Philippine Reef and Rainforest Conservation Foundation, Inc. (PRRCFI) is a non-stock, non-profit and non-government organization that was founded by a group of divers who witnessed the destruction around and in Danjugan Island– a 43-hectare limestone mass off the coast of Bulata, Cauayan in South Negros that is rich with unique marine and terrestrial wildlife.

The island’s degradation took a hopeful turn when its previous owner offered to sell a particular hardwood tree–the tree wherein sat the great nest of a pair of white-belllied sea eagles. It was at this point that the group decided to do all they can to save that tree, and vowed to save the entire island.

In 1994, through great fundraising efforts, the Philippine Reef and Rainforest Conservation Foundation, Inc. (PRRCFI) purchased Danjugan Island, with the help of World Land Trust in the UK and Landbank in the Philippines, with full hope of providing refuge to many wildlife species that struggle to exist in the mainland.

Since then, we have provided technical support to the local government unit of Cauayan in establishing the surrounding waters in Danjugan Island as special marine protected areas where fishing activities are regulated. To date, we have designated three special marine areas around the island where 572 species of fish, 17 species of mangroves, 8 species of seagrass, 74 species of macroalgae and 244 species of corals thrive and take refuge in.

At least 72 bird species have been recorded on the island, including a nesting pair of White-breasted Sea Eagles (Heliatus leucogaster) that have been breeding atop the Typhoon Beach Camp since 1974, and Tabon scrub fowls (Megapodius cumingi) which are common around the island.

OUR HISTORY

Danjugan Island’s surrounding waters were a diver’s haven.

The Sipalay Mine closed down and unemployed laborers resorted to unused blasting caps for dynamite fishing.

Danjugan Island was purchased through the efforts of PRRCFI and the World Land Trust, seen for both its a potential as a biodiversity conservation site and its vulnerability to exploitation.

Danjugan was voted “Best Managed Reef” by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

Danjugan Island was opened to the public as part of its DINTP.

OUR PEOPLE

TOGETHER WE CAN BUILD A FUTURE

Here at PRRCFI, we are a diverse group of individuals with varied personalities and professional backgrounds, yet we are all unified by one thing: we passionately want to protect the things we love from abuse and over-consumption that there might still be a healthy planet left for future generations to live and thrive.

OUR TRUSTEES

GERRY LEDESMA ℹ
When Gerry and his diver friends went venturing around the waters of Danjugan Island in the 70s, his friends were each armed with a speargun. Gerry, on other hand, had his camera. It was then in 1975, he began his conservation work and helped form the Underwater Ecological Society of the Philippines. The U was dropped later on because of forest issues. In 1983, he helped form the Negros Forests and Ecological Foundation, Inc. and was its president from 1990 to 2003. Five years later, he became president of the First Farmers Human Development Foundation, Inc and was trustee of the Association of Foundations. Come 1994, he helped form the Philippine Reef and Rainforest Conservation Foundation, which he is now President of. In 1995, Gerry because a trustee of the Coral Cay Charitable Trust, UK and in 2004 was also trustee of the Foundation for the Philippine Environment until 2008, wherein this time he helped form the FPE3--a corporate arm of FPE.  

President

RAFAEL LIZARES JR. ℹ
Juny has been with PRRCFI since before its conception . His background in Economics and extensive experience in management  makes him an invaluable pillar of the Foundation.  He is currently Vice President of First Farmers Holding Corporation—a company he has been with for 29 years.  First Farmers is a pioneer in renewable energy derived from biomass produced from sugar milling.  
On the side, Juny has also been working with residential and commercial real estate for his family corporation. In his spare time, he loves touring the Philippine islands on his motorcycle where, in his words, “There is the opportunity to feel the breeze and smell the grass. Being on the ground one gets to see, smell and meet people you would never meet otherwise—people from all walks of life.” 

Vice-President

EDGARDO UYCHIAT ℹ
Boyet is one of the founding trustees of the foundation. Since then he has garnered vast experience working in forest-conservation and sustainable agriculture. In his years also as an executive assistant for the provincial governnor he implement a number of environmental programs and helped conduct workshops for local executives on forest and coastal conservation and resource management. Aside from being the treasurer for PRRCFI, Boyet is also currently the President for Negros Island Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development (NISARD) Foundation Inc. (Organic Matters) .  

Treasurer

PAUL LIZARES ℹ
Paul has been a Trustee of PRRCFI since 2010, though his exposure to Danjugan goes back to as far as 1980 when he first visited the area as a youth.  Since then, he had been educated in the U.S. with a degree in Cultural Anthropology from the University of California (Santa Barbara) garnering considerable travel and work experience and getting a PADI Divemaster Certification along the way.  Returning to the Philippines in 1999, his involvement with environmental work started with Negros Forests and Ecological Foundation Inc. (NFEFI) as its President for over seven years working with William Oliver for its captive breeding program, among others.  Under the newly formed Talarak Foundation, Inc., he is currently its Vice President working on the reintroduction of its captive bred animals back into the wild, including a study of the potential release of the critically endangered Negros Bleeding Heart Pigeon to Danjugan.  While at PRRCFI, Paul focuses on its Nature Tourism Program and assists as a Divemaster for guests.  An avid swimmer and a yogi, he is currently working as a consultant to companies for renewable energy and is always happy to be your island host.

