In every honest purchase of Manila Standard newspaper, a tree will be planted under the buyer’s name that would, project organizers hope, help contribute to preserving and conserving the environment.
This project pizzazz, if vision, has pushed the Manila Standard to kickstart its #MSIntegriTree initiative Saturday at SM City Manila.
#MSIntegriTree is an integration of its former campaign years ago called ‘Honor System’ and its present corporate social responsibility project ‘Adopt-a-Tree.’
Manila Standard’s OIC-Operations Annie Grefal explained the initiative: “When I started with Manila Standard, we had a project called ‘Honor System,’ where the copies are being left in establishments, but it’s up to them if they would pay. Come to think of it, our problem is honesty.
“That’s why I want to resurrect the project where people can get their copies if they want to pay or not. If not, they could just read it.
“Then, the Adopt-a-Tree campaign of Standard came to my mind. Why don’t we combine Adopt-a-Tree and Honesty? That’s how #MSintegrity was born.”
Baldwin Felipe, Advertising Solutions Head, himself said: “Before the IntegriTree, Manila Standard had been doing tree planting activity called ‘Adopt-a-Tree' from years back.
“Every year, we conducted Adopt-a-Tree but this year, we thought of a new initiative called IntegriTree. It started when we thought that we should come up with additional outlets where other copies of our newspaper should be distributed, aside from the dealership.
“However, we want these copies not just to be sold or distributed but should be connected to our CSR, which is Adopt-a-Tree.”
Rolando Estabillo, publisher of the English language broadsheet, in his speech at the SM Activity Center, stressed the importance for millennials—sometimes called the Generation Y, the phrase used to generally describe a person who reached adulthood in the early 21st century and covers the generation of people born between 1980 and 2000 – to have integrity.
Estabillo, who has under his belt decades of newspapering, said: “I think it’s also important for the young ones to know that integrity is something that gives you a different aura as a person. Integrity is something that makes you more honest, truthful, and more conscious of others. You have to give back. “The integrity gives us an opportunity to show how honest and truthful we are even if there’s no one looking to get Manila Standard.
“This is a test for us, specially the young ones, to show our honesty. Honesty, as the saying says, is the best policy.”
Aside from the tree planting phase, part of the program was also to reach out millennials to engage in environmental awareness through essay writing and photo contests which were participated in by students from different universities in Metro Manila.
Participating in the final list of essay writing were Dorothy Jane del Rosario and Kent Marvin Mojica from the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila. Completing the roster were Nica Sondon and Regine Reyes of Philippine Christian University—with Del Rosario winning the competition with her essay titled “Paradigm Shift: Let It Happen.”
The essay pieces were judged by the newspaper’s Opinion Editor Adelle Chua and Night Editor Honor Blanco Cabie.
On the other hand, Jerome Carlo Macanaya took home the winning photo entry, beating John Marc Cruz, Jerome Calayag. Roberto R. Marquez, Kriem-Hill Benedick Siruno, and John Michael Cervantes. Among the panel of judges was, Gabrielle Karlene Sison, the youngest volunteer of the newspaper’s Adopt-a-Tree program.
At the age of eight, Sison already knows what is happening with the environment. She is encouraging everyone to participate in such program like IntegriTree to help.
“You have to help even though it’s hard,” she said.
Del Rosario stressed it was very important for millennials to be involved in programs like IntegriTree and the fight for the environment started now.
“Don’t live on the material things you have right now. What we should care (for) and think about is our future—what we should do to save our future. While we are young, we should do simple things to partake on the movement to save the environment,” said del Rosario.
She added: “It’s easy to say, but it’s hard to do. It may sound cliche, but what we need is to start within ourselves. Think of individual solutions we can contribute to saving our planet.”
Meanwhile, Macanaya, who aside from photography also uses the art of paintings in expressing his messages towards an issue or a topic, highlighted the significance of being aware of the current issues confronting the environment and the roles of millennials in contributing to the conservation and preservation of the planet.
He said: “We are the future. We need to take care of the environment for the next and future generations. The Environment needs us as much as we needed it. Let’s preserve it.”
He also thanked the Manila Standard for the chance to showcase his talent in photography and underline the importance of the environment.
He said: “Thank you very much for the opportunity. I hope you will continue this kind of program, there are many in the youth age bracket who would really love to join this kind of competition – a contest with a purpose.”
Environment Undersecretary Benny Antiporda also graced the event where he extended his gratitude to the Manila Standard’s project in establishing #MSIntegriTree and promised to fully support it and other environment-related programs.
“I would like to thank the Manila Standard for this great initiative... I’m so proud of you...and yet you’re always there for the DENR...The government can’t do it [preserving the environment] on its own without your help,” said Antiporda.
He added: “As of now, we felt we’re all alone in this endeavor, in this fight for our next generation, and yet, with the initiative of Manila Standard, slowly, there are people who are coming in and telling, ‘We are here to help.’
“Without reaching out and telling people to help us, many people are participating. We are very grateful and rest assured that our support, in return, will be given 100 percent, through technical assistance, even financial, if needed. Why?
“Because it is the other way around, we felt the overwhelming support. And those who help also deserve to feel the same support.”
#MSIntegriTree was supported by its partners like DENR, SM City Manila, Dermcare, MPLIFY-PH, and Max’s.
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