Friday, March 26, 2010

Cebu power firm signs agreement with PBSP to plant 1M trees

Cebu power firm signs agreement with PBSP to plant 1M trees
March 25, 2010

CEBU CITY, March 24 — The Visayan Electric Company (Veco), Metro Cebu’s lone power utility firm, has signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) to plant one million trees in the next three years.

The MOA was signed by Jaime Jose Y. Aboitiz, executive vice president and chief operations officer of Veco and Jose Antonio Y. Aboitiz, PBSP chairman for the Visayas.

Veco turned over to PBSP a check worth P19.4 million to finance the tree-planting activities after the signing of the MOA.

Ricardo F. Lacson, Veco vice president for administration, said the project is one of the most ambitious projects that Veco has undertaken.

He said the power distribution utility had long been committed to the sustainability of power resources, especially that power generators sourced 60 percent of power from renewable sources.

Lacson said Veco has been promoting energy conservation and even going as far as having their program of exchanging energy-saver Compact florescent Lamp (CFL) for incandescent bulbs.

”But the tree-planting truly represents a milestone for us. Our target is to plant one million trees here in Cebu within three years time,” Lacson said.

However, Lacson, in an open forum said their tree- planting project is not mainly in relation to corporate social responsibility but a requirement from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in issuing environmental compliance certificate for Veco’s transmission line project from Cebu City to Toledo City where they will get power supply from Cebu Energy Development Corp.

Lacson said that since the project started last year, they had planted about 50,000 trees in Busay, Cebu City and in Aloguinsan, Cebu.

”While it sounds that it is already a big number, we quickly realized that that would be not enough to meet our target of one million trees in three years time. And so the search began for a partner and we are fortunate to have an experienced partner in PBSP Visayas,” Lacson said.

Lacson said they are going to plant one million trees in two areas, first within a 540-hectare land in the Central Cebu Protected Landscape, and in the 10,000-hectare Mactan Mangrove area. (PNA)