PLDT through Community Relations, in partnership with the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP), has recently adopted another one-hectare agro-forestry site in Sitio Inigan, Rodriguez, Rizal, thus helping ensure its rehabilitation and securing additional income for the farmers.
The PLDT employee-volunteers led by PLDT ComRel Head Katherine Diaz De Rivera with PBSP volunteers and farmers come together for a group photo.
With the efforts of around 25 PLDT employee-volunteers, about 900 fruit-bearing seedlings were planted in the watershed area – an effort that is very timely as the Company celebrates its 90th Anniversary this year. PLDT has long been supporting the reforestation program of PBSP in its effort to rehabilitate the Marikina Watershed. From 2012-2013, at least 13 hectares have been planted and are maintained by PBSP’s partner farmers organizations.
For this additional hectare, PLDT and PBSP partnered with the Inigan Upland Farmers Association, Inc (IUFA) who will be in charge of the maintenance for the next three years.
In 2009, the Philippines was devastated by Typhoon Ondoy caused by flashfloods and landslides. People believed that this disaster was rooted in the extensive illegal logging and slash-and-burn practice prevalent in the community. With this, PBSP established a reforestation program in the Marikina watersheds to prevent possibilities of flashfloods and landslide. The city of Marikina was one of the most affected cities in the country during this unfortunate phenomenon.
This PLDT-PBSP project is indeed an effort to rehabilitate the watershed but also secure additional income for the farmers. The project provides additional income to almost 20 households in the community through maintenance and protection works in the adopted sites. Additional earnings for IUFA is also set be given once replacement planting for seedlings that did not survive will be eventually completed. In the long run, the fruit-bearing trees in the one hectare agroforestry site will provide the community additional income.
The project also provided a fiber-glass motorized banca for the IUFA since the area is often isolated in cases of heavy rains . The donation is seen to benefit both students and families in the community. It is also expected to help expedite the transport of the farm produce to the marketplace, encouraging more farming activities.
Some of the IUFA kids participate in the Christmas Tree making activity.
There was also some special activities with the children of IUFA, aged 7–12 years old. The activities included book coloring and a Christmas Tree-making contest. Food was also provided for the community.