Cebu Pacific partners with DOT in Juan Effect tourism program
By N.S. Villaflor
FOLLOWING the six-month closure of Boracay Island, the ill effects of unregulated tourism have become a burning issue among Filipinos.
Local government units with tourist destinations have been urged to take a more proactive response in cleaning up their mess to prevent a fate similar to that of Boracay.
But talk is one thing, and when it comes to a problem of this magnitude, finding solutions is easier said than done. Local stakeholders will be hardpressed to do it on their own.
Some travel and tourism stakeholders, though, are up to the challenge, extending help where it’s most effective and needed.
One of them is Cebu Pacific Air, which is spearheading a sustainable tourism program called Juan Effect that, in partnership with the Department of Tourism, aims to engage travelers and local stakeholders alike.
And Juan Effect’s pilot locale is no other than idyllic Siargao Island, which is under real threat with a looming tourism boom. The airline is now working with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, local government units, and tourism associations to implement sustainable tourism action plans in Siargao in time for the peak tourist season this September.
At the same time, Juan Effect aims to encourage responsible travel among passengers and empower everyone to change at least one everyday habit.
Change of course, starts from within as no less than Lance Gokongwei, president and CEO of Cebu Pacific, announced that beginning October 1 this year, the airline will replace non-recyclable plastic spoons, forks, stirrers and cups with sustainable alternatives on all its domestic and international flights.
“Cebu Pacific aims to fly 22 million passengers in 2018. As we continue to help pump-prime local economies through accessible, affordable and available flights, we are also committed to reducing our impact on the environment,” said Gokongwei during the launch of Juan Effect at Shangri-la Makati last July 31.
“Hence, sustainable and responsible tourism is a key priority for Cebu Pacific,” added Gokongwei. “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.”
Making the pledge with Gokongwei in the Juan Effect launch were Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat and Environment Undersecretary Sherwin Rigor.
Juan Effect is a program that’s bound to take off, and one that every one of us should practice and emulate.
‘Juan small pledge, Juan big effect’
In their Juan Effect campaign, Cebu Pacific is encouraging responsible travel among passengers and empower them to change at least one everyday habit. Candice Iyog, Cebu Pacific vice president, shows how every Juan can make a small pledge to create significant change:
Pledge #1: Bring my own water bottle.
Bringing your own reusable water bottles when traveling can have a huge positive impact on the destination. You can refill at the hotel, restaurants and other establishments.
Pledge #2: Bring my own eco bag.
Like water bottles, plastic shopping bags are a huge part of the waste problem. Bringing your own eco bag not just helps reduce plastic waste, you can reuse it even after your trip.
Pledge #3: Throw my trash properly.
Segregate waste. Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.