Aboitiz Group commits to rehabilitate 150 hectares in Buhisan Watershed
Aboitiz business units in Cebu, together with the Aboitiz Foundation and the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) today marked the beginning of a multi-million rehabilitation project that covers 150 hectares of the Buhisan Watershed.
Dubbed the Cebu A-Park, the project is an integrated Corporate Social Responsibility (iCSR) initiative of the Aboitiz business units that are operating in Cebu.
The group has established different A-Parks across the country, a nationwide effort to establish sustainable environment programs through adopting, rehabilitating, and developing protected areas to become eco-tourism hubs all over the country.
The Cebu A-Park project is envisioned to span five years and will cost over P20million. It will include reforestation of the 150-hectare adopted area, as well as disaster risk reduction management training and livelihood training for the people’s organizations there.
Aboitiz Foundation First Vice President and COO Maribeth L. Marasigan, Visayan Electric Company COO Anton Mari G. Perdices and PBSP Director for Operations Elvin Uy signed the memorandum of agreement for year one of the project, which will cost P3.2 million, in the presence of representatives from the four barangays covered by the watershed area – Buhisan, Toong, Sapangdaku and Pamutan. Representatives from the different people’s organizations in the area and representatives from the different Aboitiz business units operating in Cebu — Visayan Electric Company, AboitizPower, AboitizLand, Aboitiz Construction, Aboitiz InfraCapital, Republic Cement, Mactan and Balamban Enerzones, Ramon Aboitiz Foundation and CitySavings Bank, also attended the MOA signing.
“This project is only the beginning. With all of us starting on the same page, having the same destination and story ending, and agreeing to be measured in the same way, we will achieve more,” said Marasigan of the united efforts of the Aboitiz business units for the project. She added that projects that advance business and communities are among the top priorities of the group.
Aside from contributing to the efforts to protect the Buhisan watershed, Visayan Electric’s Perdices said that the project will promote love for nature and eco-tourism as the electric utility will spearhead the establishment of a butterfly sanctuary in the area.
“This area is really a beautiful place to bring your children to, so they are aware of the need to plant trees to protect and save the environment, and to think this is just within the city,” Perdices added.
Also included in the five-year project are the establishment of hiking trails, watch towers for bird watching and natural fish spas.
Jose Antonio Aboitiz of PBSP, for his part, thanked the Aboitiz Group for continuing to partner with the organization for projects that are aimed at protecting the watershed area.