6/25/22

Hamilo Coast: Nurturing nature for 15 years and beyond

 




The current rate at which individuals observe sustainability practices is far from halting climate change. Whether it is reducing the use of disposable items or saving more energy, environmentally conscious activities will only yield significant results if everyone is “cast in the same mold,” so to speak. That said, high-impact global sustainable development lies within the responsibility of the government and large organizations—conglomerates among them.

 

Understanding such a role, SM Prime Holdings, Inc., one of the largest integrated property developers in Southeast Asia, has incorporated its sustainable practices in its developments early on.  Through SM Prime’s Costa Del Hamilo Inc., a leader in the leisure resort industry and the movers behind Hamilo Coast – this premium seaside complex in Nasugbu, Batangas, fosters a tangible connection with nature. Marking its quindecennial year, Hamilo Coast looks back at its milestones and achievements with its core emphasis on sustainable development.

 

“Sustainability has been at the forefront of our vision in providing a resort lifestyle. We strive to practice both environmental and social sustainability in our operations through our partners and commnunities,” Franklin M. Bolalin, Assistant Vice President for Hamilo Estate Management, said.

 




Disaster risk reduction

 

Every year, the country deals with an average of 19 typhoons, with some often resulting  in damages to properties and loss of life.  Coastal defenses such as seawalls and breakwater structures are often implemented to resist storm surges. In the case of Hamilo Coast, mangrove trees are the key.

 

Hamilo Coast’s 100,000 square-meter or equivalent to 10 hectares mangrove belt is one of the largest mangrove areas in the municipality. The sustainable beach resort town has since planted 50,000 mangrove propagules, protected hand-in-hand with the conservation organization World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Philippines.

 

Biodiversity conservation

 

Apart from disaster mitigation, mangrove trees also benefit the climate by absorbing greenhouse gases (GHGs) and carbon dioxide. This capacity nurtures the ecosystem and biodiversity in the area, providing habitat for a wide array of species. 

 

Hamilo is home to rich marine life and abundant flora and fauna.  Its conservation programs and various sustainability initiatives have nurtured and conserved its precious biodiversity.  There are about 96 various bird species found at the estate. Among these bird species are the rough-crested Malkoha and the Philippine eagle-owl.

 

From growing local plants to conducting regular coastal clean-up drives, coastal resource conservation initiatives are active in Hamilo Coast. With the help of WWF, they can increase their fisheries’ biological capacity and monitor their Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)—the Pico de Loro, Etayo and Santelmo coves which are among the three MPAs for Costa Del Hamilo’s Sustainable Development Project.  Hamilo has been working with WWF since 2007 monitoring the health and viability of Hamilo Coast area.

 

In recognition of its conservation efforts, Hamilo Coast was cited by the World Wide Fund for Nature as its longest Sustainability Partner in 2020.

 

 

“Over the years, our partnership with SM significantly contributed to the impact we are making in our work in Hamilo Coast. From liquid waste and coral monitoring, to our present work on integrated waste management and food sheds, we hope that this continuing partnership would help us realize our vision of making Hamilo a holistic model of sustainability”, says Katherine Custodio, WWF-Philippines’ Executive Director.

 

Green buildings development

 

The path towards a sustainable future is paved with many interventions, including zero waste, dematerialization, zero emissions and resource efficiency practices. For its part, Hamilo Coast makes its intention to be a premiere sustainability community possible by making sure its buildings are designed with the environment in mind.

 

Some of the estate’s facilities are powered by alternative sources of energy. For example, its lamp posts use solar power more than traditional ones to function. Natural lighting and ventilation are also noticeable in some of its residential areas, which benefits the environment as well as its tenants. Additionally, Hamilo Coast implements a solid waste management plan that consists of recovery of materials and vermicomposting, among others.

 

Sustainable living

 

At Hamilo Coast’s core is how a distinct beachfront home can harmonize with its surrounding environment. As people crave for a more relaxed environment, closer to nature and the outdoors amid a work-from-home setup pushed by the ongoing pandemic, Hamilo homes give access to invigorating landscapes, coves to explore and the calming sea.

 

Fifteen years later, Hamilo Coast has surpassed its reputation as a weekend respite. It is now one of the best settlement options for people looking to live the coastal life in a sustainable community.

