Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

SBMA gets reforested grassland from investor

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT — A Japanese investor here has turned over 1,000-square-meter grassland planted to mahogany and narra to the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA).

Nidec Subic Phils., manufacturer of micro-motors and computer peripherals, "adopted" the 1,000-square meter grassland in 2005, planted it to various tree species, and maintained the forest in the past three years under SBMA’s "Adopt-a-Forest" program.

The turnover rites held last Thursday marked the end of Nidec’s "adoption" contract. The trees planted by company’s employees are deemed old enough to be able to survive.

"Three years ago, I was here with my co-workers to plant these trees," recalled Renz Victoria, Nidec plant section manager.

"The time had passed so quickly, and now you can see that the seedlings we planted have grown healthy and strong," he said.

"You can be assured that Nidec will always support and participate in this kind of program that guarantees a better future for our children," Victoria told SBMA Chairman Feliciano Salonga and SBMA Ecology Center Manager Amethy dela Llana-Koval during the turnover ceremonies.

Nidec, which is one of the environment-conscious companies in the Subic Bay Freeport, was among the first investor-companies that joined the "Adopt-a-Forest" program in 2005.

The forest it adopted is located one kilometer from the road going to the Aeta village of Pastolan, which is on the slopes of Mt. Sta. Rita.

In nearby slopes are the reforestation projects being maintained by other Subic locators and groups. They include Subic Power, Subic Bay Press Corp, Wimpy’s, Morong Jeepney, and Vision Air.

Community groups and civic organizations like the Rotary Club of Olongapo City and the Subic Bay Press Corps have also adopted reforestation projects, which are to be turned over soon to the SBMA.

Like the other groups, Nidec planted and maintained the area, using its manpower and resources. It was assisted only by the Pastolan Forest Conservation Group which is composed of Aeta workers of the SBMA Ecology Center.

Some members of the Pastolan group had inter-cropped papaya and banana with trees. This provides additional income to the Subic natives.

During the turnover rites, Chairman Salonga said that the participation of various locators and community groups in the SBMA reforestation program is an example of the environmental commitment of the various stakeholders in the Subic Bay Freeport. By JONAS REYES - Manila Bulletin

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