DMCI Group joins Marikina watershed protection program
(The Philippine Star) - December 7, 2015 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Employees of the DMCI Group of companies recently joined government officials in Marikina City as well as workers and other employee volunteers in planting fruit trees in an area at the Marikina watershed in Pintong Bocaue, San Mateo, Rizal. 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 DM 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 the Rotary Club of Marikina, they planted Bignay trees on 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,” he said in his speech.

The tree-planting activity highlights the weeklong 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 heavy flooding in Manila. The “Marikina Watershed Protection Week” was made to coincide with 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 DM Consunji Inc. Environment, Health and Safety department. “We plant trees twice a year and have planted 4,000 trees so far.”

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 DM 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.

ACIRC ANTIPOLO CITY BARANGAY SAN ANDRES BARANGAY SAN JOSE CONSUNJI INC CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY MARIKINA MARIKINA CITY MARIKINA WATERSHED PROTECTION WEEK RIZAL SAN MATEO
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