MANILA—ATFX, through its corporate social responsibility arm ATFX Cares, and its local education partner SmarTrade, joined the coastal cleanup and reef restoration in Panglao, Bohol, in June 2021 during the Panglao Dive Fest. SmarTrade and ATFX collectively adopted five (5) coral beds at Doljo coral nursery in coordination with Panglao’s Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office (MENRO).
As a testament to the brand’s commitment to sustaining these initiatives, SmarTrade and ATFX Cares continue to monitor the coral reef restoration.
“We have to continue maintaining these corals. Some of the activities that we regularly roll out are cleaning algae and shells, collecting trash like fishing lines and plastics, and checking for signs of diseases like discoloration. For example, if the corals turn white, we check if they are covered by algae since this limits their ability to eat properly and get the sunlight they need to make them healthy,” explained Danilo Menorias, Panglao MENRO’s reef ranger and dive instructor. “These are crucial steps because once one coral is affected, it will affect other healthy corals and eventually, the whole reef.”
SmarTrade and ATFX Cares support the post-restoration activities. These are regular after-care activities that are implemented after coral restoration planting. Reef rangers dive at least two to three times a week to check if the corals planted are doing well.
“To grow healthy corals, there are many factors at play. Some of these are water depth, sunlight, the current’s strength, and water salinity. When we achieve a good balance of all these factors, we get corals that are healthy – they return to their natural color, and at times, we can even see polyps when inspected closely,” added Menorias.
This initiative is just one of the many programs spearheaded by SmarTrade and ATFX to contribute to the communities that they serve.
“As a business, we do not exist in a silo. We deal with people every day, may it be our clients, our partners, or our employees. Everyone can agree that each of us is affected by our physical environment in one way or another,” said SmarTrade President and CEO Joyce Ann Mayo.
“That is why we do this because we believe that it is everyone’s responsibility to protect this world we live in. Without our beautiful planet, no businesses would exist.”
Menorias encourages everyone to exercise responsibility and care by not throwing garbage in the ocean, not stepping on the corals, and avoiding too much sun lotion.
Divers and fishermen should also avoid touching and holding these corals or fishing near these reefs.
To know more about ATFX (www.atfx.com) and SmarTrade’s CSR programs, visit www.smartradeph.com.