Aside from promoting local tourism and raising awareness on its sustainable aspects, the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) Philippines, the marketing and promotions arm of the Department of Tourism (DOT), aims to lead by example as it takes part in protecting local tourist destinations through “Fun Goes Green”, its corporate social responsibility (CSR) program. Recently implemented in Rizal and Laguna, the program encourages TPB employees and local tourism stakeholders to do their part in preserving the natural beauty of the destinations.
As growing tourist destinations in Southern Luzon, more local and foreign tourists flock to Rizal and Laguna because of their rich heritage and beautiful sites.
In partnership with The Haribon Foundation, TPB employees went on a three-day immersion where they conducted different activities to help protect the natural sites of Rizal and Laguna.
The first destination was Buhay Punlaan Native Tree Nursery in Lumban, Laguna where participants learned the importance of the propagation stage of forest restoration through the collection of wildings from mother trees, soil potting and bagging, as well as seedling and seed transplantation. “It is very important to focus on the native species that are most adapted to the Philippine rainforest ecosystem, and that is what we want to promote in all our nurseries,” said Joseph Riel A. Senga, partnerships officer of The Haribon Foundation.
The TPB also headed to the Japanese Garden in Caliraya, Laguna and Mount Batolusong in Barangay San Andres where employees trekked and planted trees with the Barangay San Andres Samahan Ng Mga Magsasaka.
“We have planted around 1,250 native seedlings here in Barangay San Andres. These seedlings, once they grow to become trees, will provide shelter to the animals living in this area. Also, this will help in giving cleaner air. This project is really important because it shows how nature and humans are interconnected. When we help the environment, it also provides us with what we need,” said Nova Regalario, conservation specialist at Haribon Foundation.