QNET Philippines organised three CSR activities in an effort to increase awareness on environmental protection and conservation amongst staff and the local community – a Sea Turtle Conservation programme at the Pawikan Conservation Centre, a coastal cleanup activity, and a tree planting activity in the Aeta community area in Bataan, Philippines.
QNET Philippines arrived at the Pawikan Conservation Centre, a two hour drive from Manila. They were briefed on what the Conservation Centre does and how to protect and preserve the endangered sea turtles. The staff then made their way to the shore to help release 39 hatchlings that were only three hours old.
Pawikan or sea turtles are endangered species and the local communities are working together to ensure that these creatures are well protected and saved from poachers. The shores of Bataan are the famous nesting spots for these sea turtles hence a clean coastal was also crucial for laying eggs.
“This is the first time that I have experienced releasing a Pawikan hatchling. This activity opened my eyes on the vulnerability of these sea creatures and on the harsh reality that if we don’t protect our environment and preserve these endangered species, the next generation will not have the chance to see a Pawikan,” said QNET Senior Applications Developer Rodolfo Tamayo.
After the visit to the Pawikan Conservation Centre, volunteers carried out two more activities simultaneously; a beach cleanup and a tree planting activity. QNET staff where were divided into groups of 8 and given waste bags for the trash they picked up along the shores of Bataan. Once all the waste bags were filled, they were handed over to the Barangay officials for proper disposal. QNET Business Analyst May Isais felt that the beach cleanup activity was a fruitful and great experience. “It has always been a fun way for QNET Philippines staff to help take care of the environment for the next generations while enjoying the beautiful scenery,” she added.
The Pawikan Conservation Programme and Coastal Cleanup activities are aimed at educating our staff about the importance of preserving our environment for the next generations and to support the local community, especially those who are working day and night just to rescue and protect the Pawikan.
Another set of QNET Philippines staff reached out to the Aeta community who live in an area so remote that it was only accessible by car. The Aeta communities are Filipino indigenous people who live in the mountainous parts of Luzon, including the province of Bataan. They rely mainly on farming or hunting but are also among the poorest of the poor. With the continuous deforestation and industrialisation in Bataan, these indigenous people are greatly affected since the forest is their main source of living.
The visit saw QNET staff interacting with the community, having a taste of the lifestyle of the indigenous community. Volunteers also put together fun games for the children and handed out chocolates and candies. The children, who actively participated in the games were overjoyed and continuously thanked the team. After the games session, volunteers then planted mahogany trees around the area. The community also received donations in forms of groceries, medicines, foods, clothes, toys, and books. In return, QNET staff were treated to some local speciality dishes – boiled peanuts and mashed banana (linupak na saging saba).
QNET Business Analyst Joan Salas said, “We experienced the community’s way of life and realised how integral the forest is to them. It’s just timely that the tree planting activity was part of our programme. We may not be able to replace all the trees that have been illegally cut but we hope that the trees we have planted will contribute to the reforestation project of the local government.”
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