- August 15, 2016
- Posted by: Marvin Garcia
The Land Bank of the Philippines (Landbank) is aware of the massive deforestation in the country’s forests. To address this issue, the Bank entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in August 2006, for the “Adopt-A-Watershed Project” covering 14 hectares of denuded forestlands in six (pilot areas nationwide). The MOA expired in 2011 and a terminal report submitted by the DENR in 2011 has shown success of the project. The same report recommended that the project be expanded as part of the National Greening Program (NGP) of the Government. Thus, Landbank and DENR renewed its partnership in 2012 for a three-year “Adopt-A-Watershed Program II” (2012-2015) that will rehabilitate a total of 40 hectares of denuded forests in six (6) sites nationwide (2 sites for each of the three major islands in the country: Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao). In 2013, the program continued to progress in its second year. In celebration of Landbank’s 50th Anniversary, a special tree-planting project, dubbed “[email protected]” was conceived. The tree-planting project, which complemented the Bank’s existing “Adopt-A-Watershed Program”, mobilized Landbank volunteers and their families in planting 50,000 seedlings in selected watersheds all over the country from January 17 until August 10, 2013. The DENR provided seedlings free of charge, together with preparation of the planting site. Like the “Adopt-A-Watershed Program (Phases I, II)”, the tree planting is Landbank’s contribution to the NGP of Philippine President Benigno Aquino III. The “Adopt-A-Watershed Program Phase II” is an improvement from Phase I since it is now a tripartite agreement among Landbank, DENR and the respective People’s Organization (PO)currently residing in the area. Involving POs in the area ensures that the seedlings are taken care of (e.g., weeding, fertilizer application) in the plated sites, ensuring a higher rate of survival. The POs also receive some token amount as incentive for their efforts. During the Phase I of the program (2005-2010), hardwood tree species were planted in the watersheds, while in Phase II fruit-bearing trees were introduced so that the upland dwellers/communities may benefit from the fruits of the trees. Families and friends of Landbank employees were invited/encouraged to participate, fostering volunteerism and camaraderie. Landbank’s “Adopt-A-Watershed Program II/50k50th” was winner of the ADFIAP Outstanding Development Project Award 2014 under the Corporate Social Responsibility Category.