The Grassroots Entrepreneurs for EcoTourism (GREET) program was conceptualised by Pres. GMA after her visit in Donsol, Sorsogon and experienced the Whale Shark Interaction Tour last year. Her Excellency was inspired by the entrepreneurial spirit of the community and its environmental stewardships that led to economic growth of the area. Donsol is a sleepy town located at the northwest part of Sorsogon in the Bicol Region. In 1998, Donsol suddenly became a hotspot with the rediscovery of whale sharks in its waters. People in this town have known the whale sharks for generations but paid little attention until marine biologists monitored the behavior of the overwhelming number of these giant creatures locally called ‘Butanding”. The fishing village was suddenly flooded by divers and tourists who wanted a glimpse of the world’s largest fish. In 2001, the community organised the Donsol Whale Shark Interaction Tour and actively involved in providing tourist services such as homestay program, boat operation, whaleshark interaction officer, and others. With the growth in tourist traffic (800 tourists in 1998 to 7,100 tourists in 2005) and receipts from (Php454,875 in 1998 to Php9,000,000 in 2005), Donsol was elevated as 3 rd class municipality in 2006 from 5 th class in 2003. Last year, whale watching in Donsol drew 11,000 tourists with Php 50 Million tourism revenues generated.
The underlying principles in the creation of the GREET program are: Ecotourism, as cited in the National Ecotourism Strategy published in July 2002, is a significant tool in sustainable development of the country as it advocates protection of our natural resources and seeks to put in place mechanisms that are environmentally-sustainable, economically-viable and socially-equitable; Promotion and safeguard ecotourism sites in the Phils.; Enhancement of livelihood opportunities to local young entrepreneurs and its community.
Thus, Pres Arroyo issued a Memorandum to Secretary Durano that Her Excellency would like to launch in Donsol and other ecotourism areas the GREET program using an initial P10 Million. PGMA also issued the following Statement:
In line with the directive and advocacy of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to encourage entrepreneurship and enhance livelihood opportunities in the country’s ecotourism sites, the Department of Tourism (DOT) together with the Philippine Convention & Visitors Corporation (PCVC) is spearheading the Grassroots Entrepreneurs for Ecotourism (GREET) program with the following concept:
Inspired by Her Excellency’s vision, the GREET program will extend Php50,000 to Php100,000 blocks worth of aspiring entrepreneurs with business proposals that aims to improve tourism-related services and products in ecotourism sites in the country. With these grants, we intend to create favorable business environment in the countryside and develop pioneering industries that would spur economic growth on sustained management of eco tourism sites. The awarding of grants will be in September 2007.
the GREET Program intends to achieve the following:
Philippine Eco Tours are competitive in terms of price and quality. Indeed, value for money. Here are two samples of Philippine Eco Tours.
INELIGIBLES - Members of the organizing committee, implementing officers, partner organizations and LGUs, and their relatives up to 3 rd degree of consanguinity.
Applications be assessed and graded through a “Point Rating System”. Winners will be selected on the highest points garnered.
Eligible activities for GREET program. Sample projects and may not be limited to the following
It is imperative that all grantees would be given capacity building, environment stewardship and sustainable development seminars to ensure their ability in business management and their knowledge in doing business in an ecotourism site.
Task force was immediately created by Sec Durano with the DOT to closely implement & monitor the GREET Program. Our Regional Officers play a vital role for the project to succeed.
GREET programs will be prioritized in ecotourism sites on the basis of the following criteria.
The following communication tools will be developed to motivate greater interest among a wide range of stakeholders at the national and local levels, as well as the international community to increase awareness & support.
Production and dissemination of information, education and communication materials will facilitate understanding of ecotourism principles among stakeholders. The banner sites will not only create awareness among ecotourists of the diverse products that the country can offer but develop pride of place among the Filipinos. Promoting the GREET program will involve the following activities:
We encourage you to be a part of the GREET Program so that together we can a big difference in your community. Let us share the beauty of your land to our kababayans and to our world… for the future generations to enjoy.
