Baras, Rizal – On November 11, 2020, Typhoon Ulysses made landfall in Luzon, affecting over 25,000 families in Rizal alone. Included in those affected are families from upland communities surrounding the Masungi Georeserve, families of park rangers, and the indigenous Dumagat tribes in far-flung areas.
In November and December, partners of the Masungi Georeserve Foundation lent a hand and provided a total of 582 relief packs and donations in kind for the affected families to bring hope at a difficult time.
- The Philippine Marines (Headquarters Coastal Defense Regiment) gave 150 family packs and the ACT10N Group (Batch 10 of UP Integrated School) provided 100 family packs, which were distributed to Masungi Georeserve park rangers, families in Sitio San Roque, Brgy. Pinugay, Baras, Rizal, and the Dumagat tribes of Rizal
- Park rangers and San Roque community members received 140 Christmas family packs personally donated by Myles de Ocampo, a previous visitor of the Masungi Georeserve
- With a mission to help children and families have a better life, Project PEARLS, in cooperation with TELUS and International School Manila, distributed 100 packs of relief goods for families in San Roque and park rangers
- ABS-CBN Foundation through their “Pantawid ng Pag-ibig” Program, honoring persons who are doing incredible work during the pandemic, distributed 80 Noche Buena packs to park rangers
- As part of their corporate social responsibility, the Bank of Commerce donated six (6) bags of used sanitized clothing to the park rangers and the San Roque community
- Philippines Nurses Association – Australia has been supporting communities in need of assistance since 2004 and providing scholarships since 2009. It donated six (6) boxes of used books for scholar-candidates in the communities, with four (4) scholar-candidates coming from San Roque and two (2) from Cuyambay
Park Ranger Ernest (Kuya Ernie) expresses his message of gratitude, “Sa mga nagbibigay po ng tulong lalo na sa amin dito sa Masungi, binibigyan nyo kami ng lakas at pag-asa para maipagpatuloy ang mga nasimulan namin para maibalik ang sigla ng kagubatan. Lubos ang aming pasasalamat sa inyong suporta at mga regalo.” [To those who have extended help to us here in Masungi, you give us strength and hope so we can continue what we started in giving life back to the forests. We are deeply grateful for your support and gifts.”]
Since its inception, the Masungi Georeserve Foundation has partnered with like-minded organizations, and local and indigenous communities, to promote environmental conservation, raise education and awareness, create a pride of place, and provide sustainable livelihood opportunities especially to those who are marginalized by society.
Masungi condemns the exploitation of marginalized and vulnerable persons and the orchestration of disinformation and conflict to further vested interests and land grabs inside the wildlife sanctuary. Amid political attacks and fake news, it vows to continue its genuine forest restoration and community development work in Masungi and the Upper Marikina Watershed, the degradation of which was one of the causes of severe flooding brought by Typhoon Ulysses.