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Regional Updates (01/31/21)

Cordova Mangrove Center with bird-watching deck launched

THE town of Cordova in Cebu’s Mactan Island now has a mangrove propagation center that also features a view deck for bird watching. The facility was funded by Metro Pacific Investments Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) and its subsidiary Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway Corporation (CCLEC). “We entrust this Mangrove Propagation and Information Center to the people of Cordova, under Mayor Mary Therese Sitoy-Cho, in the belief that they will use this to advance their environmental and economic agenda,” said MPIC Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan in a statement following the facility’s inauguration last week. CCLEC is the proponent of the P30-billion Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway, an 8.5-kilometer toll bridge that will serve as an additional route between Mactan and Cebu City through the South Road Properties. The small town of Cordova is already a popular tourist destination for its dive site at the Gilutongan Marine Sanctuary, the 10,000 Roses Cafe, and the Lantaw Floating Restaurant. Metro Pacific foundation has previously set up two similar mangrove park/propagation sites, located in Alaminos, Pangasinan and Del Carmen, Siargao.  “Aside from being a point of convergence for mangrove information and research, we intend to sustain it through creating complimentary programs that highlight our rich and thriving ecotourism,” said Ms. Cho. MPIC is one of three Philippine subsidiaries of Hong Kong’s First Pacific Co. Ltd., the others being PLDT, Inc. and Philex Mining Corp. Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., maintains an interest in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group.

Nestlé collaborates with WWF PHL to address plastic waste pollution in Sorsogon

FOOD and beverage manufacturer Nestlé Philippines has partnered with World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-PH) to tackle plastic waste pollution in Donsol town, considered a model eco-tourism destination for its sustainable program on whale sharks. The plastic waste program will extend assistance to the town’s community activities for women and a new barangay waste collection project. In a press release issued over the weekend, Nestlé Philippines said it would provide support to WWF-PH’s Plastic Smart Cities project, a $40-million (P1.92-billion) initiative that brings together cities and tourism spots in Southeast Asia, including the Philippines, in fighting plastic pollution. The multinational firm said that it would specifically support WWF-PH’s Kalipunan ng Liping Pilipina (KALIPI) for livelihood development, and the expansion of waste collection and segregation system. “We are thankful for this support from Nestlé Philippines in helping us expand our solution which aims to lessen plastic wastes by 20% in Donsol, while providing livelihood support to women. With this, we will be able to help create more upcycled products from plastics and reach a wider market,” KALIPI President Wilma D. Arevalo said in a statement. In April 2019, Nestlé Philippines said it is working towards making its packaging materials 100% recyclable by 2025. — Angelica Y. Yang

San Pedro Bay in Western Samar added to red tide list, Masbate cleared

SEVERAL parts of the Visayas remain contaminated with red tide, which makes all types of shellfish and Acetes sp. or alamang unsafe for human consumption. The affected areas list now includes San Pedro Bay in Western Samar, based on the latest shellfish bulletin released by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) on Jan. 29. Other red tide zones in the Visayas are: Dauis and Tagbilaran City in Bohol, Tambobo Bay, Negros Oriental; Daram Island, Zumarraga, and Cambatutay Bay in Western Samar; Calubian, Carigara Bay, and Cancabato Bay in Leyte; Biliran Islands; and Guiuan and Matarinao Bay in Eastern Samar. In Luzon, contaminated areas are Honda and Puerto Princesa Bays and Inner Malampaya Sound in Palawan, and Sorsogon Bay in Sorsogon. In Mindanao, red tide alert is up in Balite Bay in Davao Oriental; Lianga Bay and Hinatuan in Surigao del Sur; and Dumanquillas Bay in Zamboanga del Sur. On the other hand, Milagros in Masbate is now free from red tide contamination. Other marine species in red tide areas can be eaten with proper handling. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave

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