Employees of Philippine Manila Standard Publishing, Inc. and Kagitingan Printing Press Inc. took part in the company’s sixth tree planting project, dubbed “Adopt a Tree,” on July 23 on the back of consistent efforts to lessen the effects of climate change.
But this year’s tree planting was a special one as every seedling planted on the 1.5-hectare land at Ipo Dam in Barangay San Mateo in Norzagaray, Bulacan symbolized a new chapter for Manila Standard.
“With this tree planting activity, we want to make sure that the trees grow together with the Standard,” publisher Rolando Estabillo said in his opening remarks.
On Jul. 25, The Standard reverted to its old name Manila Standard and previous broadsheet format after more than a year in tallboy size.
“We are not growing old because of so many reverts that we did,” Estabillo said in recollection, adding, “Hopefully, when these trees grow, they would be symbolic to the growth of Standard—that we live longer this time.”
Manila Standard employees were likewise optimistic for the new page the newspaper is on as they participated in the company’s corporate social responsibility efforts.
Initiated by Circulation Manager Edgar Valmorida, the “Adopt a Tree” project kicked off at Ipo Dam Watershed in Norzagaray, Bulacan on Nov. 28, 2009.
“At first, I introduced the idea of planting a tree for every new subscriber that will subscribe to then Manila Standard Today. When we (Valmorida and former Advertising Manager Gina Versoza) presented the idea to the then President and CEO Rogelio Salazar, he approved it and made it our CSR project,” related Valmorida.
The first leg of the tree planting activity was then followed by planting events at Halamanang Pilipino in Luneta Park, Manila; brought to Paco Park and Pook ni Mariang Makiling in Los Baños, Laguna; took place at Marikina Riverbanks in Marikina City in 2010 as part of the government’s rehabilitation program following the onslaught of Typhoon Ondoy that crippled the city; and returned to Ipo Dam for another batch of tree seedlings.
Now on its sixth sowing, the tree planting activity brought Advertising, Circulation, Editorial, Finance, Human Resources, MIS, Production and Purchasing employees back to Ipo Dam Watershed in Barangay San Mateo for the third time.
Previously a lush range, it has been denuded due to illegal poachers, according to Celia Esteban of the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) of Bulacan. But Manila Standard is working together with other companies to help the area return to its original state.
Along with Esteban, Manila Standard employees were welcomed by Roger Encarnacion and Julie Mustafa of PENRO. The one-day activity was co-presented by San Miguel Corporation. Major sponsors included DENR, Metro Pacific Investments and First Gen Corporation. Support from Jollibee, McDonald’s, National Power Corporation, Hapee Toothpaste and CDO Foodsphere, Inc. helped make the affair successful.
In gratitude for their support, seedlings were planted under the advertisers and subscribers’ respective names.
“You will see however small it is, this symbolizes the importance of public and private cooperation. It doesn’t have to be a big project, it’s the sincerity and consistency [that count],” said Estabillo.
He added, “This one is our sixth sowing, and you can see that we are really consistent in our effort to help preserve Mother Nature.”
Valmorida bared plans to continue with the company’s environment projects in the coming years.
“We have a plan to adopt an area in Antipolo. Or opt to plant in other areas where our contacts in DENR Central Office might offer, or we can do river or coastal cleanups or mangrove planting depending on what is permissible,” shared the Circulation department chief.
Both Estabillo and Valmorida recognize the importance of the tree planting activity in fostering stronger relationship among Manila Standard employees—on top of helping protect the environment.
“This is a way to bond and at the same time give back to the community that supports Manila Standard. This project is not only for the present but also for the future,” enthused Estabillo.
For his part, Valmorida said the affair was a chance for the Manila Standard staff to be together in doing something that will benefit the environment.
“Not only are we promoting camaraderie amongst our employees, we are also giving them the privilege of contributing something good to the future of the country. We are also extending the activity not only to our advertisers and subscribers but to the families of our employees as well,” said Valmorida.
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