Aboitiz Group renews partnership for Cebu A-Park’s reforestation of Buhisan Watershed Forest Reserve
With a country as rich in natural splendor and beauty as the Philippines, it is only natural that Filipinos work hard as stewards of this environmental gift. The Aboitiz Group, through its #OneAboitizSustainability program, is committed to mobilizing their resources and expertise to address the environmental challenges of the day.
On Monday, December 12, the Aboitiz Group renewed their partnership with the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) for the Cebu A-Park’s reformation of the 150-hectare Buhisan Watershed Forest Reserve with the Central Cebu Protected Landscape.
Cebu A-Park is focused on rehabilitating and enriching the forest cover of the Buhisan Watershed Forest Reserve. This initiative is the product of the integrated CSR efforts of the Aboitiz Foundation, which is the corporate social responsibility arm of the Group, and the different Aboitiz business units operating in Cebu including Visayan Electric, working alongside PBSP. The project supports the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ (DENR) Enhanced National Greening Program.
“This project is yet another crucial step towards ensuring continuity in making a positive impact on our national development. It represents the essence of the Aboitiz Group’s purpose and brand promise: to drive change for a better world by advancing business and communities,” said Aboitiz Equity Ventures First Vice President and Chief Reputation and Sustainability Officer Ginggay Hontiveros.
The partnership renewal signing was held at the office of Visayan Electric in Cebu. In attendance with Hontiveros were Visayan Electric President and Chief Operating Officer Engr. Raul Lucero, Visayan Electric Reputation Manager Quennie Bronce, Aboitiz Foundation Program Manager and Visayas ICSR Co-Chairperson Jowelle Ann Cruz, PBSP Head of Finance Dennis Vitug, PBSP Corporate Citizenship and CSR Manager Khairon Niza Magundacan and DENR Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Sandra Lapinid.
“Our Group’s contribution is part of our commitment to co-create safe, empowered, and sustainable communities. Sustainability is a major part of our Great Transformation to become the Philippines’ first techglomerate, and we will continue to do our part to uplift and bring focus on environmentally and socially impactful initiatives for all our stakeholders,” continued Hontiveros.
“Let us take even more deliberate steps together to help contribute to the 2030 Agenda for the Sustainable Development Goals, and stay focused on aligning our initiatives to this agenda. We look forward to forging partnerships with more sustainability partners in our continuing journey towards ensuring a sustainable future for generations to come,” she added.
In 2019, the first year of the partnership, nearly 600 Aboitiz team members volunteered at the Aboitiz Group company-wide tree planting. Additionally, 100 families from the community were mobilized in the plantation establishment and maintenance activities. Across the year, over 50,000 seedlings of native and fruit-bearing trees were planted across 30 hectares. There were also structural developments that laid the foundation for long-term protection, including the establishment of a bamboo riparian zone and footpaths.
The ongoing partnership between the Aboitiz Group and PBSP under the Cebu A-Park program will see the continued planting and maintenance of the protected forest to address the threats of the impending water crisis in Metro Cebu. The planned five-year program will not only focus on rehabilitation but will also enable the families in the community to have access to a sustainable livelihood. Alongside the positive environmental impact of the green space, visitors can also expect the establishment of a butterfly sanctuary, the repair of the central nursery that was damaged during Typhoon Odette, and the installation of further footpaths and trails to better enjoy the natural splendor. #