This Foundation Helps Make a Greener Tomorrow Through its Reforestation Drive in Cebu
BPI Foundation, the social development arm of the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), sets a reforestation drive for 171 hectares in Cebu.
Deforestation is a crisis that threatens not only the environment but also the safety of its people. Defined as “the clearing, destroying, or otherwise removal of trees through deliberate, natural, or accidental means,” this can lead to detrimental effects like climate change, soil erosion, fewer crops, and flooding, among others.
More often than not, deforestation takes place to make room for agriculture—usually for raising animals or farming crops—but the modern era has called for developments in the form of infrastructures and buildings. With that being said, deforestation has been happening at a faster, much more alarming rate.
To remedy this, many companies have set up reforestation programs, including the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI). Through its social development arm, BPI Foundation, the bank launched “Lakbay Luntian—Visayas” as its answer to the plaguing environmental issue.
Reforestation for a Better Tomorrow
BPI is no stranger to establishing environmental programs, as the “Lakbay Luntian—Visayas” joins the ranks of its Balik-Kalikasan program. Setting its sights down south, this project—in partnership with the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc.—aims to reforest 171 hectares of 136,800 upland trees in Dumanjug, Cebu.
And in line with the company’s sustainability efforts, the end goal of this project is to preserve and restore rainforests across the country while equipping local communities with sustainable alternative livelihood.
“We encourage our employees, clients, and the general public to take part in this shared effort to offset our collective carbon footprint and help minimize climate risks,” says BPI Foundation Executive Director Owen Cammayo.
“The country’s forests need healing. For it to continue to provide us with clean air to breathe—among other benefits it supplies human beings—several forests already require reforestation for it to sustain our lives,” he adds.
Deforestation by the Numbers
But out of all the areas, why did BPI choose Cebu? According to globalforestwatch.org—a forest monitoring site by the World Resources Institute—Dumanjug in Cebu had 632 hectares of natural forest, extending over 25% of its land area in 2010. But in 2021, reports show that it had lost 909 million hectares of natural forest, which is equivalent to 516 tons of carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions.
“The Lakbay Luntian—Visayas project reflects BPI’s commitment to look after our communities and contribute significantly to the sustainability of our society. More importantly, the project is a call for collaboration—for a shared commitment in helping build back a more sustainable and better Philippines,” Cammayo explains.
“Forests provide us with shelter, livelihoods, water, food, and fuel security. All these activities directly or indirectly involve forests,” The World Wide Fund for Nature Inc. supplies.
BPI’s Reforestation Initiatives
Prior to this project, the BPI Foundation—with the help of BPI employees—reforested 68,000 trees in 170 hectares of land in Pantabangan, Carranglan Watershed Forest Reserve, Nueva Ecija, through the pilot run of Lakbay Luntian in 2021.
The first of its kind, this project also provided sustainable livelihood projects to 17 Indigenous People (IP) families in the area. This was achieved together with eco-social enterprise Bambuhay and Ayala Corporation’s Kasibulan Project—a long-term program on reforestation and forest protection.
As a result, BPI Foundation’s reforestation efforts aim to help offset BPI’s total carbon emissions for the year 2020.
Giving Back via BPI eDonate
Interested donors can also help in the company’s reforestation efforts by sponsoring seedlings in just a few taps. That is, through BPI eDonate—up until August 22, 2023—with each seedling costing PHP 60. Here’s how you can help:
- Go to the BPI Mobile App, swipe up, and tap BPI eDonate.
- Select BPI Foundation
- Input the following details:
- Donation Amount
- Mobile Number
- BPI Online Registered Email Address
- Purpose of Donation
- Tap on “Donate Now”.
- Enter your BPI Online username and password.
- Select an account.
- Enter your One-Time-PIN and you’re done.
To know more about BPI Foundation, visit www.bpifoundation.org and follow its Facebook and Instagram pages. The “Lakbay Luntian—Visayas” donation drive is approved by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) with Solicitation Permit Number: DSWD-SB-SP-00029-2022 valid until August 22, 2023.