Metro Pacific Investments Foundation (MPIF), the corporate social responsibility arm of Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC), the Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway Corporation (CCLEC), and the local government of Cordova held the grand opening of the Mangrove Propagation and Information Center in Brgy. Day-as, Cordova, Cebu.
Led by Cordova Mayor Mary Therese “Teche” Sitoy Cho, MPIF President Melody M. Del Rosario, and CCLEC President and General Manager Allan G. Alfon, the first mangrove center of its kind in the Visayas region and the third in the whole country now opens its doors to further flourish Cordova’s booming ecotourism.
The two-storey facility shall serve as the center for the protection and propagation of mangrove trees in the coastal areas, including the rehabilitation of degraded mangroves in the whole Municipality of Cordova, as well as provide information to let locals and visitors appreciate the importance and benefits of mangroves in the ecosystem. The second floor likewise serves as a viewing deck for bird-watching activities.
“The Mangrove Propagation and Information Center is a legacy project of MPIF and CCLEC to the people of Cordova,” says Ms. del Rosario. “Similar to our existing centers in Alaminos, Pangasinan and Del Carmen, Siargao, it will create employment opportunities that positively impacts the economic condition of their municipality.”
Through this Center, MPIF is continuously living up to its responsibilities in sustainability, by addressing a number of Sustainable Development Goals such as 14 Life Below Water, 15 Life on Land, 8 Decent Work and Economic Growth, 13 Climate Action, and 17 Forming Partnerships to Attain the Goals.
“The completion of this mangrove center is a testament to the intent of CCLEC, MPIF, and the local government of Cordova to prioritize the environmental sustainability of our surrounding projects,” says Mr. Alfon. “We are set to be a reliable partner in progress, while continuously placing value on their natural resources.”
A subsidiary of Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation, CCLEC is the builder of the 8.5-kilometer Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway, or CCLEX, a toll bridge that will link Cordova in Mactan Island to mainland Cebu through the South Road Properties in Cebu City. CCLEC will maintain and operate the P30-billion facility under a joint venture agreement with the Local Government Units of Cordova and Cebu City.
Mangrove Eco-guides of Cordova
The inauguration of the mangrove center also commemorates the induction of the Mangrove Eco-guides. Four individuals nominated by the local government will serve as official mangrove eco-guides, handling the daily operations and maintenance of the mangrove center, while providing the necessary orientation and tour for visitors in the mangrove center and mangrove park, among others.
The Eco-Guides underwent a week-long training session, which converged the Cordova eco-guide trainees with the Alaminos and Del Carmen eco-guides. The program comprised of learning sessions, where the existing eco-guides and their local government partners shared experiences and best practices with the future guides.
“We entrust this Mangrove Propagation and Information Center to the people of Cordova, under Mayor Teche Sitoy-Cho, in the belief that they will use this to advance their environmental and economic agenda,” says MPIC Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan.
“The Municipality of Cordova is thankful to MPIF, CCLEC, and Mr. Manuel V. Pangilinan, for the work they put in to successfully establish this facility in our area,” says Mayor Sitoy-Cho. “Aside from being a point of convergence for mangrove information and research, we intend to sustain it through creating complimentary programs that highlight our rich and thriving ecotourism.”
The Mangrove Center signifies the common mission of all three parties to conserve and protect the country’s coastal and marine biodiversity through the protection and propagation of the mangrove ecology.