Official Welcome to Palawan
The Race for Water Odyssey ambassador vessel was officially welcomed today in Puerto Princesa, Palawan, by national and local government institutions, partners and the media.
This unique catamaran arrived in Puerto Princesa on Tuesday 17th September and today hosted the official welcome press conference on board attended by the Race for Water crew; the Swiss Ambassador to the Philippines Mr. Alain Gaschen, and key guests and government officials at both a local and national level.
All speakers at the conference highlighted the importance of collaboration to tackle the complex and growing issue of plastic pollution not only in Palawan but also across the globe. The province of Palawan generates 300 tonnes per day of solid garbage; the projection for 2023 is 416 tonnes a day, taking into account the predicted increase of the population. Even though the Philippines is ranked as the 3rd worst offender of plastic waste pollution in the world, Palawan is steps ahead of the rest of the country, including measures to ban single-use plastic in 3 northern municipalities.
Annabelle Boudinot, Second in command on board the Race for Water vessel : “It was fantastic to share such interesting and positive discussions with all the guests and stakeholders present, and learn that the focus now lies primarily on raising awareness! We all proposed to work together over the coming 3 weeks to facilitate workshops and educational visits for school children.”
Alain Gaschen, the Swiss Ambassador to the Philippines : ” It’s right that the Race for Water team have come to Palawan, as it is the only province in the country to have a unique environmental protection legislation in place, but also because the private sectors are willing to engage and to work together! Things are happening, the awareness is increasing. The reason we are here is to learn, share and act.”
Joshua Balusa, Provincial Administrator, the Province of Palawan : ” On behalf of the people of Palawan, we welcome the Race for Water team to our province, our paradise in this part of the world. It’s great to be in the vessel and I admire your journey; thank you for coming to Palawan.”
Nelson P. Devanadera, Executive Director of the PCSD : “We welcome the Race for Water team so that altogether we can work on the challenges that Palawan faces – on energy and waste management issues in particular. Let’s work with as many people as we can – we can all learn from this vessel and share our findings with the public. Join us in this fight!”
Christopher L. Madrigal, Chief of the Maritime Development and Ocean Affairs Unit : “We are maritime people – our culture, our history and even our language is linked with the sea. It is sad to know that we have lost that consciousness. We’d like to revive that consciousness, by making people more aware that the future is in the water. We all need to work together with the government, stakeholders, and private sectors – that’s the only way we can solve plastic pollution, climate change and all the issues facing us on this planet.”
Pacifico G. Crisologo, on behalf of Atty. Michael Matias : “Many thanks to the Race for Water team for their fight against plastic waste. We all know that plastic pollution in Palawan is a major issue – even though we keep trying to get rid of it, it just keeps coming back!”
Jimmy L Carbonell, Puerto Princesa City Council : “The Race for Water foundation is a very significant mission – especially as we will soon start the implementation of our single-use plastic ban in the whole of Puerto Princesa. We need to act now, because if we don’t act now, then when? So welcome and congratulations to the R4W team – let’s join our hands together for the protection and conservation of our environment!”
Fred Tardieu, Founder of the Sulubaii Foundation : “I am so proud to be here for this event – today we are working against plastic waste together. Thank you so much for being here!”
Thank you to our local partners