SAN Miguel Brewery Inc. (SMB) will launch Saturday its adopt-a-hectare program through a nationwide tree-planting activity conducted in eight key areas in the country.

More than 10,000 seedlings of hardwood, mangrove and fruit-bearing species will be planted Saturday in simultaneous tree-planting rites in Ninoy Aquino Memorial Park, Quezon City; Malolos, Bulacan; Taytay, Rizal; Matangtubig Watershed in Cabuyao, Laguna; Arayat National Park, Pampanga; City Tree Park in Bacolod City; Marcelo Fernan Bridge, Mandaue City; and Sibulan River in Davao del Sur.

"Although our breweries have their respective year-round CSR initiatives with the San Miguel Foundation, this is the first time that we are going to plant on a nationwide level on the same date," said SMB president Roberto N. Huang in the Pampanga ceremony.

He revealed that the company opted to use the P1.5-million monetary reward from its strategic alliance, Kirin Company Limited Holdings Japan, to fund the SMB Trees Brew Life Adopt-a-Hectare Program.

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Last June, SMB received the "Best Managed Subsidiary" Award from its Japanese partner.

"Instead of using the cash gratuity for our company anniversary celebration on October 1, we have decided to embark on a national tree-planting activity to help protect the watershed," said Huang.

SMB has been actively involved in programs that promote education, health and basic services, livelihood and the environment. This year, the company strengthens its major CSR program advocacy campaign by launching its "Buhayin ang Kalikasan" program. The Trees Brew Life Adopt-A-Hectare Program is the newest initiative under the ongoing campaign.

"We believe that this program will not only immortalize the fruits of our hard work but it will also allow us to give back our blessings to the Filipino nation - to whom this beer company owes its 120 years of existence," Huang said

Some 2,000 people comprised of SMB employees and multi-sectoral partners are present in the ceremonies. Eighty five percent of the delegation is comprised of SMB volunteer employees from the Head Office Complex in Mandaluyong City; SMB breweries in Valenzuela; San Fernando, Pampanga; Bacolod City; Mandaue City and Davao del Sur, as well as sales offices in South Luzon Area, Greater Metro Manila North and South, Visayas and Mindanao.

"What makes this program extra special is the unselfish contribution and support of SMB employees and our partners from various sectors including government and non-government agencies, business groups and our friends from the media," Huang said.

The SMB Trees Brew Life Adopt-a-Hectare Program, which will initially run in the next three to five years, is co-implemented with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and local government units and in partnership with NGOs, people organizations, civic associations, business groups and surrounding communities.

Under the program, SMB hopes to be able to contribute in ensuring the availability of water supply by protecting, preserving and rehabilitating selected forest covers, regeneration of mangrove areas and propagation of planting materials for an eco-friendly environment.

Likewise, the company aims to help in reforestation, increasing mangrove density, nursery development, capability-building and conduct of a sustained environmental information drive.

"August 7, 2010 will be marked on the SMB calendar as another date to remember. This is one rare occasion that we all together stand proud and make a statement that SMB cares beyond business," said Huang.