A volunteer from Maynilad plants a tree sapling at the Ipo Watershed as part of the water concessionaire’s ‘Plant for Life’ program. (Photo courtesy of Jennifer C. Rufo/Maynilad)
By Monsi A. Serrano
Around 13,000 tree saplings and mangrove propagules were planted recently at the Ipo Watershed and the coastal areas of Cavite as part of Maynilad Water Services, Inc. (Maynilad)’s watershed management program.
The West Zone concessionaire’s “Plant for Life” program aims to prevent soil erosion and flooding. Mangroves can help protect the shore from floods, as well improve the quality of water in Manila Bay.
In the last year, Maynilad planted 1,500 mangrove propagules along the Manila Bay coastline of Kawit, Cavite, with the help of local community volunteers.
Maynilad and several partner organizations also planted around 11,500 trees over 28.5 hectares of the Ipo and La Mesa Watersheds last year.
Some 15 million people in Metro Manila and adjoining provinces rely on the Ipo Dam, as well as the Angat and La Mesa Watersheds, for their daily supply of potable water.
Reforestation of the denuded Ipo watershed will help to prevent the soil erosion that causes high turbidity levels in the raw water supply.
Since the inception of “Plant for Life” in 2007, Maynilad has planted almost 600,000 indigenous trees (like narra, acacia, amisan and cupang) in the Ipo Watershed. The water company has also planted 208,000 mangrove propagules along Cavite coastal areas since 2013.
For 2021, Maynilad aims to plant 8,000 more tree saplings and mangroves in these vital watersheds to cover an additional land area of approximately 20 hectares.
“Reforestation is an important part of watershed management initiatives that keep our water resources sustainable. We thank all like-minded organizations who send volunteers to help us in this endeavor,” said Maynilad President and CEO Ramoncito S. Fernandez.
“Plant for Life” is done with the support of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS), local government units (LGU), and some private organizations.
Maynilad, which is part of Metro Pacific Investments group, is the largest private water concessionaire in the Philippines in terms of customer base. It is the agent and contractor of the MWSS for the West Zone of the Greater Manila Area, which is composed of the cities of Manila (certain portions), Quezon City (certain portions), Makati (west of South Super Highway), Caloocan, Pasay, Parañaque, Las Piñas, Muntinlupa, Valenzuela, Navotas and Malabon all in Metro Manila; the cities of Cavite, Bacoor and Imus, and the towns of Kawit, Noveleta and Rosario, all in Cavite Province.