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October 13, 2015
Employees of DMCI Group of companies joined Marikina City government officials and workers and other volunteers in planting fruit trees in an area of the Marikina watershed in Pintong Bocaue, San Mateo, Rizal on Sept. 26. The activity is part of the city's celebration of “Marikina Watershed Protection Week.”
The volunteers from resort-themed residential developer DMCI Homes, its construction arm D.M. Consunji Inc., Semirara Mining and Power Corp., and DMCI Power Corp. Came in droves all the way from Marikina City to Barangay San Jose in Antipolo City before trekking through a mountain trail to reach the planting site. Together with other volunteers, who included army reservists and members of Rotary Club of Marikina, they planted Bignay in the slopes of the mountain in San Mateo, Rizal.
Marikina City Mayor Del de Guzman, who led the activity, thanked all volunteers and private companies for supporting the event.
"This is not only for us but also for our children and grandchildren," de Guzman said in his speech.
The tree-planting activity highlights the week-long celebration proclaimed by a city ordinance in March and aims to reforest the watershed called Upper Marikina River Basin Protected Landscape to prevent a repeat of heavt flooding in Manila. The “Marikina Watershed Protection Week” was made to coincide on the day the Typhoon Ondoy disaster struck six years ago. The watershed's low forest cover, which failed to retain Ondoy's unusually heavy rainfall, was blamed for the flooding.
"Our employees' participation in this tree planting activity is not only in fulfillment of our Corporate Social Responsibility. It also forms part of our Environmental Management System (EMS) program," said Gary Montoya, head of the D.M. Consunji Inc. Environment, Health and Safety department. "We plant trees twice a year and we have planted 4,000 trees so far."
Montoya also said it is good for company employees to personally contribute to protecting mother nature, especially now that climate change has become a serious concern worldwide.
Aside from tree planting, the EMS program also includes cleanup, environmental protection awareness and landscaping drives, according to Montoya.
The efforts put in by the company's employee volunteers are helpful in encouraging the general public to plant trees particularly in denuded forests like the Marikina watershed, according to Leonida Mindaros, Community Development Officer of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources' provincial office in Rizal.
"They are a big help because we can save on expenses for tree planting," Mindaros said. "The labor cost for tree planting is P250 per day, excluding related works like brushing."
DMCI Homes and D.M. Consunji Inc. are corporate partners of DENR in the agency's National Greening Program (NGP), which aims to plant 1.5 billion trees from 2010 to 2016. In June last year, employees planted 1,000 fruit and forest trees in a one-hectare property of the San Andres Elementary School in Barangay San Andres, Tanay, Rizal as part of the program. The site is also part of the Marikina watershed.
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