TUBA, Benguet – SM Foundation Inc. (SMFI), through its Assistant Vice President for Livelihood and Outreach Program Cristie Angeles, led the turnover of 10,000 pine trees and fruit bearing trees to the LMCBB Gold Panners Association members which were planted last June 2013 at Liwliw, Camp 4, here as part of the Grow A Million Trees (GAMT) project of SM Foundation.
Grow A Million Trees (GAMT) was sparked by Join the M.O.B (My Own Bag), SM Markets’ green initiative that promotes the habit of reusing shopping bags. The funds collected from M.O.B days as well as pledges from other SM companies and partners are being used to grow a million trees in key DENR-protected areas and in identified national greening program sites.
In 2013, SM Markets, in partnership with SM Foundation and other SM companies and affiliates, focused on rebuilding the environment with its Grow a Million Trees and this has already passed the halfway mark with 536,479 trees planted and grown in DENR protected areas in support of their National Greening Program in Pampanga, Batangas, Laguna, Naga, Negros Occidental, Davao, Tacloban, Bulacan, Cebu, Antipolo, Samar, Leyte, Cagayan de Oro, Zambales, and General Santos City.
With the determination and perseverance of the LMCBB Gold Panners Association members, SM Foundation is thankful that despite the challenges brought about by typhoons, El Nino, and fires, SMFI has turned over 100% of the coffee, dapdap, and pine trees that were planted last 2013.
Ms. Cristie Angeles said that she is very happy that SM advocacy to regreen the Earth has rippled and inspired more people to join the movement. ‘’We are no longer just talking about planting trees but we are changing lives too, and we hope with all our heart that the recipients of the trees would be able to sustain their own livelihood using the bounty of those donated trees,’’ she added.
Mayor Ignacio Rivera commended the SM foundation for its active involvement in the government’s effort to regreen and reforest vacant spaces by planting and sustaining the growth of agro-forestry tree species which could be sources of livelihood for villagers within the various communities of the municipality.
“Part of our major program of governance is the reforestation of available spaces within the municipality through the planting of various agro-forestry tree species to empower villagers to be actively involved in reforestation and livelihood projects to sustain their sources of livelihood,” Mayor Rivera stressed.
The local chief executive appealed to various sectors of the municipality and concerned companies with corporate social responsibility projects on reforestation to help the municipal government achieve its primary goals and objectives of re-greening vacant spaces.
Rivera claimed one of the initial plans of the local government is to put up an agro-forestry demo farm in barangay Nangalisan to serve as a source of supply for agro-forestry tree species for the town.