CLARK FREEPORT – Cebu Pacific is going green as it partnered with the Department of Tourism (DoT) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to launch “Juan Effect,” a sustainable tourism program aimed at engaging travelers and local stakeholders to mitigate the impact of tourist arrivals on the environment.
“We all have a part to play in helping protect our environment,” said Cebu Pacific spokesperson, Charo Logarta-Logamon, at the media forum “Talk Widus” organized by the Pampanga Press Club at the Widus Hotel and Casino here on Wednesday.
Logamon said Cebu Pacific is enjoining tourists and travelers to bring their own water bottles or water canteens whenever they travel and bring it every time.
Everyone should also start bringing their own eco-bags instead of using plastic bags,” she added. “These are the programs or projects that Juan Effect is pushing for,” Logamon said.
“Juan Effect is an advocacy for sustainable tourism,” she said.
“We want tourism to grow in Clark or anywhere else in the country,” she stressed.
Logamon said they will start implementing the program in the island paradise of Siargao which is fast becoming a surfing mecca for local and international tourists.
But why Siargao?
“You cannot deny that tourism at the grassroots level has generated jobs and has provided livelihood for so many people,” she said.
“It has generated economic activity. But there are many islands where garbage is a problem and they are not able to recycle plastic bottles and those plastic bottles and plastic straws end up in landfills,” she pointed out.
“We have been flying to Siargao for eight to nine years already when others did not,” she reasoned.
“Before, only surfers know the place but now everybody knows Siargao. So, we felt that we owe it to Siargao to start there,” Logamon explained.
Siargao is now a top destination for tourism.
“We are going to go to Siargao to have a dialogue with the people and to really implement this at the barangay level where there are nine municipalities,” she said.
“It’s a big island; it will be a challenge for us to engage the local stakeholders and get all of this program up and running. But we are up to the challenge and we are committing resources to this,” she announced.
Walk the talk Logamon said the program will also be implemented internally with Cebu Pacific.
“It’s not just externally, we walk the talk. Internally at Cebu Pacific, we are doing all these in everything that we do – our operations, even our company, and even with the way we do things every day at Cebu Pacific,” she said.
“Starting October 1, we are no longer using plastic spoons, plastic forks, plastic stirrers, plastic cups and styro cups or anything that is not biodegradable, we will no longer use on all of our flights,” Logamon said.
“We have on the average 400 flights a day. If we have 80 to 100 passengers per flight, how many will that be and how many people order coffee or something to eat? How many thousands of spoons, forks, cups, stirrers is that every day? she asked. Logamon said Cebu Pacific will start using cornstarch-based products that are bio-compostable and bio-degradable. She said the cups will be replaced with paper-based products and also the plastic stirrer will be replaced with bamboo stirrers which are totally renewable,” she said.
“It seems such a small thing, but it’s a start and we are continually auditing everything that we use in the flights,” she assured.
And starting on Wednesday, the inflight menu has also been changed, Logamon said, as she encouraged travelers to preorder food which is also one way of limiting the food in flight since if it is not sold it is wasted because it gets thrown away.
“It’s a big change in mindset but every little thing that we do counts to eliminate food wastes,” she said.