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Charity and Sustainability in the Philippines: Binga Beach Resort Lends A Helping Hand

Lumambong Beach clean-up

Relief work and sustainability initiatives are often dominated by large corporations with the manpower and resources to support large-scale charity work.

While international hotel chains contribute financially to local and international charity efforts, smaller resorts around the world are playing an increasingly important role in providing employment and inspiring communities.

Set on a remote beachfront in Palawan, the Philippines, Binga Beach Resort is a new luxury ‘glamping’ resort. The Binga Beach Resort team has strong interest in giving back to the local people.

“Help is always greatest when it is provided in a direct and personal manner”, said Phil Demack, partner at Binga Beach Resort. “If we can have a direct impact on the lives of the people we employ we can start to make a difference. As a small, personable resort close to the local community, we are able to ask people what they really need and provide help, such as educational materials for the local schools, very quickly”.

Corporate charity efforts can lose momentum and effectiveness once executive board members start conducting committee meetings. Ideas can be hit-or-miss and well-intentioned volunteer work can often lose focus. In a local setting, decisions are made more quickly and outreach makes all the difference.

“We are in the exciting position of being the only tourism-related company or organization in area”, said David Le Smith, general manager and partner of Binga Beach Resort.

“As a business, we are able to connect smaller local businesses with the wider world and act as a bridge to facilitate tourism, trade and international connections. We understand the importance of acting in a responsible manner to ensure we have a positive influence on the people with whom we connect”.

Binga Beach Resort’s charity and sustainability initiatives:

Environment - With a pristine white-sand beach at the resort, the team manage regular beach clean days

Healthcare – Binga Beach Resort sponsors treatments for local children in need and assistance for the elderly.

Sports - Sponsorship of a local basketball team and local sporting events have enabled Binga Beach Resort to have a positive impact on the young people in the surrounding villages.

These charitable initiatives were established following the team’s engagement and communications with local ‘Barangay’ leaders, the local health clinic management and youth leaders.

While this ‘direct approach’ is highly effective for small resorts which are able to more easily interact with local communities; can it work for larger resort chains?

"If larger resort owners can trust and empower their local management to engage with the local population and allocate budgets - it could create a win-win scenario”, said Le Smith.

“The major upside is the fact that large-scale local charity drives benefit both the local people and the resort. Family members, employees and individuals from the community work at these resorts and they need to feel proud of their employer and the work they are involved in. Within our community, we definitely want to grow together with the friends we have made”.

Resorts, both large and small should embrace humility and listen to the people in their local areas in order to start making a difference. Investing in small, actionable charity activities will directly benefit the people and better position employers as a valued member of these communities.

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