ITOGON, Benguet – Benguet Corporation was able to plant at least 50,000 assorted tree seedlings in various parts of this mineral-rich town as part of its commitment to help achieve the goals and objectives of the government’s national greening program (NGP) in order to bring back the greenery of denuded mountains nationwide.
Mingnon de Leon, BC vice president for administration said the assorted trees were planted in 15 separate sites in Barangays Virac and Loacan, Itogon with an aggregate land area of close to 90 hectares.
She added majority of the seedlings planted are Benguet Pine Tree while the others are Gmelina, Mahogany, Calliandra, Mangium and coffee which were identified to thrive best in the different parts of the Cordillera.
“We want to contribute in the government’s reforestation program being a responsible mining company. We want people in our host and neighboring communities to enjoy the benefits of a balanced ecology,” de Leon stressed.
NGP mandates the planting of 1.5 billion trees in a total land area of 1.5 million hectares of denuded forests until 2016, wherein all sectors are enjoined to participate by being able to plant assorted trees in order to help bring back the greenery of the barren mountains.
Benguet Corp has been conducting reforestation activities since 1921, the first mining company to do so in the highlands for the benefit of sustaining the greenery of the mountains within its mining communities.
Aside from planting trees in identified reforestation sites, the company also provides residents in host communities the required seedlings which they plant in their own identified planting sites in relation to their tree planting activities which form part of the overall goal of reforesting ruined portions of the environment.
De Leon said Benguet Corp wants to leave a good legacy behind, especially being the first mine to be established, so that other future mining companies will follow its track record as an environmentally-friendly company that values the importance of environmental preservation and protection.
In Benguet Province alone, the country’s 111 year-old pioneering mining company has planted more than 22 million trees. When all its other areas of operations in the country are included, the figure reaches more than 24 million trees planted in some 22 thousand hectares of total land area.
The BC official appealed to people living in its host and neighboring communities to continue enhancing their contributions to environmental preservation and protection by actively being involved in massive reforestation activities for the benefit of the present and future generation of Filipinos.
Benguet Corporation now operates its mine sites in the province through their contract small-scale mining operations.
De Leon expressed her gratitude to the concerned government agencies and the local governments for their utmost support in the implementation of their reforestation projects around their mining areas in order to sustain its gains beneficial to the greater majority of the populace.