Rationale• Ecotourism a significant tool for economic and sustainable development of the country • Environmentally – sustainable • Economically – viable • Socially – equitable• Promote and safeguard ecotourism sites in the Philippines• Enhance livelihood opportunities to local young entrepreneurs
Statement from President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo ”Sapagkat tayong mga Pilipino ay pala-ngiti, at mahilig bumati, at magsabi ng Mabuhay saating mga bisita, gumawa na tayo ng Grassroots Entreprenuers for Eco tourism, o GREETprogram. “Marami tayong mga kabataan na gusto maging explorers, guides, trailblazers. Through thisfund, we will realize their dream of coming up with brochures and websites that will generateinterest in undiscovered treasures that dot our beautiful land. God has gifted us with spectacular nature sites that we don’t have to build multistorybuildings to draw in tourists. And there is a big tourism market that sojourns to areas unspoiled bycommercial development. And Donsol na kakabisita ko ay sample lang. Marami pang mga Donsol, mga Boracay at mgaSiargao, mga El Nido, sa Pilipinas. Sa ganitong magagandang lugar, isang payong lamang, isangbangka, isang kubo maganda na. Yan ang ating competitive advantage. Other countries may haveinfrastructure muscle, but good and rich as they are they can’t craft synthetic sunset or artificialmarble sand. Thus, I am asking Eco Tourism warriors to step forward so that together we can realize yourdream and together we can conquer the world”.
Program Description• CONCEPT GREET is a mass-based special pioneering project of Pres Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in her genuine concern to extend livelihood opportunities to young entrepreneurs. Aimed at developing and promoting ecotourism sites in the Philippines, it is under the stewardship of Tourism Secretary Joseph Ace Durano’s “Tourism with a Heart – Turismo Para Sa Pilipino” campaign.
Program Description•NATURE –Blocks of Php 50,000 to Php 100,000 worth of grants depending on extent of proposed viability of project•DURATION December 2006 – December 2007 –Submission of Proposals: February to August 30, 2007 –Evaluation: ongoing –Awarding: December 2007 –FUND SOURCES –DOT TLA
Target GoalsEmployment generationLivelihood creationBalanced ecology & environmental protectionPromotion and marketing of ecotourism sitesas potential tourist destinationsTourism development
Primary ObjectiveTo develop the GREET Program as aneffective socio-economic mechanismresponsive in forging balanced ecotourismenvironment and preserving cultural heritagethereby resulting to favorable improvement incommunity and national economy.
Secondary Objectives• Encourage small & medium entrepreneurships in key eco- tourism sites that explore local ingenuity and creativity using local materials and employ local talents;• Develop pioneering industries that would spur economic growth and sustain the maintenance of eco-tourism sites;• Provide seed/start-up capital to aspiring young entrepreneurs;• Create favorable business environment and positive attitude by educating the community to be responsive entrepreneurs who will safeguard the management of eco-tourism sites;• Promote the development of products that will satisfy visitors’ needs while positioning the Philippines as a globally competitive ecotourism destination.
What is Ecotourism?Ecological Tourism or Ecotourism according tothe World Tourism Organization (WTO) can bedefined as: “all forms of tourism in which thetourists’ main motivation is the observation andappreciation of nature, that contribute to theconservation of, and that generate minimal impactson the natural environment and cultural heritage”.
Ecotourism in the PhilippinesThe Philippines Regarded as one of the top 25 biodiversity hotspots in the world in view of high percentage of endemic plants and animals Has the 2nd largest reef in the world, Apo Reef, next to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef The Philippines is the center of the center of marine fish biodiversity and the home of the most diverse marine ecosystem in the world, a recent study by American biologists Kent Carpenter and Victor Springer revealed. 98% of the country’s reef are threatened; 70% of the mangroves have been lost to fish ponds. As an example of peak diversity and endemism, there is ample justification to prioritize the Philippines for conservation.
The National Ecotourism Steering Committee (NESC)Executive Order No. 11 created the National Ecotourism SteeringCommittee (NESC) and called for the formulation of the NationalEcotourism Strategy and implementation programs and activities of theNational Ecotourism Development Council (NEDC). Implement development strategies based on the following pillars: Sustainable management of natural & cultural resources – Environmental education and conservation awareness – Empowerment of local communities – Development of products that will position the Philippines as globally competitive ecotourism destinationThe NESC is composed of DOT, DENR, DTI, Dept of Finance, DepEd, NEDAand representatives of private sector and NGOs. Current Chairman is DOTSecretart Joseph Durano.
