The push for a more energy efficient tourism industry in the province of Palawan continues. The Zero Carbon Resorts (ZCR) project now concluded the second phase through the Replace Phase Conference held May 14, 2012.
Recognizing the boom in Palawan’s tourism industry, ZCR aims to promote a sustainable, ecologically sound basis for future development. The REPLACE phase of the project constitutes its second tier and focuses on replacing inefficient fossil-based technologies with more energy-efficient alternatives.
In the conference, experts presented a wide range of topics on energy efficiency. Dr. Robert Wimmer of GrAT (Center for Appropriate Technologies or Gruppe Angepasste Technologie), Project Lead of ZCR, gave updates about the project and discussed appropriate technology solutions.
Dr. Guillermo Zaragoza, from the Plataforma Solar de Almeria, discussed the potentials of renewable energy, while giving emphasis on solar energy. Finally Engr. Eric Raymundo, Senior Local Technician of GrAT, presented several measures and technologies that would help in the reduction of energy consumption, thus, leading to abated energy bills and less carbon emissions.
Raymundo particularly stressed the long-term savings companies can achieve by investing in energy-efficient technology. Meanwhile, Engr. Melchor Jaramilla addressed the popular belief that sustainable options always come at a higher price by giving examples of low-cost innovations such as a solar water heater made of locally available materials. Engr. Bernardo Ocampo then introduced the audience to the “Light from Waste” technology.
Ms. Anita Salayon presented the Green Financing Program of the Development Bank of the Philippines and showed how it provides financing and technical assistance to industries and local government units (LGUs) in order to support investments in environmentally-friendly processes and systems.
Several members of the FG told their success stories and introduced already achieved victories. Ms. Evelyn Tan Banzon, the owner of The Tropical Sun Inn, for example, proudly presented the changes she and her team conducted. In both the REDUCE and the REPLACE phase of the project’s implementation significant reductions in the consumption of electricity have been realized. The money savings will now be used for further improvements, such as the implementation of a rainwater collection system or a system to make use of natural day lighting in order to avoid the use of electric lights during daytime.
The conference also showcased eco-friendly, open-market products., and featured giving awards were given to the best performing Frontier Group members.
1. Mr. Ruben “Butch” F. Tan Jr., Chairman/CEO, Daluyon Beach and Mountain Resort
2. Mr. Ruben F. Tan Jr., Chairman/CEO, Puerto Pension
3. Engr. Rudolf Weih, Owner, KokosNuss Resort
4. Atty. Edgar T. Bocar, TIEZA, Balicasag Island Dive Resort
5. Ms. Evelyn Tan Banzon, Owner, Tropical Sun Inn
6. Mr. Andy Pownall, CEO, Sangat Island Dive Resort
7. Mr. Edgar Romero, Owner, Abad Santos Court
Furthermore, the best performing local promoters were recognized. They are: Engr.. Marlon Prieto of Tourism Infrastructure & Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) and Ms. Teresita Batul, District Manager of Northern District of PCSDS.
The project conference was conducted in collaboration with the City of Puerto Princesa and sponsored by Hotel and SPA Essentials Inc., SG Eco Industries Inc. and Emeral Vinyl Corp.
Launched in 2010 through the support of the European Union, the ZCR Project aimed to enable tourism Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the Philippines to implement energy-saving measures and switching to renewable energy. Its project implementers include
Asia Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation (ASSIST), GrAT (Gruppe Angepasste Technologie), Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD), Plataforma Solar de Almeria Centro de Investigaciones Energéticas, Medioambientales y Tecnológicas (PSA CIEMAT) and Philippine Green Building Council (PhilGBC).
ASSIST is represented by Projects and Grants Management Associate Juvy Jem Perez.