Aboitiz Group to rehab watershed
CEBU, Philippines — Aboitiz business units in Cebu, together with the Aboitiz Foundation and the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) yesterday marked the beginning of a five-year multi-million rehabilitation project that covers 150 hectares of the Buhisan Watershed.
Dubbed as the Cebu A-Park, the project is an integrated corporate social responsibility initiative of the Aboitiz business units operating in Cebu.
The group has previously established different A-Parks across the country to establish sustainable environment programs through adopting, rehabilitating, and developing protected areas to become eco-tourism hubs.
A statement released by the Visayan Electric Company (VECO) said that the Cebu A-Park project is envisioned to span five years and will cost over P20 million.
It will include the reforestation of the 150-hectare adopted area, as well as disaster risk reduction management training and livelihood training for the people’s organizations there.
Jose Antonio Aboitiz of PBSP, Anton Mari Perdices of VECO, Maribeth Marasigan of Aboitiz Foundation, and Elvin Ivan Uy of PBSP signed the memorandum of agreement for year one of the five-year project with officials of beneficiary barangays Pamutan, Buhisan, Sapangdaku, and Toong.
Representatives from the different people’s organizations in the area and representatives from different Aboitiz business units –VECO, AboitizPower, AboitizLand, Aboitiz Construction, Aboitiz InfraCapital, Republic Cement, Mactan and Balamban Enerzones, Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, and City Savings 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.
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, 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, watchtowers for birdwatching, and natural fish spas.
Jose Antonio Aboitiz of PBSP thanked the Aboitiz Group for continuing to partner with the organization for projects aimed at protecting the watershed area. — BRP (FREEMAN)