The following Chairman’s report was delivered during Malampaya Foundation’s Annual General Meeting on March 13, 2018:
CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD’S 2017 REPORT
By end-2017 this foundation is a dozen years in existence. We have another half-dozen years until SC 38’s end-of-license. Beyond this is still the foundation’s unknown future. Nonetheless, in the 12 years of the foundation’s journey we have learned many lessons, faced challenges, made various improvements and achieved a great number of goals.
Speaking of goals, the year 2017 was a year of many milestones for Malampaya Foundation (MFI). Allow me to enumerate:
Marine Biodiversity Conservation Program
- With 31 active conservation agreements from North Palawan, Oriental Mindoro to Batangas City, we surpassed our conservation area target by nearly ten-folds, reaching some 320,000 hectares end of 2017 from the original target of 35,000 hectares by 2022;
- Our partner conservation community Agsalin in Gloria, Oriental Mindoro won the NATIONAL CHAMPION as BEST-MANAGED Marine Protected Area (MPA) in the country during the 2017 Para El Mar Awards;
- The Oriental Mindoro Marine Protected and Fishery Law Enforcement Network, which we likewise support, won the NATIONAL AWARD as BEST MPA NETWORK in the country during the 2017 Para El Mar Awards;
- The first to be declared in Asia and one of only three in the Philippines, Puerto Galera retained its UNECO Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Reserve status. MFI was chosen as one of the members of MAB Management Council and we provided critical support just as it was on the brink of being delisted in 2017;
- The Provincial Government and the 14 coastal local governments of Oriental Mindoro together with MFI successfully launched the Seasonal Closure (for small pelagics) in the entire province covering over 300,000 hectares of municipal waters. The two-month closure achieved 80% compliance and resulted in the near-shore return of pelagic fishes, greatly benefitting marginal fisherfolks;
- Continuing improved management of MPAs in MFI conservation sites in Oriental Mindoro and Palawan reflected in increasing abundance of indicator reef fishes and coral cover;
- Over 2,000 youth and school children participated in various information/education campaigns in coastal communities of Oriental Mindoro and Palawan;
- Our marine biodiversity conservation programs received two awards: a 2017 Shell Chief Executive Officer’s HSSE-SP Special Merit Awards for Excellence in Environment and Social Performance and an Anvil Silver award from the PRSP.
Social Enterprise Development and Community-based Skills Trainings (LAMBAT, SIKAP, Project GANDA)
- We had more than 800 beneficiaries of community-based skills trainings to catalyze employment, self-employment and enterprise development;
- There are nearly 70 ongoing social enterprise devt/income-diversification projects in Palawan and Oriental Mindoro coastal communities, many of which are now diversifying, re-investing or spinning off new enterprises as multiplier effect of knowledge gained, more empowered citizens and profits realized;
- Profits earned from enterprise projects continue to be used for conservation actions and return service to the less fortunate in their communities;
- We continue to coach and mentor partner people’s organizations to hone their business and organizational skills to increase their chances of success;
Bridging Employment through Skills Training (BEST)
- In 2017, the BEST program produced 1,048 graduates, the highest number we produced in any given year, with employment rates standing at an average range of 85%-90%;
- As at end-2017, the BEST program is ten years with a total of 6,350 scholar graduates. On top of skills training, values formation and personal excellence workshops are run alongside to help mold better mindsets and attitude among our scholars;
- BEST also received another Gold Anvil Award in 2017.
- The Shoreline Communities Onwards to Resiliency (SHORE) program received a second Quill Awards in 2017 as it continues to educate coastal communities disaster preparedness and management with partner agencies and local governments;
- The Young Eco-Savers program received a Gold Anvil award for the curriculum guide produced for schools;
Through the years we have proven that empowerment and partnerships are more effective than dole-outs. We have also proven that working directly at the grassroots level is more fruitful than a distant-relationship approach. I am very happy that in 2005, the JV made a decision for this foundation to be an operating foundation rather than a mere grant-provider. Maraming salamat po.