Adopt a Tree: Manila Standard’s way to help the environment
Nature called and Manila Standard answered, and continues to do so.
In November 2009, the Adopt a Tree project, the company’s corporate social responsibility program, brought employees of Philippine Manila Standard Publishing, Inc. and Kagitingan Printing Press, Inc. to Ipo Dam Watershed in Norzagaray, Bulacan to plant seedlings in a bid to help protect the environment and lessen the effects of climate change.
Almost eight years since its first sowing, Manila Standard, led by CSR project proponent, Circulation department chief Edgar Valmorida, recently returned to the area to check the planted seedlings which have now taken root and grown tall.
The first leg of the tree planting activity was then followed by planting events at Halamanang Pilipino in Luneta Park, Manila; Paco Park and Pook ni Mariang Makiling in Los Baños, Laguna; Marikina Riverbanks in Marikina City; and returned to Ipo Dam twice for another batches of tree seedlings.
In choosing to pursue this project, Valmorida avers “The trees help prevent a number of natural disasters such as flooding and landslides. Trees also help clean the air we breathe.”
Recognizing the importance of such activity, more and more Manila Standard clients are extending their support to the tree planting program.
“More clients are interested to support our project now compared to before, especially when they see how big the trees are now from the time we planted them,” shares Valmorida.
In gratitude for their support, seedlings were planted under the advertisers and subscribers’ respective names.
“You will see however small it is, this symbolizes the importance of public and private cooperation. It doesn’t have to be a big project, it’s the sincerity and consistency [that count],” enthuses Manila Standard publisher Rolando Estabillo.
For the seventh sowing of Adopt a Tree project on April 27, 2017, Advertising, Circulation, Editorial, Finance, Human Resources, MIS, Production, and Purchasing employees joined forces to plant mangroves in Brgy. Balibago, Calatagan, Batangas. It was the second mangrove planting of the company, the first one was held a few days prior, on April 18, in celebration of the Philippine Earth Month.
“We chose to plant mangroves this time of the year because planting trees is discouraged during summer because of high mortality rate due to less rainfall. There is no need to water mangroves,” explains Valmorida.
Further, mangrove is known for its multiple benefits to the environment. It serves as a barrier for storm surges and tidal waves, serves as habitat for various marine aquatic organisms, restores the richness of biodiversity in the marine and estuary ecosystems, increases fish supply, and promotes environmental stability (8 percent increase in carbon sequestration and 12 percent increase in forest cover).
According to the Circulation department chief, about 800 to 1000 propagules (mangrove seedlings) were planted along the coastline of Brgy. Balibago.
The one-day mangrove planting activity was co-presented by San Miguel Corporation. Sponsors were Metro Pacific Investments, Globe Telecom, and Arthaland.
The seventh sowing is definitely not the last for the company, as Valmorida bared plans to continue the company’s environment projects in the coming years.
“We have a number of tree planting activities lined up all the way up to the end of the year,” he reveals. “June will be the start of the tree planting season because of the expected rainy season. We have one in Calamba, Laguna in partnership with their local government. We are also looking at planting bamboos somewhere in Laguna.”
He continues, “We are also looking at adopting sites where we can conduct planting, replanting, and maintenance activities. We plan to create MOAs with concerned agencies to adapt said planting sites.”
Valmorida also intends to initiate visitation in previous planting sites at least every six months to replace seedlings that did not make it after the replanting as well as to clean the area to give the trees a better chance of survival.
On top of helping protect the environment, this activity also helps in fostering stronger relationship among Manila Standard employees. “Because whatever differences or animosities we may have in our everyday office work, these are set aside because the employees are happy participating in our activities,” says Valmorida.
Camaraderie is indeed promoted as Manila Standard employees cheerfully participate in the activities for the day.
Projects such as Adopt a Tree help preserve Mother Nature and provide a renewed sense of purpose to the individuals who are given the privilege to contribute something good to the future of the planet. Now those are good things to reap from what we sow.