SUN.STAR Davao is turning 15 next month and thus it has been busy with build-up activities for the grand event. Among them, a confirmation of Sun.Star Davao's long reputation as a champion for environmental issues.

Last Friday, August 13, Sun.Star Davao personnel and officers rode up the rough roads of Manuel Guianga in Tugbok district, Davao City as its part in adopting a site at the Mt. Talomo-Lipadas watershed.

The project "Do Green, Live Green" is part of Sun.Star's corporate social responsibility (CSR) program that started off last August 6 when Sun.Star Davao signed a memorandum of agreement for environmental protection and conservation with the Davao City Water District, under DCWD's Adopt-A-Site Program to save the Mt. Talomo-Lipadas watershed, the watershed area that ensures that the city continues to get safe and potable water.

As DCWD reveals, Davao City's groundwater is largely dependent on two watersheds, the 235-hectare Malagos watershed in Calinan and the 38,460-hectare Mt. Talomo-Lipadas watershed. Both are at the foot slops of Mt. Apo National Park.

Recognizing the importance of these two watersheds for the city's sustainable water supply, DCWD in 1993 started on comprehensive, sustainable and community-based watershed rehabilitation with the aim of rehabilitating 530 hectares in these two watersheds, specifically in barangays New Daliaon and Tungkalan in Toril District, and Manuel Guianga in Tugbok District.

Sun.Star Davao opted to adopt a hectare in Manuel Guianga.

One thing was sure though as the group travelled on a rough-and-tumble jeepney for long hours toward the identified site described as "unahan lang sa eskwelahan," it was the first time for most of them to see this remote site of highly-urbanized Davao.

And yes, they had to pass through several public schools before finally reaching the particular school pointed out to them.

But then, we're talking about watersheds, and let us just be glad that our watersheds remain conducive to being what they are. Other cities in the country have already allowed property development projects right on their watersheds and are thus suffering nature's retaliation: dire lack of drinking water supply.