Puerto Galera, one of the country’s top diving spots, can expect to have cleaner seas and a more balanced marine ecosystem with the recent partnership sealed by the municipal government and the Metro Pacific Investments Foundation Inc.
The corporate social responsibility arm of the MVP Group of Companies, the Foundation has committed P1.5 million for three years under its Shore It Up program to provide local Bantay Dagat in the form of technical knowhow, monthly allowances, uniforms, and scuba diving courses and equipment to better protect and conserve the town’s aquatic resources.
To be called Marine Protection, Inspection and Conservation Guardians, the volunteers will also be empowered by the municipal government in their marine enforcement and monitoring activities.
The conglomerate made its initial foray into Puerto Galera in 2010 when it pioneered a comprehensive underwater and coastal cleanup drive, followed up in 2013 by another scuba cleanup and the Junior Environmental Scouts, an education component for public school children.
The recent Shore It Up drew 145 scuba volunteer divers, who collected 616 kilos of garbage from various dive spots, while residents conducted a parallel cleanup in the coastal barangays.
Incepted in 2009, the program has mustered over 85,000 volunteers from the Metro Pacific firms, national government agencies, local government units, law enforcement agencies, civil society groups, dive industry stakeholders, and public elementary schools.
A multi-awarded CSR program both here and abroad, Shore It Up has been held in key coastal areas such as Mabini (Batangas), Alaminos City (Pangasinan), Del Carmen (Surigao del Norte), Medina (Misamis Oriental), Panglao (Bohol), Cordova (Cebu), and Subic Bay.