Spectacular waves, beautiful spots, and sunset views have made Siargao one of the favorite spots for many professional and amateur surfers, as well as local and foreign tourists in the Philippines.
With the island’s booming tourism, the local government units have been taking measures to mitigate any harmful impact to the environment in the long run.
In the municipality of General Luna where the renowned Cloud 9 is located, one of the environmental initiatives was a cleanup drive where almost a thousand volunteers consisting of employees from the public and private sector, students, and tourists participated in picking up trash from the coastal areas.
Smart Communications, Inc (Smart) supported this initiative by sending employee volunteers, just like Community Development Officer Josh Dael.
Dael is no stranger to volunteer work. “I started with volunteer work in high school. I took the lead in the environmental organization we had back then. When I got into college, I became one of the facilitators of the Ridge to Reef Young Leaders Camp, a program for young environmentalists on mountain, reef and river protection.”
That’s why participating in this cleanup drive was an opportunity he could not miss. “I have been an advocate of environmental preservation, encouraging friends to engage more in environment-friendly activities. As a Smart employee, I am glad that even at work, I am able to practice my personal advocacy,” said Dael.
Employees from Smart’s sales team and provincial distributor also helped in the coastal cleanup activity.
“We thank Smart for working with us. I hope you will help us to continue our environmental protection campaigns,” said General Luna Mayor Cecilia Rusillon.
“Most of the people’s livelihood here in Siargao are dependent on tourism. That is why the government of General Luna is eager to sustain it through partnerships with organizations that will also strengthen our environmental campaigns,” said Councilor Van Harold Dolera.
As part of its environmental conservation advocacy, Smart also donated material recovery facilities to be deployed in different barangays and tourist sites in General Luna. These will help the local government maintain cleanliness and encourage proper waste disposal.
Jeremy Naylor, tourist and founder of the Seventh Sea Conservation who co-organized the event, said, “The clean-up drive sets an example for the community. The local government unit has made efforts and they have come a long way in communicating to other people on what needs to be done in terms of proper segregation and making this island cleaner.”
PLDT-Smart’s Sustainability pillars are aimed at future-proofing PLDT’s business through environmental stewardship, continuous innovation, responsible and efficient operations, awesome customer experience and quality of service, corporate social responsibility and community relations, good labor practice and people management, good governance and ethical business practices.
All these seven pillars reinforce and contribute to the triple bottomline espoused by sustainability: profit or progress, people, and planet.
PLDT-Smart’s sustainability efforts have been ongoing since 2015, long before the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) mandated all Philippine-listed companies to publish its Sustainability Reports for year-end 2019 in 2020.
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