SM Foundation plants seedlings in DSB

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Thursday, July 17, 2014


SM FOUNDATION Inc. (SMFI), in partnership with government line agencies and a people’s organization, planted around 2,000 seedlings of hard wood and fruit-bearing trees at the mountainous area of SPAR 20 in Barangay Bunga Don Salvador Benedicto (DSB) on Wednesday.

The tree-planting was in line with SM Foundation’s “Grow A Million Trees” project, an endeavor to support the government’s National Greening Program.

The activity was led by SMFI AVP for Livelihood and Outreach Program Cristie Angeles, and officials of the Bacolod City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and members of the Don Salvador Benedicto Agro Forest Farmers Association (DSBAFFA).

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Prior to the tree-planting, officials of SMFI, CENRO, DSWD, DILG, TESDA, and SBAFFA signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) for the said project at the CENRO office in DSB.

Angeles said SM’s “Grow A Million Trees” project was launched in June last year. This year, they partnered with DSWD for capacity building and social entrepreneurship.

The objective of the tree-planting program is also to create a livelihood opportunity for residents, whether selling the lumber or the fruits from the trees, so they can use the money to send their children to school.

“Last year, we were able to start ‘My Own Bag’ program in the s
Supermarkets and we were able to plant 50,000 seedlings. Today, we have planted about 300,000 in the first year nationwide,” Angeles said.

Volunteers are taught the importance of planting and the proper way to plant the seedlings. Areas planted under this project are monitored by SMFI for three years to ensure the growth of the young trees. Eventually, these areas are turned over to the DENR.

Angeles said in the next three months, SMFI representatives will come over to visit DSB to see if the 10,000 trees allocated in area have been planted.

Under the MOA, DSBAFFA members will plant more 8,000 trees in the area.

‘Grow a Million Trees’ is not only planting but also advocating for others to follow; the more people involved in planting trees, the better, Angeles added.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on July 17, 2014.

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