HUNDREDS of employees of Vivant Group recently planted 5,000 seedlings of fruit-bearing trees in Barangay Bonbon, Cebu City.
Among the volunteers were the company’s executive assistant Peachie Bondoc and her six-year-old daughter Kierra.
Kierra did not practice for her school’s intramural games. She urged her mother to let her join the activity.
“She insisted on joining because she wanted to plant trees that will prevent flooding in the lowlands,” Bondoc said.
Vivant Group held the tree planting activity with the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP).
The reforestation site in Bonbon is located within the Central Cebu Protected Landscape (CCPL), which is being rehabilitated because of its importance in sustaining water supply in Metro Cebu and the biodiversity it supports.
Vivant executive vice president Arlo Sarmiento said the company’s tree planting efforts are “one of the ways we can give back to the environment while ensuring the sustainability of our business.”
“Environmental protection is not just the company’s responsibility, but of every one of us. Being a forward-looking company, Vivant needs to fulfill this duty to ensure our future and those of our children,” he said.
Vivant employees were encouraged to bring their family members and friends to help plant trees.
Real estate firm JEG Development Corporation also joined in the activity.
“Weekends are always for the family and Vivant’s annual tree planting allows us to do something worthwhile with our loved ones. In our family, we consider tree planting as a way to make up for what the rest of the humanity has done to our planet,” Vivant senior manager for treasury Debbie Artiaga said.
Vivant, a member company of PBSP, has been planting trees in CCPL since 2009. Its planting site is being maintained by Bonbon Nagkahiusa Farmers Association.
The dwindling water supply in Metro Cebu, coupled with poverty in the communities within the CCPL, compelled PBSP and its member companies and partners to continue the rehabilitation of the CCPL and reforestation of its forest cover to approximately 5,000 hectares.
Over the last few years, PBSP’s partnership with the business sector yielded 800 hectares of reforestation sites with at least 80 percent survival rate. Aside from reforestation, PBSP also engages the communities in the maintenance of nurseries and sites, community development planning and delivery of livelihood and social services.