Metro Pacific Investments Foundation (MPIF), the corporate social responsibility arm of Metro Pacific Investments Corp., strengthened its partnership with the Municipality of Medina, Misamis Oriental through a sustainability assessment of its three year-long Marine Protection, Inspection, and Conservation (MPIC) Guardians program.
Through the implementation of the MPIC Guardians program, 27 local fishermen were deputized and given training, equipment, and monthly allowances to serve as stewards of marine protection in the municipality.
The Foundation allocated a five-year budget of around P6.8 million for this program with capacity building, uniforms, equipment, and salaries included. The program not only saw the increase and improvement in quality of the fish catch of Medina fishermen, but brought about the absence and even voluntary surrender of illegal fishermen.
Led by MPIF president Melody Del Rosario, the Foundation conducted a comprehensive sustainability assessment to better gauge the program’s current situation and its impact to date since it began.
The assessment included a thorough questionnaire on the status of marine pollution, illegal fishing, fish catch, implemented activities and efforts, as well as an appraisal on the MPIC guardians’ fulfillment of their day-to-day responsibilities. A corresponding evaluation on the involvement of barangay officials and other community members was also key in determining the sustainability of the program in Medina.
“The MPIC Guardians Program in Medina kickstarted MPIF’s vision to create a network of partner sites that uphold solid marine protection and conservation practices in key Marine Protected Areas,” said Del Rosario. “This pioneering initiative led to our bigger goal of achieving a number of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations. We must ensure its sustainability, not only for the continuity towards this goal, but also to reinforce the impact of our support for these individuals, their families, and their community.”