6/17/22

Collaboration: A key in creating sustainable agri-enterprises

 

Limited market information and market access are two major obstacles to increased smallholder farmers’ income. According to studies, farmers in grassroot communities often lack access to profitable, value-added markets. In the absence of critical supporting functions, such as infrastructure and service provision – farmers struggle to transform their traditional subsistence farms into a feasible commercially oriented production. Buyers, on the other hand, such as wholesalers, find it difficult to get the quantity and quality of produce that they need for processing on a timely basis.

 

The Good Guys Market links KSK farmers to consumers while ensuring food security in SMDC communities


Because of this challenge, SM Foundation collaborated with various government agencies, and engaged various SM business units such as
the SM Development Corp. (SMDC), SM Supermalls and SM Markets to ensure that local farmers under the Kabalikat Sa Kabuhayan (KSK) program have venues where they can sell their produce amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

From training KSK participants in practicing sustainable farming technologies via technology transfer and product development, SMFI, together with various SM business units used the power of collaboration to create farm-market linkage - which intends to create a powerful driver of rural poverty reduction.

 


Team social good

The Good Guys Market is a weekend market set up in SMDC properties to connect small-scale farmers directly with consumers—condo residents. This initiative links around 26,000 small-scale farmers directly with consumers.

 

Green lane: an agri-enterprise led by the wives of KSK farmers


Together with SM Supermalls, SMFI launched the Green Lane initiative. Led by the wives of the KSK farmers, the social enterprise offers a wide variety of quality yet affordable indoor and landscape plants which cater to every enthusiast’s preference. In addition, the team also launched the KSK Farmers’ Market Day to provide farmers with market exposure in select SM Malls nationwide.

 

Meanwhile, SMFI also partnered with SM Markets in creating market for onion farmers. Through the partnership, SMFI was able to establish specialized onion pop-up booths creating a stable market for small scale onion farmers.

 

Locally farmed onions by KSK farmers in SM Markets


Millions of smallholder farmers are seeking ways to improve the productivity of their farms and to improve their market performance. Modern farming technologies, paired with market linkage, such as the SM KSK, plays a vital role in improving the livelihood of small-scale farmers and their families.

 

KSK Farmers’ Market Day at SM City Sta. Rosa


SM Foundation’s Kabalikat Sa Kabuhayan (KSK) is SMFI’s Social Good program on sustainable agriculture that intends to uplift the lives of Filipinos in grassroot communities through sustainable agriculture via technology transfer, product development and farm-market linkage. To date, the program has trained more than 28,500 farmers from more than 900 cities/municipalities nationwide.

 

6/14/22

Working together to serve more communities for a sustainable future

 Climate change is one of the most pressing and defining global issues today. It has become imperative for both the public and private sectors to continue to band together to primarily, safeguard the welfare of the people and to step up to strengthen the resilience of the nation.

 

Solar rooftop at SM City North EDSA


The Philippines currently ranks third globally when it comes to climate change vulnerability. In relation to its geographical location, it is more exposed to altering intensities of climate change manifested through erratic weather systems and natural calamities.

 

The private sector is called upon now more than ever to align with the principles of sustainable development and to take on the same firm stance on environmentally sound practices in its operations. 


Mr. Hans T. Sy


“I constantly encourage the private sector to work closely with the government. This way, we can be more cohesive in our efforts to make more meaningful progress towards a better and sustainable future. As a private enterprise, SM Prime will continue to do its share in addressing climate change for the benefit of communities,” said Hans T. Sy, SM Prime Holdings Chairman of the Executive Committee.

 

Water conservation

Sustainability at SM Prime is at the core of its corporate identity. SM Prime has spearheaded sustainable practices as well as set records in pioneering programs to consciously protect the environment and strongly focus on resilience in its developments.

 

For one, the property conglomerate embarked on a campaign to substantially reduce its water consumption. It pioneered the installation of sewage treatment plants even before the measure was required by way of the Clean Water Act in 2004.

 

Today, its sewage treatment plants recycle 8.7 million cubic meters of water, lessening its dependence on fresh water sources for air conditioning operations, gardening, water closet flushing and other non-potable uses. SM Prime’s water catchment basins across 20 SM malls can also catch and store almost 79 million liters of water in total every time it rains, or as much as 32 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

 

By controlling the flow of flood water, surrounding communities have been provided more protection against the devastating effects of floods, alleviating what communities would normally fear when the rains come.

 

Renewable energy

 

SM Prime continues to explore ways to promote environmental consciousness in its operations and developments to minimize environmental impact.

