CEB, DOT & DENR partner for grassroots sustainable tourism with Juan Effect

Aug 1, 2018

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Recyclable, eco-friendly utensils for CEB all flights starting Oct 1

 

The Philippines leading domestic carrier has launched Juan Effect, a sustainable tourism program targeted at the grassroots where everyJuan can do his share to sustain the environment for present and future generations.

Teaming up with the Department of Tourism (DOT) with the support of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Cebu Pacific (CEB) hit the nail on the head with its program aimed at engaging travelers and local stakeholders to mitigate the impact of tourism on the environment.

 

“As Cebu Pacific aims to fly 22 million passengers in 2018, we recognize sustainable tourism as a key priority for the airline. The Juan Effect program is a call for all stakeholders to come together, collaborate and cooperate towards concerted efforts, to ensure that the tourism industry progresses sustainably,” said Lance Y. Gokongwei, CEB President and CEO, during the program launch held July 31st at Makati Shangri-La.

DOT Sec Berna Romulo-Puyat and CEB CEO Lance Gokongwei answer questions from media during an impromtu press conference following the Juan Effect launch (RMB)

 

“Tourism is a boon for economic activity at all levels—from the grassroots, to the resort and ancillary businesses, and even airlines. But it comes with a price: visitors can overwhelm a place by their sheer number and by how they care for the environment,” Gokongwei noted. “And we have seen businesses take advantage of the boom for short-term gains. This is where sustainability and responsibility, as envisioned by the Department of Tourism now, becomes critical and necessary. Cebu Pacific will do its share and work with DOT towards this goal.”

 

“The Juan Effect program is at the core of our journey towards sustainable tourism. It is a call for all stakeholders to come together, collaborate and cooperate towards concerted efforts, to ensure that the tourism industry progresses sustainably,” he stressed.

Gokongwei explained the program has been dubbed “Juan Effect,” since it best describes how actions taken by each of us, no matter how small, can create a significant impact in helping protect our islands when done consistently.

 

“It is incumbent upon all of us to act now, while there is still time to manage tourist activities without harming the environment or putting livelihoods at risk,” he added.

Cebu Pacific CEO Lance Gokongwei, DOT Sec. Berna Romulo-Puyat and DENR Usec. Sherwin Rigor show the palms out pledge sign for Juan Effect’s Sustainable Tourism

 

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat concurs.

 

“Preserving and restoring environmental integrity requires our collective effort to fully realize it. The tourism industry will not be able to significantly contribute to the economy if it is not sustainable. Thus, I would like to enjoin your proactive participation in this advocacy,” Romulo-Puyat stressed.

 

“The tourism ecosystem is composed of interdependent stakeholders, thus, we welcome Cebu Pacific, one of the leading carriers in the country, in its launch of the Juan Effect program which promotes a culture of sustainable tourism,” she added.

 

The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) defines sustainable tourism as “Tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social, and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment, and host communities”.

 

The Department of Tourism, through RA 9593 or the Tourism Act of 2009 and the National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP) for 2016-2022, recognizes sustainable tourism development as an integral part of the national socioeconomic development efforts to improve and support the growth of our industry.

 

CEB CEO Lance Gokongwei, DOT Sec Berna Romulo-Puyat ang DENR Usec Sherwin Rigo pledge their support to the Juan Effect campaign for sustaibale tourism (RMB, NPN)

 

DENR Usec Sherwin S. Rigor noted how sustainable development had been repeatedly invoked in the past to justify development in favor of big business with only token concessions to the environment and to equitable and all-inclusive development.

 

“The culture of tokenism must stop. If we continue on that business-as-usual path, the result will be more disruptions like Boracay,” Rigor noted.

 

“The deterioration of our ecotourism resources is certainly alarming. The Boracay crisis, mirrored to various extents by many other ecotourism destinations, tells us that many sectors from households to businesses, contribute to this deterioration. This suggests the solution: partnerships among various stakeholders,” he added.

 

“We also call on airlines to eliminate plastic stirrers and single-use plastic packaging from in-flight services, and to think of more ways that they can contribute to making ecotourism in our country sustainable,” Rigor said.

 

Gokongwei earlier announced Cebu Pacific will replace non-recyclable plastic spoons, forks, stirrers and cups with sustainable alternatives on all its domestic and international flights starting October 1, 2018.

The shift to eco-friendly utensils for in-flight meals and refreshments is part of CEB’s initiatives to be sustainable and reduce in-flight waste. It will also cover flights mounted by subsidiary Cebgo.

 

On the average, the Cebu Pacific group has some 400 flights daily across 37 domestic and 26 international destinations. Those flights use approximately 18,500 pieces of plastic spoons and forks, plastic cups, and plastic stirrers daily.

 

“Part of the Juan Effect program is looking at the way we do things at Cebu Pacific. We want to cut down on our use of non-recyclable plastic to use only what is necessary, and commit to rolling out more initiatives to help protect our planet and ensure we operate sustainably,” added Gokongwei.

 

From the current plastic spoon and fork, CEB will shift to bio-compostable cutlery made from polylactic acid (PLA) made from corn starch, a renewable resource. This material is molded like conventional plastic but break down into harmless biomass or organic matter. Plastic cups would be replaced with biodegradable paper cups; while plastic stirrers for beverages would be replaced by compostable wood stirrers.

 

“We are continually reviewing our operations to see where and how else we can reduce our impact on the environment. We are investing in more fuel-efficient aircraft, and in technology that improves flight operation efficiency, allowing the airline to reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions. Cebu Pacific is committed to rolling out more initiatives to help protect our planet and ensure that we operate sustainably.”

 

Over the past several months, the carrier has invested in technology and other operational measures that help reduce fuel burn and carbon emissions.

 

These include a fuel management system that helps optimize operations; the Runway Overrun Prevention System (ROPS) cockpit technology for its Airbus fleet, which monitors and calculates optimal runway landing conditions; and Area Navigation (RNAV) data for more accurate navigation and approaches to various airports.

 

It also partnered with the WWF – Philippines for ten years to support climate adaptation programs in the Philippines Great Reefs – the Tubbataha and Apo Reefs.

 

On a national level, Juan Effect aims to encourage responsible travel among passengers, and empower everyone to change at least one everyday habit. On a local level, Juan Effect will collaborate with island stakeholders to concerted action for the conservation of the environment.

Siargao will serve as the Juan Effect pilot module, wherein the airline together with the DENR, local government units and tourism associations, will work together to implement sustainable tourism action plans. The local initiatives will be rolled out before the peak tourist and surfing season begins in Siargao in September 2018.

 

“Hence, sustainable and responsible tourism is a key priority for Cebu Pacific. Cebu Pacific has enabled visitors to fly to our beautiful islands. Now, we want to do our share to ensure our natural attractions remain vibrant for future generations,” Gokongwei explained.

 

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