West Zone concessionaire Maynilad Water Services, Inc. (Maynilad) pledged to plant more than 60,000 trees this year at the Ipo watershed to help protect the environment in view of threats such as El Niño, soil erosion and flooding.
Under the annual “Plant for Life” program, Maynilad taps volunteers and partner agencies to reforest the Ipo watershed, as well as to plant mangrove propagules in the coastal areas of Manila Bay.
The program was kicked off this year with a tree-planting at the Ipo watershed led by Ms. Philippines Earth 2015 and Miss Maynilad Water Warrior Angelia Ong. She was joined by 160 volunteers, who planted 5,000 saplings. Maynilad aims to plant 60,000 saplings covering approximately 40 hectares at the Ipo watershed.
Since 2007, Maynilad has planted more than 400,000 saplings over 333 hectares of the Ipo watershed using indigenous trees such as narra, cupang, antipolo, acacia and cacao.
“Plant for Life” also extends rehabilitation efforts in coastal areas. Since 2013, Maynilad has planted 67,000 propagules covering eight hectares of coastline in Cavite City, Bacoor City, and the municipalities of Noveleta, Rosario and Kawit in Cavite Province. Mangroves are an important component of a wetland ecosystem. They serve as sanctuary for birds and fish, and also lessen the impact of typhoons and storm surges that affect coastal areas.
“Our tree-planting activities are essential in protecting the watersheds that serve as source of supply for the drinking water needs of Metro Manila and nearby provinces. With the help of our partners and the volunteers who sign up for the activity, we can cover more areas and contribute greatly to environmental conservation,” said Maynilad President and CEO Ricky P. Vargas.
IN PHOTO: Angelia Ong, winner of the Ms. Philippines-Earth 2015 and holder of the Miss Maynilad Water Warrior title, plants a tree along with 160 other volunteers during Maynilad’s 2015 Plant for Life Program kickoff at the Ipo Watershed.