Kickstarts alternative livelihood in Alaminos amid pandemic woes
Metro Pacific Investments Foundation (MPIF) took its Puhunang Pangkabuhayan program to its coastal community partner in Alaminos, Pangasinan, donating bicycles, pocket Wi-Fis, Smart retailer kits, and sewing and edging machines for the establishment of alternative livelihood programs amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Alaminos marks the fourth leg of Puhunang Pangkabuhayan, already contributing to alternative livelihoods in Batangas, Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro, and Del Carmen, Siargao.
Forward Towards Alternative Livelihood
MPIF, through its flagship environmental program, Shore It Up! (SIU), has constantly developed green livelihood programs that generate viable employment opportunities for locals. With SIU partner sites heavily dependent on ecotourism and tourist foot traffic as their main source of income, the heightened restrictions and strict lockdowns coerced them to find other means to provide for their families.
With its Puhunang Pangkabuhayan program, MPIF brought the fourth leg of its alternative livelihood initiative to its partner community in Alaminos, Pangasinan.
“For years, we have significantly relied on the natural beauty of our city – beauty that has enticed thousands of tourists to come see for themselves – as an integral source of livelihood for our community members,” said Alaminos Mayor Arth Bryan Celeste. “With the shaken stability of this sector, we are truly grateful for programs such as MPIF’s Puhunang Pangkabuhayan, which empowers our locals to get back on their feet and take responsibility for their self-sufficiency.”
In a turnover event last October 12, MPIF President Melody del Rosario presented 10 bikes, 10 Smart pocket Wi-Fi units, 10 Smart retailer kits, three sewing machines and two edging machines to beneficiaries in the municipality, alongside Mayor Celeste and Alagang Kapatid Foundation Inc. Executive Director Menchie Silvestre. Beneficiaries were primarily displaced tourism workers such as tour guides, hotel staff, and small store operators, as well as marginalized families and persons with disabilities (PWDs).
Creating a Circular and Sustainable Economy
Beyond Puhunang Pangkabuhayan, Alaminos is one of 11 SIU partner sites across the country, housing the Mangrove Propagation and Information Center for Luzon – MPIF’s legacy project for all Filipinos. The LGU of Alaminos will utilize some bicycles for their Mangrove boardwalk, intended to boost ecotourism and supplement foot traffic in the Center.
“With almost a decade of commitment to the Municipality of Alaminos, MPIF remains a reliable ally, especially amid these challenging times,” said del Rosario. “Our goal for this leg of Puhunang Pangkabuhayan is two-fold, like our previous objective with the Municipality of Del Carmen: to strengthen our long-standing partnership and create a more holistic impact that benefits the community, their environment, and their economy.”
Together with the infrastructure are the Mangrove Eco-guides, who serve as ambassadors of the Center. The Eco-guides program is part of MPIF’s thrust towards green livelihoods – incentivizing people to take care of the environment to serve as their security against the constant worry of providing food on their tables.
The commitment to strengthening green jobs, creating alternative livelihood opportunities, and reinforcing environmental sustainability through Shore It Up! is aligned with MPIC’s efforts to contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), particularly SDG 1 No Poverty, 8 Decent Work and Economic Growth, 9 Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure, 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities, 13 Climate Action, 14 Life Below Water, 15 Life on Land, and 17 Partnerships for the Goals. It is also in support of the United Nations’ Decade of Ecosystem Restoration which aims to prevent, halt and reverse the degradation of ecosystems on every continent and in every ocean.
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