16 January 2014

Subic resort launches 'green villages' project for 'Yolanda' victims

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT — A resort-hotel here that advocates environmental sustainability has launched a long-term environment-friendly resettlement program for victims of the Supertyphoon Yolanda tragedy in Eastern Visayas.

Clyde Chua, chairman of The Lighthouse Marina Resort in this free port, said the company has established Project HOPE (Helping Others Progress and Excel), which involves creating eco-friendly resettlement villages to encourage victim-communities to come together and promote green living.

“Through this program, we hope that each family will have the opportunity to rebuild their lives at a more suitable area compared to cramped tent cities like the ones they have set up for Yolanda evacuees in Manila,” Chua said. He said the eco-friendly resettlement houses require very little skill to assemble, and the villages created may even serve as tourism destinations that may provide added livelihood to evacuee-residents.

“This project will not only help the victims of typhoon Yolanda and prepare a disaster management plan, but at the same time encourage people to recognize that the root of this problem is also related to the way humans have exploited the planet,” Chua said.

The businessman said the long-term vision of the project is to develop a disaster-rehabilitation program in Zambales, which is strategically located, that may be used to assist other areas in the country in times of calamities.

Employees of The Lighthouse Marina Resort unveiled Project HOPE through a fund-raising program during the New Year countdown at The Lighthouse beachfront, in cooperation with artists from Casa San Miguel in San Antonio, Zambales.

In the program, renowned violinist Coke Bolipata and the Pundaquit Virtuosi performed an original composition entitled “Deluge” that was dedicated to the victims of Yolanda. The song was written, arranged and composed by Marc Tan, a graduate of the University of the Philippines’s College of Music and also a manager at The Lighthouse Marina. (Henry Empeño, Business Mirror)