stopping destructive programs encroaching our ancestral lands, such as large dams and mines. However, it is becoming difficult for us to play our role in the fight against the climate crisis due to the worsening attacks on indigenous women, our communities and organizations,” said Tolentino.

“We are being criminalized. Presently, there are 63 indigenous political prisoners which include 13 women,” added Tolentino. In 2020, six (6) Tumandok women were red-tagged and arrested due to their opposition to the Jalaur and Pan-ay mega dams.

Moreover, the Anti-Terrorism Council through the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 arbitrarily designates indigenous women as terrorists. These include Igorot women leaders Sarah Alikes and Jennifer Awingan, and Dr. Natividad Castro, a doctor of the Manobo in Caraga Region in Mindanao.

“These attacks on indigenous women leaders and our supporters is a clear attempt of the State to incapacitate our leaders and organizations who protect Mother Earth from further plunder of big businesses for profit,” expressed Tolentino.

Tolentino also raised concern on the Philippine government’s non-fulfillment of its obligations and inaction on the CEDAW General Recommendation No. 39, on the Rights of Indigenous Women and Girls. “State measures should include the creation of specialized government mechanisms to protect IWEHRD with their genuine and meaningful participation,” said Tolentino.

Meanwhile, Beverly Longid, national convenor of Katribu, called for the enactment of Human Rights Defenders and Environmental Defense Bills that would provide policy recognition to Indigenous Peoples as environment and human rights defenders. We hope that this recognition will protect IP as EHRD, especially from escalating attacks as they assert their rights to land and development.

Bai and Katribu implored Mr. Ian Fry to look into the human rights violations inflicted on IWEHRD. They called upon the Marcos Jr. administration to implement the CEDAW GR No. 39, ensure indigenous women inclusivity in development and environmental policy-making space, revoke the arbitrary terrorist designation of Sarah Alikes, Jennifer Awingan and Dr. Naty Castro, and look into the cases of indigenous women political prisoners.





PH’s BOI grants green lane endorsement for P10.85-B wind project in Laguna

Laguna wind project
The BOI officials awarded a Green Lane Certification of Endorsement to the LWEC representatives for its wind project in Laguna.

By DTI-Board of Investments
November 6, 2023

MAKATI CITY – Committed to making more green investments happen in the Philippines, the Board of Investments (BOI), through its One-Stop Action Center for Strategic Investments (OSACSI), awarded a Green Lane Certificate of Endorsement to the Kalayaan 2 Wind Power Project of Laguna Wind Energy Corp. (LWEC) located in Paete and Kalayaan, Laguna.

OSACSI Governor-in-Charge Marjorie O. Ramos-Samaniego awarded the Certificate of Endorsement, under Executive Order (EO) No. 18: Constituting Green Lanes for Strategic Investments, to LWEC representatives at the BOI’s Main Office in Makati City on Oct. 23, 2023.

The project, with an investment cost of P10.85 billion, is set to start its commercial operations by 2026 and is expected to generate at least 30 direct and 500 indirect employment for Filipinos.

In addition, the said wind power project aims to harness renewable wind resources to power industries and promote sustainable and greener economic growth.

Notably, The Blue Circle (TBC), through its subsidiary Laguna Wind Energy Corp. (LWEC), is currently developing the Kalayaan 2 wind power project to spearhead its efforts in increasing its presence in the Philippines, with an overall portfolio of more than 2.5 GW worth of renewable energy projects in development in the entire country.

The Kalayaan 2 project’s footprint will cover 70 hectares of land with an installed 100.8 MW of clean energy capacity utilizing the latest state-of-the-art wind turbine generator technology.

Aligned with the Department of Energy’s target of 35% share of renewable energy in the power generation mix by 2030, the Kalayaan 2 project will contribute to accelerating the Philippines’ goal to reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions while promoting economic growth in the project’s region and protecting the health and environment of its stakeholders.

Approved by the Office of the President on February 24 this year, EO 18 aims to expedite, streamline and automate processes on the application of permits and licenses of strategic investments. As the single entry of strategic investments, OSACSI will be facilitating the processing of permits and licenses of the endorsed project to ensure the fast realization of energy investments in the country.





WAO: Earth Run PH a success

Earth Run 2023

Press Release
October 29, 2023

IMUS CITY – We Are One (WAO)-Philippines is thrilled to announce that the “Earth Run 2023: Peace Heritage” which was held on 29 October 2023 at the City of Imus Grandstand and Track Oval (CIGTO) was an outstanding success!

