The Philippines’ leading airline has partnered with Forest Foundation Philippines and Miriam College Environmental Studies Institute to enhance the protection and conservation of forest land in Rizal province.
The Forest Foundation is a nonprofit organization that provides grants to organizations that empower citizens to protect and conserve forests, while Miriam College ESI is a pioneer in school-based education and advocacy for the environment.
Together, Cebu Pacific, the Forest Foundation, and Miriam College ESI have pledged to plant 5,200 native seedlings in the forest lands of Barangay Laiban, Tanay, Rizal. Through the "Adopt a Seedling" program, done under the banner of the airline's Juan Effect CSR initiative, Cebu Pacific and Cebgo employees raised enough personal contributions to adopt 601 seedlings, which will be planted in their names.
The area selected for the joint reforestation effort is part of the Kaliwa Watershed and serves as a window to the Sierra Madre, the country’s longest mountain range. The forests of the Sierra Madre range, also known as the “backbone of Luzon,” help protect the eastern portion of the island from typhoons and storm surges.
Narra, kamagong, antipolo, tibig, banaba are among the native tree species that will be planted in the forestland, along with a few other fruit-bearing trees. These trees will support the recovery and expansion of forest habitats for wildlife, protect watershed and freshwater resources, improve the local natural landscape, connect forest fragments, and provide a sustainable source of income for forest-dependent communities.
Alex Reyes, Chief Strategy Officer at Cebu Pacific, said that the collaboration is among the many ways the airline is moving toward greater sustainability and environment conservation. “Our tree-planting initiative is part of our sustainability journey. It is our small way of contributing to environmental stewardship and supporting local livelihoods," said Reyes.
Atty. Jose Andres Canivel, Forest Foundation executive director, believes the collaboration will boost the prospects for the protection and conservation of local forests.
“We are grateful how this partnership brought us to grow forests together during this difficult time. Despite reports stating that nature is recovering, our conservation challenges, in fact, remain. We are still losing forests and forest biodiversity. Our forest-dependent communities still need our support. By planting native and fruit-bearing trees, we are hopeful that this collaboration will enable us to contribute to both the protection and conservation of our forests and development of livelihood opportunities for our forest-dependent communities in Luzon," said Canivel.
Ambassador Laura Q. Del Rosario, Miriam College president, said the joint project was a fine example of how corporations can work with other institutions to address environmental issues.
“With Cebu Pacific working in tandem with a school like Miriam College, under the guidance of the Forest Foundation Philippines, we can show that businesses do care and that they play a significant role in the reforestation movement,” Del Rosario said.
“We also believe that Cebu Pacific can be a leader in showing the way to being involved in improving, not just the environment, but also the quality of life of communities whose livelihood depends on nature’s resources.”
CEB has been providing affordable, safe, and reliable flights to its customers to facilitate connectivity between families and communities since 1996. As it tirelessly works on moving people and cargo across great distances more efficiently, CEB ensures that it achieves its objectives in a manner that empowers its people, protects the environment, and supports communities so they may thrive.