In support of the 1 Million Trees Project of the Provincial Government of Sarangani (PLGU-Sarangani), the Sarangani Energy Corporation (SEC) and Siguil Hydro Power Corporation (SHPC) in partnership with Conrado & Ladislawa Alcantara Foundation, Inc. (CLAFI) launched its Watershed Enhancement Project (WEP) for Maasim on February 22, 2023 at the Datal Basak Competence and Convergence Center in Sitio Datal Basak, Brgy Kablacan, Maasim.
Mr. Ruben G. Tungpalan, Vice President for Corporate Affairs of the Alsons Power Group, shared that the WEP “Reinforces the 1 Million Trees Project of Governor Ruel D. Pacquiao as a direct instruction from the management of the Alcantara Group.”
The WEP commits to plant 110,000 endemic and endangered tree species for five (5) years from 2023-2028 to reforest the watershed areas in the Mt Busa Local Conservation Area and ensure water security in Sarangani. The 110,000 figure is to commemorate the 110th birthday of the founder of the Alcantara Group, Mr. Conrado C. Alcantara.
As early as now, there are already 70,000 trees ready for planting.
On behalf of Gov. Ruel Pacquiao, Sarangani Provincial Administrator Atty. Ryan Jay Ramos said, “In July 2022, the first order of Gov. Ruel Pacquiao was to implement a 1 Million Trees Project that will focus on the reforestation of major watershed in Sarangani in support to the Provincial Water Security Plan. The Province of Sarangani took off the 1 Million Trees Project at Kalminda Watershed, and this is the first time that we encountered a private-led reforestation project. This is a noble initiative that would enhance, protect, and sustain our watershed. Our Governor Pacquiao is thankful for taking this initiative, and rest assured that we will support this Watershed Enhancement Project. The PLGU, seven (7) MLGUs in Sarangani and private agencies like the Alcantara Group will continue to partner in making sure that the 1 Million Trees Project is successful.
Atty. Ramos added, “This is also a milestone considering that we are celebrating the 110th birth anniversary of the founder of the Alcantara Group. We know that the strong will and determination of Sir Conrado Alcantara really contributed to the development of what is now Sarangani Province.”
Sarangani Board Members Hon. Irish Arnado and Hon. Joseph Calanao also expressed gratefulness for the partnership.
Hon. Irish Arnado said, “We make efforts for ridge-to-reef. Our Provincial Government in Sarangani advocates and pushes forward our Reforestation and Development Program for our Mt Busa Local Conservation Area. This project is timely and we are thankful for the support in really making Sarangani greener and healthier.”
Hon. Joseph Calanao is also thankful for the partnership, saying that he SHPC, SEC, CLAFI and the Alcantara Group are the genuine partners of the LGUs and the NGAs in ensuring the protection of the environment in Sarangani.
The launch of the Watershed Enhancement Project was attended by the management and employees of the AG, SHPC, SEC and CLAFI, and officials from the PLGU-Sarangani, LGU-Maasim and National Government Agencies: Provincial Administrator Atty. Ryan Jay Ramos, Hon. Board Member Joseph Calanao, Hon. Board Member Irish Arnado, Maasim Vice Mayor Hon. Visitacion Nambatac, Maasim Municipal Councilor Hon. Aldrick Ambrad, DENR-PENR Officer Elvira Lumayag, PENRO-Sarangani Rolando Tuballes, CENRO Kiamba Abdul Cariga, MENRO Maasim Alejandra Sison, NCIP Sarangani headed by Provincial Officer Joey Bogay, Maasim Municipal Tribal Chieftain Datu Benjamin Donato, USAID-Safe Water, Datal Basak IP School headed by Maam Belinda Perez, Datal Basak community, members of the Armed Forces and the Philippine National Police.
As a kickoff activity, the participants planted 190 trees.
The SHPC and SEC are members of the Alcantara Group (AG). CLAFI is the Corporate Social Responsibility Arm of the AG.