Boracay Code Blue Project
The REEFBUD Project in Boracay Philippines named “CODE BLUE – Boracay” involves the deployment of 5000 artificial reef structures in marine dead areas of world-famous Boracay Island in the Philippines.
Globe Telecom adopts Boracay, the country’s premiere tourist destination, as its first Community of Practice (CoP) in the Visayas to help the island achieve social, environmental, and economic development.
Having a strong presence in Boracay especially with the recent establishment of its cable landing station, Globe deemed it necessary to protect the area’s marine life, support conservation efforts by local stakeholders and participate in raising environmental awareness among the youth and local residents.
“Consistent with its sustainable business practices, Globe is committed to collaborate with government, NGOs and private businesses in helping transform the degraded marine life in Boracay via innovative solutions and financial grants for conservation projects. We hope that through CoP, Globe can make a significant contribution in addressing the environmental issues affecting this tourist gem,” said Rob I. Nazal, head of Globe CSR.
CoP is a program designed to synergize the different initiatives of Globe Bridging Communities, the CSR arm of Globe, via active partnerships with community-based non-government organizations, barangay leaders, youth, and the beneficiaries themselves. For this undertaking, Globe has allotted P1 million for various support activities that will be implemented in Boracay and has also tapped Huawei, its end-to-end network solutions provider, as a resource partner.
BridgeCom has five pillars which will be mobilized to serve Boracay, namely: iLead (good governance), iAccess (social services delivery), iProsper (entrepreneurship), iConserve (environment and sustainability), and iGive (active citizenship through volunteerism).
Initially centered on iLead and iConserve pillars, Globe has entered into a one year partnership with Sangkalikasan Cooperative to support the sustainability of the marine protected area initiative called The Code Blue Project. Code Blue is a medical term generally used to indicate a patient requiring resuscitation or otherwise in need of immediate medical attention similar to what is happening to the coral reefs of Boracay.
Through Code Blue marine habitat enhancement component, 5,000 artificial reef buds have been planted within the 20-hectare marine protected area by grafting or attaching fragments of semi- live corals to the buds to assist in propagation and maintain high survival rate of the corals. Globe comes in by donating marine epoxy as well as water buoys and markers to cordon off the area and clearly set demarcation lines for navigation, swimming and recreational activities. Early next year, Globe employees who are also divers will be mobilized for off-shore clean-up and training so they can be part of the quarterly preventive maintenance of the area.
For law enforcement, Globe already has an existing Sagot Ka ni Kap (SKK) program in Brgy. Manok-Manok which it extends to include the whole of Boracay. SKK equips local barangay officials with the necessary tools to upgrade the capacity of the village police (Tanods) and the Boracay Action Group for necessary coast-line patrolling. Globe provides a multi-cab vehicle and boat to beef up coast and sea patrol activities.
Likewise, Globe will help Sangkalikasan monitor its Reef Patrol volunteers and other partners through information and communication technology tools such as the Globe TxtConnect facility which allows text messages to be blasted off simultaneously to members of an organization for easier coordination and reporting as well as receiving real-time feedback.
Environmental education is another drive which Globe will provide to three public elementary schools in Boracay — Manok-Manok E.S., Balabag E.S., and Yapak E.S. using the Text2Teach (T2T) program implemented through Ayala Foundation Inc. (AFI). T2T utilizes educational videos to make it easier for young students to learn Math, Science, and English. This time, more environmental conservation materials will be shown to the students to make them aware of the environmental situation in Boracay and encourage them to be proactive in protecting the area and saving it from further destruction. The effort will also be extended to the other nine public elementary schools in the whole municipality of Malay where Boracay is located.
Youth clubs and private schools will also be tapped for the six-month youth education program to be handled by Sangkalikasan partner University of San Carlos Cebu, also aimed at opening the eyes of the youth to the ecological destruction at the popular tourist spot and their responsibility as young active citizens to protect the island’s future.
“It is no longer new for Globe to adopt critical environmental areas. We already have the Cordillera conservation program in Northern Luzon and the Taal Lake protection program in Southern Luzon. Just recently we gave our support to the Forest Corridor program in Arakan Valley, South Cotabato to save the habitat of the Philippine Eagle. This time, we have chosen Boracay for our environmental initiative in the Visayas,” Nazal said.