Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Group, firms present 5-year plan for Cebu watershed development

Sun*Star Cebu
Monday, April 28, 2008

A five-year plan that will ensure safe drinking water for Cebu’s future generations was unveiled last Saturday by a group of business leaders and participated in by various Cebu-based companies.

In the plan, a nature center, butterfly sanctuary and camp site will be developed within the Buhisan Watershed.

The Buhisan Watershed covers 630 hectares out of the 29,000-hectare Central Cebu Protected Landscape.

The Save the Buhisan Watershed activity was in line with the Buhisan Watershed Integrated Development Project under the environmental advocacy program of the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP).

The project is also in line with the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals (MDG) led by Lexmark International Philippines Inc., being the head of the Visayas MDG Business and Environment Cluster.

Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. also co-heads the program.

Eileen Mangubat, chairperson of the PBSP Hillyland Development Committee, said the development will bring a “true park” for Cebuanos.

“It will make us appreciate the wealth we have in our backyard,” she said.

Jun Sarmiento, chairman of the MDG Business and Environment Cluster, said the activity manifests volunteerism on the part of the companies and allows participants to take part in a global movement.

“Protecting our environment is (like ensuring that) our children have a better future,” he added.

Aside from the environmental efforts, PBSP and the MDG Business and Environment Cluster will also implement livelihood projects that will help 498 households within the Buhisan Watershed.

The groups observed that it is important to extend alternative livelihood to Buhisan watershed residents since most of them rely on cutting trees that are converted to charcoal for income.

Buhisan Barangay Captain Rustica Asid said the activity is “very much welcome” since it will help the residents.

Since the activity was in line with the country’s Earth Day Celebration, the group also held a tree planting activity participated by employees of Lexmark International, Pilipinas Shell, Celestica, Airlift Asia and the Cebu Private Power Corp. (DME)

Buhisan dam eyed as ecotourism site

Cebu Daily News
27 April 2008

THE BUHISAN Watershed Rehabilitation Project will help ensure sustainable water for Cebu and at the same time improve the lives of local residents.

Plans include the development of a nature park, which broke ground yesterday with a tree-planting activity led by the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) - Visayas.

“The goals of this project are to ensure sustainable water to the city, improve the quality of life of 498 families in Buhisan, and promote Buhisan as an eco-tourism destination,” said Engr. Jun L. Sarmiento, manager of Lexmark International Philippines Inc.

The rehabilitation of the Buhisan Watershed, which is part of a five-year plan of the PBSP - Visayas to realize the country’s Millennium Development Goals (MDG) for social development.

A tree-planting activity was done yesterday as part of the launching of the Save the Buhisan Watershed project.

It was participated by Lexmark, Shell, PBSP, Aboitiz, Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) and the LGU of Buhisan. Cebu Daily News, as PBSP member, is a supporter of the project.

A nature park for families is in the blueprint. It includes plans for a picnic ground, view deck, campsite, nature center and a butterfly sanctuary, which will house 300 exotic species of butterflies.
Buhisan dam, built in 1910, is a a century-old public infrastructure that is part of a 631 hectare watershed.

It has a nine-hectare pond and can provide 5,000 to 10,000 cubic meters of water.

The watershed, which is a primary source of water to thousands of households, is part of the 29,000-hectare central Cebu protected landscape.

The project is also good economic opportunity for the Buhisan community and its neighboring barangays.Correspondent Marian Z. Codilla