Ms. Beverly Lanot, WAO-Philippines President, expressed her gratitude to the participants, sponsors and partners especially to Cavite Congressman (3rd District) Adrian Jay Advincula, Imus Mayor Alex Advincula and board member Shernan Jaro for allowing the group to use the Imus Oval Grandstand as the venue for this year's Earth Run.

She said: “The Earth Run 2023 is more than just a local event; it is part of a global movement that unites us all. Our mission is to complete the entire circumference of the Earth, a distance of 40,120 kilometers. It is a difficult task, but it also represents our unity and the power that comes from working together.

“In a world filled with differences, we are here to show that when we put our minds to it, there is no goal too big, no distance too great, and no challenge too difficult to overcome. We may come from different backgrounds, but today we stand shoulder to shoulder in pursuit of a common goal. We are proving that we are indeed one on Earth.

“On behalf of the "We Are One" Youth Volunteers, I'd like to express our deepest gratitude to each and every one of you for being here and taking part in this extraordinary event. Your presence and support are invaluable in advancing our mission. You are not just runners; you are ambassadors of unity, hope, and change.”

Five hundred ninety-two individuals joined the run who were able to cover a total distance of 1,095 kilometers. The number of participants is over the 500 goal set by the youth group.

Orlando Gomez, Jr., a 17-year old athletic scholar at Colegio de San Juan de Letran-Manila, who emerged champion in the 5k category said that the Earth Run was fun and enjoyable and most of all, it helps make one fit and healthy. "For those who are thinking of joining future fun runs, just enjoy it and if you want to win, listen to your coach."

The other champions are John Kenneth Noche for the 3K category and Jobert Nopal for the 1K category.

This year’s event was sponsored by MPT South Management Corporation, Nature’s Spring Water, Rotary Club of QC Big Bike Riders. Its media partners are The Manila Times and Diyaryo Milenyo Digital News.

Proceeds of the event will fund various initiatives led by WAO such as blood donation, tree planting, clean up drive, donation for victims of disaster, adopt-a-school program, recycling efforts and climate change awareness promotion. It will also benefit the chosen beneficiary of the Imus City government.

WAO is a global organization of 90,000 youth which is an initiative of Shincheonji (New Heaven New Earth) Church of Jesus The Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony.

WAO Youth Volunteers Worldwide also achieved a Guinness World Record as the most people to sign up as blood donors online in 24 hours consists of 71,121 participants.





Save the Children, EU’s Project SCOPE transformed lives of 19,000 Persons with Disabilities

Project SCOPE heads
EU Head of Cooperation Mr. Christoph Wagner with Save the Children Philippines CEO Atty. Alberto Muyot and ANSA-EAP Executive Director Mr. Emil Gozali during the closing ceremony of Project SCOPE at B Hotel, Quezon City, Philippines.

Press Release
October 25, 2023

QUEZON CITY – After three years of implementation Project SCOPE’s efforts to enhance the lives of more than 19,000 persons with disabilities in Parañaque, Taguig, and Pateros have paid off.

Project SCOPE empowered children with disabilities, their parents, caregivers, organizations of persons with disabilities (OPDs), and other civil society organizations (CSOs) to engage effectively with local governments by expressing their rights and monitoring the use of public resources for their benefit. This participation, in turn, helped improve policies, programmes and services for children with disabilities.

The P33.4 million project was funded jointly by the European Union (EU) and Save the Children and was co-implemented by the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability -East Asia and the Pacific (ANSA-EAP)

During the closing ceremony, the EU and Save the Children Philippines underscored the critical role of organizations of persons with disabilities, groups of children with disabilities, and parents to advocate for their rights and their inclusion in the local governments’ policies and programs.

“While Project SCOPE is ending this month, the work has just begun for the local government units (LGUs), OPDs and CSOs whose capacities were strengthened to work together to develop and implement laws/policies, programs and services to fulfill the rights of persons with disabilities, especially children, and to allow them to participate in the design of those policies” said Christoph Wagner, Head of Cooperation of the Delegation of the European Union to the Philippines.

“We hope to share our lessons in empowering children with disabilities to more partners so that more local governments will recognize the capacities of children with disabilities living in an enabling community,” said Atty. Alberto Muyot, CEO of Save the Children Philippines.

People with disabilities, in particular children, in Parañaque, Pateros, and Taguig are now represented in planning and policy-making bodies such as the Local Council for the Protection of Children (LCPC), Municipal Development Council (MDC), and Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (MDRRMC). As one of the project’s activities, Project SCOPE has also developed a database of people with disabilities to help the LGUs ensure policies and programmes are inclusive and leave no one behind.

