After several tree-planting activities in the past years, Isuzu Philippines Corporation is now gearing toward a more sustainable corporate social responsibility program with a watershed conservation and management project in partnership with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-Philippines).
Isuzu Philippines has earmarked P750,000 for the planting and maintenance of mango and Satsuma orange seedlings along the Sierra Madre mountain range in Ilagan, Isabela. Isuzu Philippines senior vice president for sales Arthur Balmadrid said WWF-Philippines chose the trees as they bear fruits, which may be sold to support the residents' livelihood. The trees are also known to withstand typhoons, which frequent the province.
"Isabela is particularly important because it is home to the largest remaining block of forest in the Philippines," WWF-Philippines vice chairman and chief executive Jose Ma. Lorenzo Tan said.
He added that it is also the country's largest rice granary, it has beautiful rivers and it serves as home to the Philippine eagle.
"There are many reasons why we should be in Isabela. The roads are beautiful and it is a great place for driving Isuzu pickups," Tan added.
Isuzu is undertaking the project in celebration of its 14th inaugural anniversary in the Philippines. Tree-planting activities will start in September but the program will continue even after all the seedlings are in place.
"We are going to carry out educational programs for the local farmers so that destruction of forests can be prevented," said Isuzu Philippines president Ryoji Yamazaki. "This initiative will enable them to generate income and eventually improve their livelihood and lead a happy life. Agro-forestry will teach farmers how to be independent as Isuzu is after sustainability and long-term empowerment.
In line with its celebration, Isuzu Philippines is also extending its anniversary promo until August 31.