Feeling the need for a non-stock, non-profit organization to provide social and environmental services to social communities such as Guiuan, her husband’s home town, Margarita de la Torre de la Cruz of UP Visayas-Tacloban organized the Guiuan Development Foundation, Inc. (GDFI). Founded 25 years ago, Margarita used her expertise in community organizing and marine and fishery science to come up with GDFI’s projects for sustainable development.
GDFI envisions a productive environment, sustainable development and empowered coastal communities. It also aims to become a center for community and environmental service in the region, and a resource center for coastal and marine ecosystem management.
GDFI organizes communities in Guiuan and trains them to become efficient and environment-friendly. Besides Guiuan, GDFI services 7 other municipalities in Eastern Samar. It also promotes gender-responsive community development programs and supports cause-oriented groups with similar advocacies.
The organization’s programs include medical and dental missions, the construction of schools, the establishment of marine sanctuaries, and supplemental livelihood training. GDFI also serves as secretariat for the Alliance 7 (A7) Municipalities for Integrated Coastal Zone Management, among others.
Below are just some of the projects that the foundation has implemented:
Integrated Sea Farming (1990-1991)
Community Organizing Program (1990-1992)
Management of Coral Reef Resources in Guiuan (1991-1992)
Health Development Project (1996-1998)
Construction of School Buildings (1992)
Guiuan Community-Based Coastal Resource Management Program (ongoing)
Creation of SeasPOC (ongoing)
Formation of A7 for ICZM (ongoing)
More recently, GDFI, in partnership with Give2Asia, also provided disaster risk-reduction training to the town of Maliwaliw, a nearby town which was one of the first to be struck by Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).
GDFI works both with organizations and individuals. Partner organizations include the Philippine Business for Social Progress, Foundation for the Philippine Environment, DED (German Development Service), UP Visayas-Tacloban, the University of San Carlos, BFAR Region 8, and the local government.
GDFI has also been recognized and awarded for its efforts. Among these awards are a Citation from the Foundation of the Philippine Environment 1994, Social Development Award of Excellence for Environmental Management 1995, Gawad Bayani ng Kalikasan, 2009 from the Center for Environmental Concerns Philippines, and a Community Service Award from the University of the Philippines Alumni Association.
CONNECT WITH GDFI
The organization welcomes donations.