Save the Children Philippines also helped organise children with disabilities groups, namely, Parañaque Dream Chasers (PDC), Pateros Fighting Scholars (PFS), and Sipag at Pangarap, Accessible at Equal Education (SPACEE). As a result of the project’s activities children with disabilities have also been able to challenge social perceptions that influenced their self-awareness and limited their personal development. According to Aimylyn, 16, a youth advocate and member of partner organization Parañaque Dream Chasers “Through Project SCOPE, I learned to become more confident. Now, I am not shy to speak-up among my peers. I am also able to share my opinions and listen to others in activities like consultations of government.”

As a result of Project SCOPE's involvement, anti-bullying and anti-discrimination measures against persons with disabilities were filed in Taguig. Also, the Children's Code in the three LGUs was revised to include provisions for the welfare and participation of children with disabilities. Project SCOPE also supported the OPDs in their advocacy efforts in support of Republic Act 11650, or the Act Establishing a Policy of Inclusion and Services for Learners with Disabilities in Support of Inclusive Education, which was signed into law on March 11, 2022.

During Project SCOPE's culminating activity, the six OPDs, three children with disabilities groups, and three parent groups exchanged best practices in advocacy and local governance.





Samar I continues road construction to augment road network

Gandara - Matuguinao - Las Navas road project

October 24, 2023

CALBAYOG CITY – The construction of Gandara - Matuguinao - Las Navas road commenced from Barangays Deit to Libertad drawn from the Sustainable Infrastructure Projects Alleviating Gaps (SIPAG) program, said Samar First District Engineering Office.

The construction of gravel road will span 2.08 lane kilometers and a width of 9.1 meters. Grouted riprap will also be incorporated in its scope of work with a total length of 220 meters and a height that varies from one (1) meter to three (3) meters.

This road project will connect the Northern and Western portion of Samar. It will start from Daang Maharlika (SM) (San Isidro – San Juanico Br.) in the Municipality of Gandara, Western Samar to Municipality of Matuguinao, Western Samar and connects to Las Navas, Northern Samar. This will increase road network capacity in the Island of Samar and eventually converge the three Samar areas.

The project has a contract amount of P48.51 million. This is targeted to be completed in 2031.





PSA turns over 2022 CBMS data to 7 LGUs of Biliran Province

PSA turns over 2022 CBMS data to 7 LGUs of Biliran

By PSA-8
October 23, 2023

NAVAL, Biliran – The Philippine Statistics Authority -Regional Statistical Services Office VIII (PSA - RSSO 8) and Provincial Statistical Office (PSO) - Biliran, turned over the 2022 Community-Based Monitoring System (2022 CBMS) results to the seven (7) out of eight (8) municipalities of Biliran, namely: Almeria, Biliran, Cabucgayan, Caibiran, Culaba, Kawayan, and Maripipi. The Data Turnover Ceremony (DTC) marked a significant milestone of the province and its municipalities.

PSA RSSO 8 Regional Director Wilma A. Perante commended the seven (7) municipalities for their full support and cooperation in the 2022 CBMS implementation in their respective municipalities. She mentioned that of the 6 provinces in the region, Biliran is the first province to cover all its municipalities. With CBMS as a tool in diagnosing the extent of poverty, the LGUs will be able to positively target the program beneficiaries in their locality. CBMS enhances local development planning and monitoring of progress. It will also help them attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the municipality.

Director Perante mentioned that the use of Computer-Aided Personal Interview (CAPI) for household enumeration and Computer Assisted Web-based Interview (CAWI) for barangay profiling facilitated the entire CBMS operation. Director Perante thanked the Local Chief Executives (LCEs) for leading the 2022 CBMS implementation, as well as the enumerators, processors, supervisors and barangay officials who all contributed to its success.

National Statistician and Civil Registrar General Claire Dennis S. Mapa, in his recorded message, said that the CBMS Data Turn-Over Ceremony marks a remarkable achievement in its quest for a local level data. He thanked all LGUs for their full support and dedication in uplifting the lives of their constituents through CBMS. He further emphasized that with CBMS, LGUs can now make informed decisions. He encouraged the local officials to turn data into meaningful actions and make CBMS an integral part of their governance framework.

Provincial Director Jesus P. Naquila of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) narrated his experience with CBMS as a tool in planning, identification and prioritization of programs at the local level given the meager resources of the government. He said that CBMS can also be used as a tool in outsourcing funds that will promote betterment of lives of their people.

