Not even a looming downpour could stop Anchor Land’s very own “earth warriors” from heeding the call to save the last major watershed in Metro Manila.
Volunteer employees from different departments at Anchor Land joined on October 4 the tree planting activity meant to enrich the rainforest of La Mesa Watershed. Led by the ABS-CBN Foundation, Inc.’s environmental program Bantay Kalikasan, the company donated and planted 1,200 indigenous species of makaasim, banaba, and bitanghol trees.
The enrichment activity is part of the Save The La Mesa Watershed Project’s goal to increase the population density of tree species at the nature reserve, which is the primary source of raw water for over 13 million residents in the National Capital Region.
“We will plant between the trees planted years ago to achieve full coverage of the watershed,” Sarah Alcayde-Agcaoili, operations manager of ABS-CBN Foundation’s Save the La Mesa Watershed Project said during the orientation.
She continued, “Currently we are on the second layer, which is the canopy. The goal is to reach the ideal point where the sunlight can no longer penetrate the ground.”
Since the foundation rehabilitated the severely denuded area in 1999, it has, with the help of its partners, successfully enriched its biodiversity and reforested about 1,552 hectares of the first layer. Right now, the project is nearing completion of its second layer with 1,300 hectares planted.
“With the help of our partners like Anchor Land, we expect the enrichment planting to be finished in 2025,” said Alcayde-Agcaoili.
Anchor Land’s donation has contributed three hectares to the project. In addition to planting trees, the company has also helped support the community of former kaingin (slash-and-burn) farmers who are now the foresters at La Mesa Watershed.
The foresters taught the volunteers the proper tree planting methods to ensure the success of the reforestation. According to Alcayde-Agcaoili, trees planted at the La Mesa Watershed have a survival rate of 96 percent, higher than the 85 percent average.
Anchor Land, through its signature corporate social responsibility program Care to Change has partnered with ABS-CBN Foundation’s Bantay Kalikasan in its continued preservation and enrichment of the La Mesa Watershed. The partnership kicked off in December 2022, with the nursery planting of 500 Lago tree seedlings.
“We are honored to partner with ABS-CBN Foundation in our pursuit of progress anchored on environmental sustainability. We believe that this important initiative is a huge leap toward ensuring a better future for the next generation,” said Anchor Land President Elizabeth Ventura