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PEMSEA Contribution to Coastal Tourism Recognized

Manila, Philippines — The Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA) received a special recognition from the Sustainable Coastal Tourism in Asia (SCOTIA), a United States-Agency for International Development (USAID) Program, for its continuous support in promoting coastal tourism through its Public-Private Partnership initiatives for the development of adequate infrastructure for sanitation in Puerto Galera. Prof. Raphael P.M. Lotilla, PEMSEA Executive Director, received the certificate from SCOTIA Team Leader, Ms. Grace Favila; US-AID Representative Mr. John Lindborg; and Secretary Joseph Durano of the Department of Tourism, during the Sustainable Coastal Tourism Conference held on 28 May in Manila.According to Prof. Lotilla, the recognition given to PEMSEA by SCOTIA was truly special, as it "speaks volumes of the esteem that our collaborators and partners have for PEMSEA's work."Prof. Lotilla thanked SCOTIA "for recognizing the good that we do as we assure them of our continuing commitment to build upon the legacy of our partnership."PEMSEA and SCOTIA teamed up in 2006 as a response to the urgent call of the local government of Puerto Galera in Oriental Mindoro, Philippines, to address the municipality's problems of sanitation and marine pollution that have began to hurt their tourism industry. PEMSEA has continued to provide technical assistance while SCOTIA takes charge of education and information dissemination, as well as community relations to help the local government implement a sewage collection and treatment project using a public-private partnership approach.During the conference, Mr. S. Adrian Ross, Chief Technical Officer of PEMSEA, shared PEMSEA's experience in public-private partnerships to facilitate the establishment of a wastewater treatment facility in Puerto Galera. Hon. Hubbert Dolor, Mayor of Puerto Galera also joined the panel.The SCOTIA conference was attended by more than 150 participants composed of local government officials, representatives from government agencies, the private sector and nongovernmental organizations, experts in the fields of water and sanitation, as well as various stakeholders. The former Secretary for the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Ms. Elisea Gozun, served as Conference Chair.