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Displaced tourist workers in Puerto Princesa receive aid

Komfie Manalo

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Displaced tourism workers from Puerto Princesa in Palawan received aid packages from Sitel.

Sitel in Puerto Princesa Palawan recently partnered with Puerto Princesa Underground River (PPUR) Festival Partners Foundation, Inc. to help distribute donations to people and communities that were severely impacted by COVID-19. Through this partnership, Sitel associates were able to help put together care packages and assist in the distribution to recipient communities.

“Prior to the Enhanced Community Quarantine, Puerto Princesa communities enjoyed a thriving tourism industry thanks largely to the Underground River,” shared Beth Maclang, Puerto Princesa Underground River Senior Park Superintendent. “With the ECQ in place, however, people were no longer allowed to travel and communities that heavily relied on tourism for income were greatly affected. These community-based sustainable tourism groups were left without a means to work and earn income.”

The foundation called on local business partners to help raise funds and purchase essential goods for families in need. Volunteers put together 400 care packages consisting of rice, vegetables, vegetable seedlings, and basic grocery essentials, and on April 16, volunteers distributed these to the impacted communities and its residents.

“We have all been badly hit by the current situation,” said Christina Gonzalez-Pierson, Leadership Development Manager, Sitel Puerto Princesa. “As a long-time partner of the Underground River Foundation, we definitely wanted to do what we could to help.  It was a way for us to give back to the communities where our Sitel associates live and work.”

“We are hopeful that Palawan will re-open to tourists and visitors soon, when it is safe to do so,” Maclang said.  Until then, we need to work hand-in-hand to live in this new normal, to survive and to heal together.”

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