Secretary

KAILA TREBOL ℹ
Kaila is a marine biologist and artist, who was part of the team that conceptualized DEEP: Danjugan Island Environmental Education Program. She is a Biology graduate from De La Salle University and was a Research Officer for the Tubbataha Project of World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) - Philippines for more than four years. She was also their research consultant and photographer. She was also the Education Coordinator for Flora and Fauna International. Aside from PRRCFI, Kaila is also a trustee for Talarak Foundation, Inc. that cares for endemic and endangered wildlife. As an artist, she designs many of PRRCFI’s information and educational materials as well as creates sustainable jewelry from found seaglass through her brand Cat&Kai Handmade.

Trustee Adviser for Conservation

CARLO LEDESMA ℹ
Carlo is a seasoned film and advertising director, producer and scriptwriter. He won Best Short Film at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival for his film, “The Haircut” and Best Australian Director honors for his debut feature film, “The Tunnel.”

Trustee Adviser for Advocacy and Communications

SEF CARANDANG ℹ
Sef has almost 15 years experience in development work in the Philippines, collaborating and working with rural communities, both in upland and coastal areas, to create sustainable livelihood, protect the environment, and empower women and the youth. She is an Adviser to the Women Empowerment Movement – Rural Improvement Club or WEM-RIC of Zamboanga del Sur, a provincial federation of 42,000 women (90% rural), who work together to promote gender equality, enhance women’s leadership skills, support livelihood opportunities for women, share sustainable agricultural practices, and advance community development. She is currently engaged as a Gender Specialist for the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UN-FAO), Philippines. As a trustee of the Philippine Reef and Rainforest Conservation Foundation (PRRCFI), Sef also helps design and facilitate youth marine and wildlife camps that enhance environmental awareness to turn today's youth into tomorrow's conservationists. Sef believes in pursuing actions that help address global warming, climate change and plastic pollution, and is an advocate for renewable energy and alternative food systems that are healthy, farmer-friendly, and community-focused.

Trustee Adviser for Community Development

RHODA PHILLIPS ℹ
Rhoda is an organisational development and operations management specialist working across public and private sectors both in the UK and the Philippines. An experienced and certified project and programme manager, lean practitioner, change consultant  and coach, she helps and develops individuals, teams and organisations  to unlock their potential and achieve outstanding results. Rhoda is currently a Senior Development Organisational Development Advisor for Westminster City Council and the Managing Director of Lead, Deliver, Nurture (LDN) Consultancy. She is also a Director of the Philippine Reef and Rainforest Conservation Foundation, Europe (PRRCE). Rhoda was Danjugan Island Manager and Education Officer in 2001-2004. She is passionate about conservation and the natural environment and is a strong advocate for its protection and conservation. She believes that real transformation in any change programme can only be achieved and embedded by truly engaging stakeholders and gaining genuine stakeholder support and buy-in. Rhoda loves working with people and finds a huge sense of fulfilment through inspiring others and bringing about positive change in individuals and organisations.

Trustee Adviser for Human Resources

RENE ABESAMIS ℹ
Rene is a marine biologist (PhD James Cook University) with more than 20 years research experience on coral reef ecology and conservation in the Philippines. A core focus of his work as a scientist is the ecological and fishery effects of marine protected areas (Google Scholar). In 2013, he was named as an Outstanding Young Scientist by the National Academy of Science and Technology.   A main goal of his work with PRRCFI is to help realize the vision for Danjugan to serve as an important and unique natural laboratory for understanding how protective management sustains biodiversity and enhances resilience to human- and climate-induced threats. He believes that building conservation-oriented research capability at Danjugan can enhance PRRCFI’s programs on environmental education, community development and nature tourism.

Trustee Adviser for Science & Research

OUR TEAM

DAVE ALBAO

Executive Director

KIMBERLY CASIPE

Science Education Officer

LEN MANRIQUEZ

Programme Manager

IDA VECINO

Social Enterprise Officer

JURESE CERBOLLES

Finance and Admin Manager

CHARLEY STA. MARIA

Advocacy Officer

JULIE NEMENZO

Finance and Admin Officer

PRECIOUS GAURANA

Island Manager

NESA GONZALES

Admin Staff

PRINCESS BALA-AN

Project Officer

JOHN MICHAEL VINCENT BUGLOSA

Project Assistant

OUR ISLAND STAFF

Operations

RUCHEDELYN ALEMAN
ALFIE ALEMAN

Island Guides

RYMAN ARMADA
JOENE PARDILLO

Boatmen

GENE GUANZON
PABLITO CASAGAN
NORGIE TARIO
JOVEL CANETE
SEMION BARCENAS
RENE CABUGUAS

Kitchen

DINAH LIZA CASTELLANO
JOSEPHINE SOLANO
LENIE EDULAG

PHILIPPINE REEF AND RAINFOREST
CONSERVATION FOUNDATION, INC.

Door 6, Teresa Building, Mandalagan
Bacolod City 6100, Negros Occidental Philippines