by Irma A. Guhit
SORSOGON CITY,July 19 (PIA) — Forging manpower and resources for a Green Philippines, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and Energy Development Corporation (EDC) will spearhead the call of government for a National Greening Program (NGP).
Anchored on the environmental greening landmark project of EDC, BINHI, Environment Secretary Ramon Paje and EDC Chairman Emeritus (CE) Oscar Lopez signed a Memorandum of of Agreement (MOA) last May 11, 2011 to seal the national greening program of the country under the Public- Private Partnership (PPP) component strategy of the administration of President Benigno Aquino III.
Engr. Leo Zancho A. Mago,Senior Superintendent of EDC- Environmental Management Department (EMD), said that the company has always been motivated and inspired by our top management to be creative and innovative in the care of our environment.
EDC has been the recipient of this year’s DENR V Saringaya Special Award 2011 in the implementation of a sustainable green environment of the 250,000-hectare reservation area of the EDC-Bacman.
Under the auspices of the BINHI program, Mago said that the EDC through DENR V will implement a systematic , meaningful and sustainable reforestation program in support of the NGP of the national government..
“The EDC environmental reforestation project here in the province of Sorsogon within our area has been well- implemented . We have even value-added it with tourism attractions like the presence of our Butterfly Garden, the development of our Wildlife Conservation Area , the presence and conservation of the Bac-Man Bat Sanctuary and presence of the natural ecotourism sites now conserved and provided accessibility,” Mago said.
“Here at the EDC-Bacman with the DENR V initiated program, we will also be planting and reforesting our areas with endemic fruit trees like the Baligang and Gumihan, two of the several kinds of trees that will fall under the BINHI -Tree for Food Program”, he said.
The BINHI program has been implemented by EDC in all their geothermal power plant sites all over the Philippines since 2008.
Meanwhile, Mago said that through their EDC CE, Oscar Lopez, spelled out was the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility thrusts to help government alleviate poverty, achieve food security, preserve and enhance biodiversity and address the problems of Climate Change through the implementation of the NGP.
According to Mago, the BINHI program launched four years ago was specifically a goal of their organization to address the concerns on the vanishing premium native trees endemic in each area where the geothermal power plant is located.
Creatively, the enhancement of the BINHI as their banner strategic greening program will also answer several components of a sustainable environment , the provision for food, shelter, recreation ,mitigation and adaptation aside from ensuring the future of the next generation by creating a green community.
The BINHI program as the company’s greening strategy have also provided their various communities a learning opportunity to appreciate what they have, educate basic communities within their geothermal site in the care of the environment through planting of trees endemic within the sites.
“Now part of our reforestation program here implemented in Bac-Man is to identify those trees endemic to the area.Seedlings of these endemic trees found here are now being planted in our nursery and will be planted for reforestation of our area and can also be given to local government units needing planting materials for tree parks”, he said.
The BINHI program of EDC according to Mago is one of the best reforestation strategy already implemented by their corporation for almost four years now with four basic components: Tree for the Future, Tree for Life,Tree for Food and Tree for Leisure.
“Receiving this year’s Saringaya Special Awards 2011 for the care of the environment implemented by our EMD is a commitment of our company to continually partner and support the national government’s greening program.
With the four year implementation now of our BINHI program, the company through the BINHI-Tree For the Future and Tree for Leisure program aims to establish tree parks of rare and endemic trees with their collaboration with local government units.
Meanwhile here at EDC-BacMan, the planting of Pili trees (Canarium Ovatum) under the Tree of Life and Tree of Food has been one of the continuing program of the company also to provide livelihood to the basic communities living near the reservation sites according to Mago.
The forged commitment of the company in the NGP of the government according to Mago has been one of the basic goals of the company to attain and sustain water abundance which is the major source for geothermal operations, he said.
Identification of trees within their reservation sites has been already conducted and the nursery plant maintained in all their geothermal sites are propagated with endemic trees so as to ensure the conservation trees present within the natural mountain ecosystems.
The NGP of the government according to Mago will be a commitment of their company in the re-vegetation of open and denuded forest and will also provide sustainable livelihood to farmers living inside geothermal forest reserves. (MAL/IAG, PIA Sorsogon)