It can’t be argued that trees, while they provide us with invaluable benefits, are often taken for granted.
June is celebrated as the Philippine Environment Month. Coinciding with this, June 25th is celebrated every year as Philippine Arbor Day, a day dedicated to planting and caring for trees. The Energy Development Corporation (EDC) takes this as an opportunity to further celebrate and advocate for our native tree species.
Every year, EDC celebrates BINHI Day to mark Philippine Arbor Day. BINHI is EDC’s comprehensive forest restoration program that aims to reforest degraded lands, rescue vanishing native trees, develop ecotourism areas and provide livelihood to local communities. BINHI also protects and sustains the geothermal recharge as the company continues to deliver clean and renewable geothermal energy nationwide.
The theme of this year’s BINHI Day celebrations was “#Infinitree: Plant | Protect | Share.” The coined word, “Infinitree,” combines the words “infinity” and “tree,” highlighting the timeless importance of our trees.
A short program was prepared for EDC head office employees at the One Corporate Center last June 29th, with Ms. Mercedes “Cedie” Lopez, Executive Director of the Lopez Group Foundation, Inc. (LGFI), and Ms. Earth 2017, Karen Ibasco, as special guests.
“Trees are critical to our survival. Our BINHI program knows this. We plant trees because we need to. Their last breath may well be our last too,” Lopez shared during her inspirational message, as she stressed the urgency of planting more trees for our future, especially in the face of climate change.
Ms. Earth 2017 Karen Ibasco, a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Applied Physics graduate from the University of Santo Tomas, shares with EDC the advocacy for sustainable and renewable energy, making her the perfect guest to grace the 2018 BINHI Day celebrations.
“As Ms. Earth and as a scientist, it is an honor to use both my profession and platform to shed light on my advocacy. The Philippines is vulnerable to the effects of climate change due to its geographical location. I am convinced that climate change is a reality; every year, more scientific peer-reviewed journals have shown the reality of climate change as a result of human activity. As Ms. Earth, I am happy to see people and corporations like EDC who share this advocacy of upholding environmental causes,” Ibasco shared.
On June 30th, head office employees brought family and friends to the EDC-BINHI VMR Nursery in Antipolo for a tree planting activity. More than a hundred employees from EDC and other Lopez group companies participated in planting native trees, which were planted in hedge rows intended for cuttings collection to propagate more of these trees.
EDC’s business units also celebrated the Environment Month and Philippine Arbor Day through their respective environmental activities. Tree planting activities were done by employees from EDC’s Burgos Wind site in Ilocos Norte and from the Negros Island Geothermal Business Unit (NIGBU) in Valencia, Negros Oriental. Meanwhile, employees from Bacman Geothermal Business Unit (BGBU) in Bicol held a tree planting activity and a river clean-up in Sorsogon City. Meanwhile, two arboreta were inaugurated – one in the Leyte Geothermal Business Unit (LGBU) in Kananga, Leyte and another in the Mt. Apo Geothermal Business Unit (MAGBU) in Kidapawan City, North Cotabato.
The BINHI program now has 152 partners across 16 regions in the country, with 9,196 hectares of denuded forests restored inside EDC’s geothermal reservations and other watershed areas.
EDC Human Resources Management Group Senior Vice President Ma. Elizabeth Nasol, Corporate Affairs Group Vice President Ricky Carandang, Ms. Earth 2017 Karen Ibasco, Lopez Group Foundation, Inc. Executive Director Mercedes Lopez, and EDC Corporate Affairs Senior Manager Atty. Allan Barcena grace the 2018 BINHI Day celebrations at the One Corporate Center, with the theme #Infinitree: Plant | Protect | Share.
LGFI Executive Director Mercedes Lopez shares her inspirational message, where she stressed the importance of our trees and the urgency of saving them in the face of climate change.
Ms. Earth 2017 Karen Ibasco shares her message, where she shares her advocacy of sustainable energy.
EDC head office employees brought family and friends to plant native trees in the hedge garden in the EDC-BINHI VMR Nursery in Antipolo.
Employees from the EDC Bacman Geothermal Business Unit (BGBU) held a river clean-up of the Rizal River in Sorsogon City with the LGU, members of the Alliance of Bacman Farmers Association, Inc. (ALBAFAI), the Philippine Army, and residents as part of its Adopt-an-Estero partnership with the DENR.
Marvin Kenneth S. Bailon, EDC BGBU Head, and Josephine J. Lasala, Tulungan Farmers Association President, plant a tree during BGBU’s tree planting activity.
EDC Negros Island Business Unit (NIGBU) employee Geliah Taboco planted a Balete tree with her son, Kian, to teach him the value of caring for the environment.
EDC’s Leyte Geothermal Business Unit (LGBU) leads the inauguration of the EDC-LGBU BINHI Arboretum, a two-hectare arboretum that houses our native trees.
The 0.8-hectare EDC-MAGBU BINHI Arboretum was inaugurated by the EDC Mt. Apo Geothermal Business Unit (MAGBU) employees and their local partners. This is BINHI’s 9th arboretum in the country.