Manila, Philippines – BIOFIN Philippines’ private sector partner Team Energy Foundation, Inc. (TEFI) embarked on another corporate social responsibility (CSR) program for a protected area (PA) in the country. Mts. Banahaw-San Cristobal Protected Landscape (MBSCPL) in Quezon province, where one of TEFI’s plant is located, signed a Memorandum of Agreement with TEFI for the construction of its Visitor Information Center.
TEFI is a non-stock, non-profit organization focused on national development by providing electricity, education, livelihood and health services, and by supporting environmental programs and activities in areas where it operates. BIOFIN works together with the Biodiversity Management Bureau in engaging private companies to provide technical assistance to selected protected areas (PAs) to generate private sector funding.
TEFI’s CSR Program for MBSCPL aims to increase the revenue for sustainable financing of PA conservation by improving its viability and attractiveness as an ecotourism destination. The MOA went into effect in December 2017 and construction should have been completed by May 2018.
The existence of endemic wildlife species in MBSCPL such as the recently discovered giant flower Rafflesia banahawensis spp and mountain rat Musseromys gulantang makes MBSCPL an important ecological site in Southern Tagalog, in addition to being one of the few remaining areas with intact forest that serves as watershed within the region.
BIOFIN contributes to closing the financing gap for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity by identifying, accessing, combining and sequencing sources of biodiversity funding to finance the Philippine Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (PBSAP), the country’s roadmap to conserving its biodiversity. The PBSAP implementation will cost PhP 24B annually or PhP 334B (USD 7.4B low estimate) from 2015-2028.
However, public expenditure was estimated at only PhP 4.9B a year (USD 110M), thus a gap of almost PhP 19B (USD 349M) annually. Several finance solutions to address the gap were identified and are being piloted by BIOFIN at present. (BIOFIN/ Angelique F. Ogena)