 

In 2014, SM Prime achieved an important milestone in the country with SM City North EDSA becoming then the world’s largest solar-powered mall. Today, SM Prime is adding eleven more malls with solar roof decks.

 

Showing its firm resolve to advance its sustainability agenda, the company is committed to increase the use of renewable energy by 50% in 2022 across its various business segments, ahead of the national goals to be 35% renewable by 2030.

 

Through these efforts, SM Prime is committed to provide affordable and clean energy to its tenant-partners, minimizing the carbon footprint emission in its operations.

Collaboration toward resilience

 

As a key figure in the private sector, Mr. Sy and his dedication to environmental protection continues to serve as a testament to how Philippine businesses can usher positive change toward disaster resilience and risk reduction management in the country.  

 

In 2012, Mr. Sy joined the United Nations Private Sector Advisory Group (PSAG) for Disaster Reduction. In 2015, he was also inducted as the first and only Filipino member UNDRR ARISE (Private Sector Alliance for Disaster Resilient Societies) International Board. He currently serves as co-chair in the ARISE-Philippines network and National Resilience Council (NRC) of the Philippines, representing the private sector. He continues to help develop multi-sectoral partnerships in the country to strengthen the ability of corporations, including MSMEs, to prepare and respond to disasters brought about by natural hazards such as earthquake.

 

“Climate change is looming over our Mother Earth. If we can contribute no matter how little and if I can get everybody to be aware of it, I think we will make an impact. It’s never too late,” said Mr. Sy in a video interview for the 50 Sustainability & Climate Leaders initiative.



6/9/22

Stand proud and celebrate being Filipino with SM Supermalls

 


As our national hero, Jose Rizal once said, ‘He who does not know how to look back at where he came from will never get to his destination.’ Tracing one’s roots is important to building one’s character. It is crucial to keep your feet on the ground as you reach greater heights. The same rings true for all Filipinos; we cannot truly appreciate the freedom we enjoy today without being aware of what our ancestors have fought for to gain our independence.

 

To celebrate Philippine Independence Day, SM Supermalls will be holding major events to commemorate this national holiday and encourage Pinoys to further embrace Filipino culture.

 


Join SM Supermalls’ Flag Raising Ceremony

Show your love of country and value the sacrifices of the Filipinos who died protecting and defending it. Come in colors of the Philippine flag and head to SM Supermalls’ Flag Raising Ceremony on June 12, 2022 – assembly time is at 8:30am. Give it the utmost importance, as this is the thread that knits Filipinos together from one generation to the next.




Indulge yourself with the best Pinoy Eats

As a champion of local MSMEs, SM Supermalls will spoil you with Filipino cuisine options and other local products from June 1-12. Savor the diverse and rich Filipino food offerings and have a taste of the best Pinoy dishes and treats from every region of the country. Enjoy special promotions during this period when you order your favorite Pinoy Eats on-ground or when ordering online.



 


Buy Local, Buy Pinoy

Support local businesses, buy fresh local produce and other specialty items from SM’s affiliates and tenants through the Buy Pinoy pop-up stores. Shop the best locally-made clothes, souvenirs, d├ęcor, and food brought to you by only the best Filipino businesses from June 1 to June 12, 2022.



 



“SM Supermalls have always celebrated Pinoy pride through various events where we get to appreciate our culture and express our gratitude to the heroes of past and present. Our Philippine Independence Day hould never be taken for granted, because holding our national pride and heritage in high regard is what makes us true-blooded Filipinos through and through. We encourage everyone to join us as we celebrate freedom at SM Supermalls” Steven T. Tan, President of SM Supermalls, said. 

 

For #SafeMallingAtSM, you can follow SM Supermalls on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter or check out the mall entry guidelines and updates on mall hours here. You can also view the complete SM Directory here.

 

6/5/22

SM: Creating shared value through tech-voc education

 One of the flagship programs of SM Foundation, the Corporate Social Responsibility arm of the SM group, is its scholarship program. Aside from the college education offerings, the program also provides venues for students who would like to pursue a career in the skilled labor industry.

 




The gradual reopening of economy not just in the country, but around the world, brings hope to more job opportunities for Filipinos who lost their jobs because of the health crisis. Indeed, the support for individuals eyeing to be part of the skilled industry is needed now more than ever.

 

It was in this light when SM Prime Holdings, Inc. (SM Prime), together with SM Foundation (SMFI), Don Bosco One TVET Phils. Inc., and the city government of Pasay partnered to give educational support to 20 deserving youth coming from Pasay. To date, SMFI has already produced more than 4,500 tech-voc graduates who are now gainfully employed.

