For over 30 years now, the Baslay Coffee Program has provided training and guidance to former slash-and-burn farmers and, in the process, turned them into forest stewards. The program based in Negros Oriental earned geothermal leader Energy Development Corp. (EDC) an award from the CSR Guild as the best Corporate Social Responsibility Project for Enterprise Development this year.
The Baslay Coffee Program training for members of the Baslay Farming Association (BFA) turned these former kaingeros into forest stewards after they learned the value and income potential of tending to forests, particularly the preservation of forests in Dauin, Negros Oriental. The BFA is the first farmers association in the province to produce premium and quality organic coffee that has been recognized by globally trained baristas based in the Philippines.
The BFA established its own coffee shop in 2018 to make the product available to local and international tourists. The group was accredited by the Department of Tourism Region 7 as the only agroeco-tourism site in Negros Oriental. They also won several awards including the Grand Anvil award from the Public Relations Society of the Philippines and the Lopez Achievement Award.
EDC, for its part, has been providing an uninterrupted supply of clean, renewable power in Visayas for over 37 years. It generates over 40 percent of the country’s renewable energy output and 10 percent of the country’s overall electricity demand. It also accounts for the nation’s 62 percent of installed geothermal capacity, making the Philippines the world’s third largest geothermal power producer.