PSA RSSO 8 Chief Statistical Specialist (CSS) Mae R. Almonte presented the 2022 CBMS highlights of the Municipalities of Almeria, Biliran, Cabucgayan, Caibiran, Culaba, Kawayan, and Maripipi on the following: basic services such as access to electricity, internet, main sources of water, households’ perception on safety when walking alone in the community, household food insecurity experience in the past 12 months socio-demographic characteristics, education, labor force and employment, senior citizen’s living alone, and person’s with disability.

Symbolically the local officials of the LGUs of Biliran accepted the CBMS data and expressed their gratitude to PSA for the CBMS data turned over to them, to wit:

Mayor Myra A. Cabrales of Biliran represented by William P. Uy, Mayor Richard D. Jaguros of Almeria, Mayor Gemma G. Adobo of Cabucgayan represented by Rosalie R. Agang, Vice-Mayor Linda Baleyos of Caibiran, Mayor Humphrey B. Olimba of Culaba, Mayor Manolo D. Rubi of Kawayan, and Mayor Joseph C. Caingcoy of Maripipi.

The LCEs expressed their commitment to use the 2022 CBMS results for the betterment of the lives of their constituents. The MPDCs of the 7 LGUs discussed the different uses of CBMS data in their respective municipalities. As managers of their CBMS data, they promised to comply with the requirements of the Data Privacy Act.

In closing, CSS Renavil V. Cueva of PSO Biliran thanked everyone for their support and cited that the collective effort of the government to have a localized data paved the way to the success of CBMS. With the CBMS data now turned over to LGUs, she hoped that the results will be cascaded to the department heads of respective municipalities to ensure that data will be utilized.

CBMS is an organized technology-based system of collecting, processing and validating necessary disaggregated data that may be used for local planning, program implementation, and impact monitoring while empowering communities to participate the process. It involves the generation of data at the local level, which serves as basis in targeting households for government programs geared towards poverty alleviation and economic development.





Calbayog farmer group receives greenhouse, farm tools from DAR

Panoypoy Farmers Association
The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) provides the Panoypoy Farmers Association (PFA) in Calbayog City a greenhouse facility and farm equipment worth P402,500.

October 21, 2023

CALBAYOG CITY, Samar – Though Barangay Panoypoy is among the remotest villages in this city, farmers here never felt they were forsaken by the government.

Barangay Panoypoy is 18 kilometers away from the city proper.

Almost all government agencies extended assistance to us, said Pedro Abajo, president of the Panoypoy Farmers Association (PFA), when the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) turned over to them a greenhouse facility and various farm implements.

This is a big opportunity given to us by DAR, Abajo said. We were given lands to till, and now we receive farm tools, he added.

Abajo encouraged his members to grab this opportunity, “Let us plant vegetables, because after three months, we can already harvest and generate income.”

Samar Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer II (PARPO II) Alfonso Catorce disclosed during the said occasion that among the priorities of Agrarian Reform Secretary Conrado Estrella III is the provision of modern farm equipment, fertilizers, and other farm implements and inputs to agrarian reform beneficiaries organizations (ARBOs) to help agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) make their awarded lands productive.

Catorce encouraged the members of the PFA to invite other ARBs to join any farmer organization assisted by the DAR so they could also avail of the different programs of the government.

Thelma Alfaro, chief of the Program Beneficiaries Development Division of the DAR Samar Provincial Office, explained that the DAR provided PFA a greenhouse so the latter would be able to produce high valued crops, such as lettuce, broccoli, and carrots, and supply whatever is required of them by institutional buyers.

Recently, DAR linked PFA to Calbayog City District Jail as a ready market for their products under Partnership Against Hunger and Poverty (PAHP) being implemented by DAR under its Enterprise Development and Economic Support (EDES) program.

According to Alfaro, with DAR’s intervention, PFA and Calbayog City District Jail entered into a marketing agreement in July this year. Under the agreement, Calbayog City District Jail will purchase farm products from PFA for the daily food requirements of persons deprived of liberty (PDLs).

Aside from the greenhouse, DAR also provided PFA various farm tools and farm inputs, which included shovels, garden rakes, pick mattocks, suction hose, watering cans, farming boots, bolos, plastic mulches and seeds. All these amounted to P402,500.00, said Alfaro.

Meanwhile, City Agriculturist, Engr. Techie Pagunsan, who was present during the said occasion, expressed gratitude to DAR officials “for being a partner in developing the agriculture sector.”

On this same occasion, Pagunsan also turned over several farm tools and fertilizers to PFA. Her office will be providing the necessary training to the said farmer group.

Municipal Agrarian Reform Program Officer (MARPO) Jose Arropo shared that PFA is composed of 113 members, 69 of them are ARBs.

