BAGUIO CITY – SM Prime Holdings Inc. owner of the giant chain of malls in the country, was able to sustain its environmental preservation and protection efforts following the 100 percent growth of the 81,376 assorted trees it was able to plant over the past twelve years.
SM City Baguio started its full blast operations at Luneta Hill here in November 2003 but it already started its tree planting activities in 2002.
Karren Nobres, SM City Baguio public relations manager, disclosed from 2002 to 2011, SM was able to plant and nurture a total of 21,075 assorted tree seedlings in various plantation sites around the city to help sustain the state of the city’s environment.
Of the 21,075 assorted tree seedlings that were planted and nurtured over the past twelve years, 18,935 were Benguet pine trees, 2070 were agoho trees, 50 are alnus trees and 20 are bottle brush trees.
“SM management wants to show its commitment and support to overall efforts to preserve and protect the environment that is why we are actively involved in tree planting and nurturing efforts so that the trees we planted will grow and serve their purposes in the future,” Nobres stressed.
From 2012 to 2014, the SM official cited it was able to plant a total of 60,301 assorted seedlings and sapplings in various watersheds, particularly the Busol watershed and the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) reservation, concretizing its commitment to environmental preservation and protection efforts.
According to her, SM hired a contractor purposely to maintain the planted seedlings for a period of three years until such time that they were able to grow on their own, thus, the 100 percent survival rate considering that those that were not able to survive were immediately replaced.
She explained the 81,376 assorted trees that were planted and nurtured over the past twelve years are exclusive of the 100 tree seedlings for every tree that were cut in its compound to pave the way for its expansion project or a total of 6,000 seedlings as compensatory requirement and its further commitment to plant an additional 500,000 seedlings in the different parts of Baguio and Benguet in the coming five years.
By February this year, Nobres claimed SM will be initially planting a total of 50,000 assorted seedlings in various plantation sites that will be identified by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the city government.
She underscored SM remains committed to its mandate to help sustain the city’s state of environment by being actively involved in tree planting and nurturing activities because they want the present and future generations of local residents to enjoy the presence of trees in their surroundings.
She added SM will continue with its best practice of sustaining the growth of the trees that they planted through their hired contractor so that the tree seedlings will not just go to waste and that they will grow to help sequester carbon and reduce pollution in the air and contribute in efforts to improve the quality of air that people breathe in order to prevent them from contracting air-borne illnesses.
By Dexter A. See