MANKAYAN, Benguet – Lepanto Consolidated Mining Company (LCMC) is intensifying its reforestation efforts in Mankayan town this year by planting a total of 50,000 Benguet pine and fruit bearing trees across 5 hectares of land. Further, the company has committed to donate another 50,000 assorted tree seedlings to interested organizations and local government units (LGUs) in the region.
Since its kick-off on the Earth Day celebration in April, the company has reforested about 2 hectares of land with 20,000 seedlings. The remaining 30,000 seedlings will be planted in Mankayan’s communal forest and watershed areas within the quarter.
The tree planting activities are carried out every Saturday and on relevant celebrations like the World Environment Day (June 5) and Philippine Arbor Day (June 25) in cooperation with various stakeholders such as the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the academe, LGUs, interns from different schools, contractors, community members, and employees of Lepanto and its subsidiaries.
“For years, Lepanto has been supportive of DENR’S National Greening Program through massive reforestation projects. Lepanto’s reforestation program started decades ago, and has planted over 6.5 million trees over an area of 800 hectares. Every milestone or important occasion in Lepanto is marked by tree planting activities. This is our way of keeping our commitment to the environment”, shared LCMC President and COO Bryan U. Yap.
LCMC earned 1st prize in DENR’s Adopt a Tree, Adopt a Mining Forest program in 1999 for planting 1.2 million trees. The company also donates tens of thousands of seedlings every year to Mankayan and neighbouring towns to support their respective greening programs.
Reforestation and other environment- related activities are embodied in Lepanto’s Annual Environmental Protection and Enhancement Program (AEPEP).The AEPEP budget for this year amounts to P191.97 million, more than double last year’s P77.59 million, and a testament to Lepanto’s commitment to protect, preserve, and enhance the environment. Substantial allocations have also been made for the operation and management of the newly-built engineered sanitary landfill, the first in the Philippine mining industry, and continuous effluent management.
By Dexter A. See