PFA greenhouse facility provided by DAR





8ID deploys troops to secure Negros Oriental’s BSKE 2023

8ID troops deployment

October 18, 2023

CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan City, Samar – The 8th Infantry “Stormtroopers” Division, Philippine Army rendered a send-off ceremony for the Company size troops who will be augmented to the troops of JTF-Spear in province of Negros Oriental for the conduct of Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Election (BSKE) 2023 held at the Tactical Operations Group (TOG) 8, Airforce Headquarters in Tacloban City on October 17, 2023.

The 8th Infantry Division, Assistant Division Commander, Brig. Gen. Perfecto P. Peñaredondo led the send-off ceremony of troops, which is a composite team from the 14th Infantry Battalion, 46th Infantry Battalion, 52nd Infantry Battalion, and 78th Infantry Battalion who will be placed under the operational control of 302nd Infantry Brigade of the 3rd Infantry “Spearhead” Division.

In his message, Brig. Gen. Peñaredondo emphasized the vital role of the troops who will serve as an additional force in securing a free, orderly, honest, peaceful, and credible BSKE in Negros Oriental.

“Malaki ang inyong magiging kontribusyon sa pagpapangalaga ng demokrasya at pagsisiguro na ang boses ng mga mamamayan ay mapakikinggan,” Brig. Gen. Peñaredondo expressed.

He also urged the soldiers not to loosen their guard and stay vigilant.

He also reminded the troops to maintain discipline, professionalism, and respect for human rights as they perform their sworn duty, and as a deputized agency of the Commission on Election (COMELEC) in securing fair and honest elections.

It can be recalled that on March 04, 2023, Negros Oriental Governor, Roel Degamo was assassinated in broad daylight in his residence together with nine others.





DPWH continues construction of Sta. Margarita Diversion road

Sta. Margarita Diversion road

October 18, 2023

CALBAYOG CITY – Samar First DEO now continues the construction of Sta. Margarita Diversion road under the General Appropriations Act (GAA) for FY 2023.

The scope of work will include the construction of concrete road which will span 0.96 lane kilometers and a width of 30 meters (four lanes with center island). Aside from that, a slope protection will also be incorporated on both sides and solar LED lights will be installed.

This will provide a safe and faster route for people, goods and services as it connects different barangays. This will also serve as an alternate route to let through traffic flow without interference from local traffic and reduce congestion in the built-up area which is expected if one goes through the municipality. The road will connect from Barangay Burabod along the Maharlika Highway and will end at the Calbayog Diversion road.

Said road is part of a multi-year project which started in 2022 and targeted to be passable by 2025.





CARD MRI plants 750 mangrove trees in Oriental Mindoro

CARD MRI tree planting

October 18, 2023

SAN PABLO CITY – CARD Mutually Reinforcing Institutions (CARD MRI) planted 750 mangrove trees in Brgy. Baruyan, Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro on October 7, 2023 as an initiative to reduce the carbon footprint and counteract oil spill in the area.

As part of the restoration effort, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) recommended planting the said kind of tree as the area suffered from oil spill recently.

The said activity also signifies CARD MRI’s commitment to the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals globally. As shared by CARD MRI Managing Director Aristeo A. Dequito, “While we undertake various initiatives to promote the well-being and prosperity of both people and the planet, the tree planting activity plays an important role in advancing the 17 SDGs.” He also added that the banking institutions of CARD MRI has been one with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas in promoting sustainable financing through compliance to BSP Circular No. 1805 Series of 2020.

About 150 staff from institutions under CARD MRI participated in the tree-planting activity, namely, CARD, Inc. (A Microfinance NGO), CARD Bank, and CARD MBA.

“It was challenging yet enjoyable. Aside from saving the earth, we also had an opportunity to bond with each other, enabling us to strengthen our connection,” CARD Bank Regional Director Venancia Salazar said during an interview.

Meanwhile, CARD-Business Development Service Foundation Inc. (CARD-BDSFI), a member institution of CARD MRI that focuses on agricultural and fisheries development, signed a memorandum of agreement with DENR for these environmentally sustainable activities. This agreement outlines DENR's quarterly visits to the mangroves and mandates the institutions provide replacements for any dead plants.

“We cannot fully eradicate poverty without caring for our common home, our planet Earth. With the climate crisis continuously intensifying, this activity is a good approach to help boost ecosystem resilience and combat climate change,” CARD MRI Founder and Chairman Emeritus Dr. Jaime Aristotle Alip concluded.

With a holistic approach to development, CARD MRI aspires to continuously achieve sustainability through its institutions specializing not only in financial services, but also in health, education, and other community development programs.



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