Philippines Ecotourism Tour Packages3D/2N WHALESHARK INTERACTION TOURRate: As low as P4,820 or US$ 96 per personInclusions: Aircon transportation for transfers; Breakfast; 2 Days Whaleshark Interaction Tour; 1 Night Resort accommodation in Donsol (twin-sharing aircon); 1 Night Inn accommodation in Legazpi City on Day 2.( twin-sharing aircon); 3 Days Tour guide Services (DOT Registered)
Philippines Ecotourism Tour PackagesEco-Cultural Tour of Lake SebuOvernight Tour Rate (Group) : P1,800.00 or US$36/ personInclusions:Food, Local Transportation, Accommodation and Tour GuideSights: Lake Sebu, Punta Isla Resort, T’boli Museum, Sta. CruzMission School, School for Indigenous Knowledge andTraditions (SIKAT), Lonon Falls, Lantaw Marbel
Other countries’ Ecotourism Tour Packages Maldives Scuba Tours 9D/ 8N Liveaboard £1850 per person + taxesosta RicaD/7N Mexico Whaleshark Tour3295 per person Full Day: US$220/person.ingle Supplement $500
MECHANICS APPLICATION SUBMISSION Fill out application forms Submit Application Form andavailable from the DOT Business Proposal to DOTRegional Offices, Municipal Regionaloffices or download from Office for Initial Screeningwebsite ( (technicalwww.wowpinoy.net/greet). requirements). Prepare Business Plan for DOT Regional Offices to submitproposed project. applications to GREET Secretariat. GREET Secretariat to turn over applications to Evaluation & Judging Committee for evaluation.
MECHANICS EVALUATION AWARDING Evaluation Team will screen Selected businessall applications for merits proposals will be awardedaccording to criteria. the amount or its equivalent in equipment approved by- Final Evaluation will be done GREET Evaluationby GREET Evaluation Committee.Committee with approval bySecretary Joseph Durano. GREET Grant Awarding (official ceremonies) with Pres. GMA as Guest of Honor.
WHO CAN APPLYINDIVIDUALS – Filipino, aged 18 yrs old & above – Bonafide residents of eco-tourism sites – At least high school graduate – Must be of good moral character – Preferably a member of community organizations based in town or region where eco-tourism site is locatedORGANIZATIONS - Community organizations and businessassociations based and operating where eco-tourism site islocated and duly accredited by local government;- Demonstrated successful of programs for community andhave developed network of key stakeholders and partners; and- Must manifest functionality
HOW TO APPLY• How to Apply Secure application forms available at Municipal Offices, Dept of Tourism Regional Offices or download from the website (www.wowpinoy.net/greet) Option to attend GREET orientation program Submit business proposals to GREET Secretariat (c/o PCVC Travel Trade Sales) via snail mail or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org• Deadline of Submission: Extended until August 30, 2007
Criteria for Evaluation Point Rating System* Originality, uniqueness, creativity 20 pts Viability of implementation & projections 20 pts Economic Impact & job creation 20 pts Promotion of natural & cultural preservation 20 pts Growth potentials 20 pts TOTAL 100 pts*Selection will be based on highest points garnered.
Eligible Activities• Tourism Products – Operation of new services (tour guiding, interaction guding, ground handling, etc.) – Operation of new activities (whitewater rafting, hiking, canopy walk, surfing, diving, watersports, etc.)• Tourism Establishments - Accommodation Facilities (homestay program, camping, etc) - Food & Beverage Facilities - Souvenir shops selling local produced products - Gears & Equipment Shops• Tourism Related Services – Handicraft Training - Rescue and Medical services - Published Materials: Guidebooks, Maps, Websites
Grant Terms & Conditions• Successful Applicants will be required to enter a legal agreement with DOT which will include: – Milestones, deliverables and performance measures – Project Budget – Project Management – Mode and schedule of grant releases – Accountability Framework – Communication Strategies – Contract default and termination clauses with associated remedies – Monitoring and reporting
Grant Terms & Conditions• Project will be required to acknowledge the GREET program. Prominent inclusion of GREET logo on all promotional materials and store/establishment banners;• GREET Program Committee reserves the right: - to reproduce, use, publish and distribute any intellectual property that has arisen out of the project to help promote the program; and - to recover funds based on non-performance of contractual agreement;• Resources and expenditures will be reviewed on regular basis;• Progress Reports by the grantee will be required every 6 months.