 

A dream to be fulfilled

One of the current SM tech-voc scholars from Pasay is Stephen Parina. His dream is to put up his own automotive shop since aside from his interest in cars and motorcycles, he intends to uplift the economic status of his family. Both of his parents are temporary employees at the Pasay City Hall.

 

Nakita ko sa Facebook post ng SM Foundation na nandun ang aking gustong course kaya dali-dali akong pumunta sa city hall ng Pasay para alamin ang mga detalye nito at kinabukasan ay nagpasa na ako agad ng mga requirements,” said Stephen, who is now studying Automotive Mechanic course at the Don Bosco Makati.

 

SM-Pasay tech-voc scholar Stephen Parina


Gusto kong matuto kung paano mag ayos ng mga sasakyan at makatapos ng pag-aaral dahil hirap kami sa aming pamumuhay. Alam ko na makakatulong ang edukasyon, kagaya ng techvoc upang matupad ang aking pangarap na makapagpatayo ng sarili kong automotive shop. Magiging susi ito upang mai-angat ko ang antas ng pamumuhay ng aking pamilya” he added.

 

Taos pusong pasasalamat sa SM at sa Sy family dahil nabigyan nyo ako ng pagkakataon na makabalik muli sa pag aaral. Hinding hindi ko ito malilimutan. Dadalhin ko ito hanggang sa aking pag tanda,” Stephen said.

 

Ticket to success

Another current tech-voc scholar is Jeorge Angelo Madrid. He is also studying Automotive Mechanic course at the Don Bosco Makati. His father works as a painter of houses and buildings while his mother works at the Department of Social Welfare and Development. Jeorge is the youngest and most of his five siblings already have their own families.

 

SM-Pasay tech-voc scholar Jeorge Angelo Madrid


According to Jeorge, he sees this opportunity of going back to school as his ticket towards achieving his dreams: “Nag-apply ako sa SM Foundation kasi wla po akong kakayahan na makapag aral at makapagtapos. Wala po akong pagkukuhanan ng pang tuition para maipang bayad sa eskwelahan.”

 

Jeorge is adamant to find a gainful employment right after he finish his studies. “Salamat po sa SM Foundation. Kung hindi dahil sa inyo, hindi madaragdagan ang kaalaman ko tungkol sa automotive. Magagamit ko ito sa aking paghahanap ng trabaho at kinalaunan, masuportahan ang aking sarili, mga pamangkin at ang aking mga magulang,” Jeorge further shared.

 

Reaping the fruits of his efforts

Anthony Andales, an SM tech-voc scholar alumnus, also took the time to share his inspiring story. He graduated from the Dualtech Training Center in 2019 and is now employed as a staff technician in a known company which manufactures various electronic products for home and office use.

 

SM tech-voc scholar alumnus Anthony Andales


“Bago ako mag-training sa Dualtech, nagtrabaho muna ako bilang isang helper sa isang refilling station. Ang aking arawang sweldo ay P220 lamang. Akala ko dati, wala na akong mararating sa buhay at hindi na makapagtatapos ng pag-aaral,” Anthony recalled.

 

“But God gave me the privilege to be chosen as one of the SM Foundation scholars para makapag-aral ako nang walang binayaran kahit piso. Ang tanging puhunan ko lang ay ang aking lakas ng loob at ang aking mga pangarap sa buhay na balang araw, makatutulong ako sa aking pamilya upang kahit papano ay makaahon sa buhay,” he further added.

 

Right after his on-the-job training, he was absorbed by the program’s OJT- partner company and was given a job as a staff technician because of his skills and work ethics.

 

Napagawa na namin ang bahay kahit papaano, hindi man bato pero at least maayos at safe kapag may bagyo. Hindi po kagaya dati na pag umuulan ay may pa-shower kami kasi butas-butas na ang bubong at tagpi-tagpi ang dingding ng aming tahanan. Walang imposible kapag ikaw ay may pangarap at determinasyon upang maabot ito sapagkat maraming tao at institusyon na handang tumulong. Kaya sobrang thankful po talaga ako sa mga taong tumulong sa akin para magkaroon ng maliwanag na kinabukasan.” Anthony concluded.

 

SM Foundation, through its Scholarship program, provides deserving and qualified students with access to college education and technical-vocational studies since 1993.