CSR activities is a core of all companies.. and a lot of companies actually do a lot of good with their CSR activities… one of the better ones that I like and have been able to participate in is the Advocacy to support the green sea turtles that is spearheaded by the Municipality of Morong and the Provincial Government of Bataan with the 2017 Pawikan Festival.
The Pawikan Festival is an annual event that is celebrated in the Municipality of Morong during the time that the pawikan or green sea turtles nest along the beaches of Morong, Bataan to lay their eggs.
According to the Biodiversity Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Bataan is an important nesting site of Olive Ridley turtles. These ancient creatures have existed since the time of the dinosaurs or for over 220 million years – are now endangered, as their eggs are considered delicacies while their carapace or dorsal shells are sought-after decorations.
The pawikan is unique since the female will return to the same beach where she was born. She will travel thousands of miles around the world and will still find the same beach even after 30 years.
“We share a home in Bataan with the pawikan , and we take it upon ourselves to ensure that they continue to thrive in the province, and in other places where we also have a presence. The pawikans are symbolic of Petron’s efforts to care for the environment as they thrive only in areas where the water and the beach are clean,” Petron Foundation General Manager Charmaine V. Canillas said.
On November 18, Petron organized “Usapang Pawikan”, an environmental forum that gave some 150 residents and visitors of Morong, Bataan a better understanding of the science behind protecting the turtles and their value to not just to the marine ecosystem but to humans as well. Petron engaged resource speakers from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BioFin) Project and a Petron scholar under the U.P. Professional Masters in Tropical Marine Ecosystems Management (PM-TMEM) program to give the lectures, assisted by the Bantay Pawikan chairman. Completing the learning experience was a Night Patrol where the audience had the opportunity to witness the actual nesting of an adult female green sea turtle and the hatching of eggs from the Pawikan Conservation Center, capped by the release of several hatchlings into the sea.
This year, the festival will be celebrated November 25, 2017. This daylong activity will feature various events for visitors and residents alike to take part in, such as a Walk for a Cause, environment exhibit and trade fair, street dancing, sand sculptures, and paddle painting competitions. It hopes to continue attracting thousands of visitors to expand awareness and understanding of the importance of the pawikans .
Petron’s support to the yearly Pawikan Festival is part of the company’s bigger commitment to the sustainable development of the entire province. Since 2000, it has established and taken a leading role in implementing the Bataan Integrated Coastal Management (ICM) program together with the provincial government, the UNDP’s Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA) program, and the various LGUs of Bataan. It has also regularly taken part in coastal cleanup activities, mangrove planting, and upland reforestation all over the province.