Grants Facility• All grant recipients would be given capacity building, environment stewardship and sustainable development seminars to aid in managing their ecotourism business• Releasing of Grants – 50% upon approval – Balance to be remitted on schedule determined by Regional Office
MONITORINGThe DOT Regional Offices will monitor thebusinesses, evaluate the level of implementationand identify the gaps in the implementation. A statusreport will be submitted to the GREET ExecutiveCommittee bi-annually.
GREET TASK FORCE C H A IR M A N S e c . J o s e p h D u ra n o C O - C H A IR M A N U s e c . E d u a rd o J a rq u e , J r. V IC E -C H A IR M E N U s e c . O s c a r P a la b y a b E D D a n ie l C o r p u z S E C R E T A R IA T A D M IN IS T R A T IV E T E C H N IC A LS u s a n d e l M u n d o C e n tr a l In fo & C o o r d in a tio n L E G A L E V A L U A T IO N & J U D G IN G D ir E v e ly n C a jig a l D ir . V ic t o r i a J a s m in D ir . A la n C a n iz a l D i r . E liz a b e t h N e lle P u b lic ity F IN A N C E S C R E E N IN G & M O N IT O R IN G D ir G r a c e Y o ro R e g io n a l D ire c to rs S p e c ia l E v e n ts A w a r d in g S u p p o r t S e r v ic e s
Criteria in Prioritization of Ecotourism Sites • Rich in natural & cultural attractions • Authentic & unique features • Special interest activities & educational experience for the visitors • Accessible • Relatively comfortable facilities e.g. lodging accommodation, places to eat, water supply, etc.
Major Eco-tourism SitesNorth Luzon South Luzon
Effective Communication Approach•Logo and slogan/tagline logo•Flyers/Brochures/Posters/Banners•Road Show Presentation to 4 key Ecotourism sites•Radio / Media launch•Publicity Releases•Website / web links•Email blasts / online forums & groups
Efficient Marketing & Promotion Activities• Public relations and publicity• Media invitational program• Special interest tour operators’ familiarization trips• Special and/or multi-sports events such as surfingcompetition, expedition, white water rafting race,canoeing race, and competitions to reinforce theimage.• Special interest tour packages to be developed bytour operators. Initiate a $1 donation as“conservation fee” per tourist to contribute insustaining the program in bringing back the benefitsto the community.
Roadshow: ScheduleLeyte – Samar April 19 – 20Butuan – Cagayan de April 30 – May 5Oro – Davao – LakeSebu – TuguegaraoBanaue May 21 – 25Iloilo / Bacolod May 28 – 30Bohol – Dumaguete June 4 – 7South Luzon (Tagaytay) June 14
DOT – DBP Tie-upRationale:The DOT tied-up with the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) Microfinance Program to ensure sustainability and continuity of the GREET program and to provide more financing options to aspiring tourism entrepreneursMechanics:• DBP Partner MFIs can provide grant recipients supplementary funds should they require additional capital for their business.• Disapproved grant applications will be endorsed to DBP for possible micro-financing assistance by partner MFIs.
PRELIMINARY GRANT RECIPIENTS (SOUTH LUZON LAUNCH)• Mr. Lamberto Avisado, Jr.: River Cruiser & Canteen (Ugong River) • The River Cruiser and canteen is a floating structure, boat style of a catamaran with walls and roofs made of nipa and bamboo structures. It will cater to tourists to the River Cruise and Fireflies watching tours at the Quipin River and Ogod River.• Donsol Boat Associatio: Butanding Boat Services Improvement • Physical improvement of service boats used for providing better service to Donsol tourists. Will include boat repainting and improvements on boat ladders, seats, and top flooring as well as provision of life rings and life jackets.• Mr. Allan Amanse & Ms. Theresa Bernacer: Butanding T-Shirt and Souvenir Shop • Souvenir Shop will sell T-shirts designed with environmental messages highlighting Whaleshark conservation, souvenir items and fashion accessories with designs or woodcarvings of Whalesharks.
Incentives & Recognition Outstanding Grant Recipients will be given incentives and recognition during the GREET Program Entrepreneurship Awards or the DOT Kalakbay Awards.
Grassroots Entrepreneurs for EcoTourismAlay ng Pangulo… Turismo Para sa Filipino!