SMC ramps up sustainability efforts nationwide, Petron to rehabilitate Sarangani Bay

San Miguel Corporation is ramping up sustainability efforts nationwide through its various subsidiaries including Petron Corporation’s rehabilitation and coastal development plan for the Sarangani Bay Protected Seascape.

There’s no let up in San Miguel Corporation’s various sustainability initiatives nationwide even during the pandemic. SMC has ongoing river cleanup projects at the Pasig and Tullahan rivers while subsidiaries San Miguel Global Power Holdings, Inc. San Miguel Brewery, Inc. Ginebra San Miguel, Inc., and Petron Corporation have established long-term upland and mangrove tree planting programs.

SMC president Ramon S. Ang said that despite the limitations brought on by the pandemic, the company remains committed to pursuing its environmental programs. These include SMC Global Power Holdings’ massive effort to plant 1.1 million trees in eight provinces this year, the P1-billion Tullahan River cleanup, and the P2-billion Pasig River rehabilitation.

“While our most recent sustainability efforts are massive in scale and are perceived to have bigger impact, there are also many environmental programs across the San Miguel group that are consistently being implemented with the help of our employee-volunteers, partner organizations, and local and national government agencies through the years,” Ang said.

“The longevity and success of these programs are a testament to their soundness and the importance of promoting environmental stewardship. This also emphasizes our culture of malasakit as shown by the dedication of our employees to see these projects through,” he added.

San Miguel Global Power Holdings’ effort to plant 1.1 million trees this year is part of a larger program called 747 Project that aims to plant at least seven million trees, across 4,000 hectares, and in at least seven provinces. Targeted areas for planting are 2,800 hectares of upland forests and 1,204 hectares of mangrove forests in Pangasinan, Zambales, Bataan, Bulacan, Quezon, Albay, Negros Occidental, and Davao Occidental.

Apart from San Miguel Global Power’s Project 747, San Miguel Brewery, Inc. and Ginebra San Miguel, Inc. have each established long-term tree-planting programs in the vicinity of its facilities and other areas in need of rehabilitation.

Under its Trees Brew Life program, San Miguel Brewery Inc. is looking to plant 66,000 trees this year, the bulk of which are 60,000 mangrove propagules to be planted under the Carmen Mangrove Development program in the municipality of Carmen and other areas in Cebu. Bacolod City and Tagoloan City in Misamis Oriental are the other target areas for tree-planting this year.

Since 2009, Trees Brew Life program has planted over 700,000 seedlings of hardwood, mangrove, and other fruit-bearing trees nationwide. The total will reach over a million trees if completed reforestation efforts with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and local government units are added.

Under the DBI (Distileria Bago, Inc.) Mangrove Project of Ginebra San Miguel Inc., the company’s volunteers and community stakeholders have been taking care of 40,000 full-grown trees across 12 hectares of land. First started in 1996, the project has an ongoing two-hectare expansion also in Bago City, Negros Occidental. Despite pandemic limitations, the program targets to plant 300 trees per quarter.

“What’s also important about these tree-planting efforts is not only the planting itself but the cooperation between the company and the community in making sure that these young trees are continuously nurtured and monitored so these can reach adult life,” Ang explained.

For the Sarangani Bay Protected Seascape, Petron’s proposed biodiversity conservation efforts include planting at least 50,000 seedlings in 10 years, coral reef rehabilitation through the installation of marker buoys in Takut-Tabu Reef, sustained shoreline cleanup along Sarangani Bay, and regular cleanup of Changco Creek.         

The Sarangani Bay Protected Seascape, which is part of the National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS), covers Sarangani Bay and a portion of the municipal waters of Maitum, Kiamba, and Maasim, Sarangani. It was established as a protected seascape through Presidential Proclamation 756.

Since 2000, Petron has planted over 1 million trees and mangroves nationwide in support of the government’s National Greening Program, aimed at restoring the country’s forest cover. Under its Puno ng Buhay program, the company has adopted a total of 30 hectares of mangrove reforestation areas in Tacloban City, Leyte and Roxas City, Capiz.

Recently, SMC launched the P2-billion Pasig River rehabilitation project that aims to extract 50,000 metric tons of silt and solid waste monthly or 600,000 metric tons annually from the river for five years, to help mitigate flooding in Metro Manila and reduce plastic waste pollution.

The company’s other massive dredging project at the Tullahan-Tinajeros River now covers 11.5-kilometers or close to half of the 27-kilometer tributary that stretches from Manila Bay in Navotas City to the La Mesa Dam in Quezon City. As of June 7, the dredging output is at 272,000 metric tons of silt and solid waste.

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