Keeping with its commitments to sustainability and environmental development, retail giant SM Supermalls is taking part in the re-greening efforts of the Province of Rizal by donating P1 million to Ynares Eco System (YES) program of the provincial government.
Done under the leadership of Rizal Governor Nini Ynares, SM, through its corporate social responsibility arm SM Cares, gave the monetary support to the YES project which was used to purchase, plant and maintain bamboo species that were planted in the five tributaries of Hinulugang Taktak, one of Antipolo City’s main tourist attractions.
Hinulugang Taktak, a National Park and a Protected Landscape, is undergoing major rehabilitation after years of being under threat as a result of environmental pollution caused by the piggeries and factories built around the area as well as human encroachment.
The bamboo planting activity, done in cooperation with Strategic Partners and Alliances Inc. (SPAI) will cover three (3) hectares or 30,000 square meters of land along the waterfall.
Liza Silerio, Vice President for of SM Supermalls and Project Director of the SM Cares’ Program on Environment said they have purchased bamboos that were at least one year old and measuring three to give feet long to ensure maximum survival rate a week before the actual planting.
Aside from the bamboo planting, the project will also establish a nursery for bamboo growing where residents will be taught plant development and the many uses of bamboo. “An Adopt-A-Bamboo Program will also be forged with the residents to ensure the bamboos’ long-term care and maintenance,” she said.
Silerio said the involvement of residents in Hinulugang Taktak will ensure the viability of the program as well as help them become more aware of the value tree planting has in preserving their famous waterfall.
“We are happy to be part of this project because this is aligned with our thrust of bringing sustainability to our everyday life, especially when it comes to our environment. We are looking forward to working with the residents in the area because we believe that this will not succeed without the active participation of the very people who live around the waterfall,” she said.
Aside from Hinulugang Taktak, SM Cares is also taking part in the other greening efforts in Rizal, particularly in San Mateo, Rizal.
“We need to bring environmental consciousness to the grassroots, to the people. If people has this awareness to care for the environment and see the value of such undertaking, then our projects will not only be successful but will be duplicated in other areas,” Silerio stated.