Manila – Nayong Pilipino Foundation (NPF), an attached agency of the Department of Tourism (DOT) organized a Tree Planting Activity ahead of the World Environmental Day while waiting to get funds to develop its 9.5-hectare property in the Entertainment City, Paranaque on Friday, September 9, 2022.
The said park was envisioned to serve as a “heritage space” with pocket gardens, open spaces, a library, and a museum that houses its “rare artifacts” and collections highlighting the country’s cultural heritage.
NPF has been severely affected by the pandemic causing grave effects on its financial status and operations. The two-billion fund allocated by the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) which was supposed to jumpstart the building of the Nayong Pilipino Cultural and Creative Hub in Paranaque City was put on hold to address the COVID-19 emergency pursuant to Republic Act No. 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act. The said project was supposed to generate income not only for the NPF but for the national government, as well.
In the meantime, the foundation is looking to establish a tree-lined park on a portion of the 9.5-hectare land by organizing tree planting activities in partnership with other government agencies, private sectors, and civil society groups. In partnership with the Rotary Club Canlubang, some 170 samplings were planted. “Our partnership with the Rotary Club is an example of how collaboration can raise awareness about today’s most pressing environmental concerns. Only by working together, we can protect people and provide communities with healthier environments for generations to come,” said NPF Executive Director Gertie Duran-Batocabe.
“Moreover, with the pandemic pushing us to be more appreciative of open spaces, there could be no more perfect time than now to build urban parks not just to promote sustainable development for our community, but also to attract tourists and enhance the tourism experience which is included in the 7-point agenda of DOT Secretary Cristina Frasco,” she added.
Aside from establishing parks and recreation centers for tourism, the NPF is also mandated to promote, encourage, and initiate research and development projects and activities in social science and humanities. The foundation had been organizing roundtable discussions under its “Umpukan sa Nayon” program, some of the most recent ones focused on linguistic diversity as the essence of Filipino culture and raising awareness of the Philippines’ complex history with the LGBTQIA+ community. Its advocacy for a greener environment and nature conservation is also continuous through its “Project Sambayanihan”.