Ocean Adventure launches donation drive for animal food, medicine, vitamins
ZAMBALES, Philippines – Ocean Adventure, the biggest tourism operator in the Subic Freeport Zone, has launched a donation drive to keep its animals alive and well during the Luzon-wide lockdown that national government implemented to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
“In many ways, this is an unprecedented but absolutely necessary step for us to do,” Robert Ianne Gonzaga, president and CEO of Subic Bay Marine Exploratorium, Inc. (SBMEI) said in a statement.
Subic Bay Marine Exploratorium operates Ocean Adventure, Adventure Beach Waterpark, and Camayan Resort.
“Since the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine over Luzon last March, our revenues have gone down to zero and will remain so for the short-term, while our costs and expenses remain high due to the caring and feeding of our animals and maintenance of our facilities,” Gonzaga said, adding:
“We rely only on our revenues to deliver the best of care for our animals and to ensure that they are in a safe and secure environment, with expert support available from our vets and caretakers.”
In a statement posted on its official website, SBMEI said that the donations that the fund drive will generate will be used to:
- purchase animal food, medicine, and vitamins;
- help support the animal caretakers, divers and volunteers who maintain their enclosures, veterinarians and lab techs who provide for the health care of the animals;
- pay for utilities for pumps, freezers and other equipment for the care of the animals
The SBMEI statement said that food for the animals would last only until the start of June. The lack of revenues makes the fundraising imperative to sustain food and support for the animals for the rest of 2020.
Ocean Adventure, which is responsible for attracting hundreds of thousands of guests and visitors to Subic Freeport every year, has already retrenched more than 200 employees last month and placed the remaining 300 on forced leave.
Gonzaga said that the number of visitors to Ocean Adventure “started plummeting in late January as concern for COVID-19 began to spread and it got worse in February, which forced us to retrench workers in March – days before the entire Luzon was put under lockdown.” (READ: Duterte's economic team rolls out P27.1-billion package vs coronavirus)
“We hope to continue to provide our guests with opportunities to create lifelong memories and experiences within our facilities. Our animals have brought excitement, joy and laughter to generations of kids and their families, and have also brought them closer to nature. We hope to do that for this generation and the next. The path to recovery is going to be long and hard, not just for our company but for everyone else in the tourism industry. That said, our animals at Ocean Adventure cannot make it through without external support in the months ahead. But we believe that with your help, nothing is impossible,” Gonzaga said.
Those who want to donate can click on this link: https://oceanadventure.ph/ – Rappler.com