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PTT revives denuded forest in Bataan; 400 volunteers join 2nd leg of tree-planting. Saturday 27th of July 2013

Denuded portion of the tropical jungle inside the Bataan National Park (BNP) is slowly getting back to its natural form with trees starting to grow again even as close to 400 volunteers trekked the mountain last July 27 to plant more seedlings.

Volunteers from both government and non-government organizations joined the second phase of PTT Philippines Corporation’s (PTT) massive tree-planting activity dubbed as “Gas Up for a Tree” project. PTT Philippines is a local subsidiary of Thai-oil giant PTT.

The project is in partnership with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the National Commission for Indigenous People (NCIP), the National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP), the Bataan Peninsula State University (BPSU), Mga Bayani ng Kalikasan, Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA), Municipality of Morong, Bataan and Wide Out Technology.

Secretary Nereus Acosta, Chief Presidential Adviser for Environmental Protection; Wisarn Chawalitanon, President and CEO of PTT Philippines; and Paul Patricio J. Senador, president of PTT Philippines Foundation led other volunteers in planting new trees at the denuded portion of BNP located in Morong, Bataan.

The three were also joined by Thai Embassy Minister and Deputy Chief of Mission Thanis Na Songkhla, former BCDA Chairman Felicito Payumo, Tarlac Gov. Victor Yap, DENR Region 3 Director Maximo Dichoso, Director Adelina Apostol of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Region 3, Brig. Gen. Raul del Rosario of the Philippine Air Force, and General Manager Rafael Llave of the Bataan Technological Park, Inc. 

Several students and volunteers from various non-government organizations, including PTT employees, also trekked the mountain to take part in the tree-planting activity.

Since the “Gas Up for a Tree” project was launched in May, there are about 2,000 trees now growing in the denuded area of BNP, Chawalitanon said. He added that they expect to plant at least 10,000 trees by end of September and eventually reach the 30,000 target by year 2015.

“This is our way of giving back to Mother Earth and to the Philippines for embracing us (PTT) with the Filipino community,” Chawalitanon said. “As everyone knows, PTT is a Thai-owned company but we came here in the Philippines not only to do business but to commit ourselves to help Filipinos in nation-building, including the preservation and protection of the environment.”

“Gas Up for a Tree” is PTT’s corporate social responsibility project that aims to reforest 50 hectares of denuded forest within the BNP, particularly within the ancestral lands of the Magbukun tribe, one of 18 Aeta tribes in Bataan.

Under the project, every purchase of P1,000 worth of PTT gasoline and diesel products commits PTT to plant one tree under the motorist’s name.  The exact location and growth of the tree may be monitored online with the help of Wide Out, PTT’s technology partner.

More than 100 Aeta families from Magbukun tribe also benefited from the project as they were given livelihood as managers of a nursery of seedling to be planted and as caretaker of the trees planted.

Apart from tree-planting, PTT Philippines Foundation which was formally created in 2007 also espouses educational and sports development, outreach and disaster relief programs, and community development. 

Close to 400 volunteers from various government and non-government organizations, civic groups, students, and PTT employees joined the second tree planting activity at the Bataan Natural Park in Morong, Bataan for the “Gas Up for a Tree” project of PTT Philippines Foundation, Inc.

PTT Philippines President and CEO Wisarn Chawalitanon (extreme right) holds a cacao seedling with (from left to right) Director Adelina Apostol of the Department of Social Welfare and Development Region 3, Director Maximo Dichoso of Department of Environment and Natural Resources Region 3, Tarlac Gov. Victor Yap, former Bases Conversion Development Authority Chairman and Environmentalist Felicito Payumo, Presidential Adviser on Environmental Protection Neric Acosta, and Thai Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Thanis Na Songkhla. Also in photo are two members of the  Magbukun Tribe who take care ofthe trees planted.

PTT President and CEO Wisarn Chawalitanon addresses the crowd during a short ceremony prior to the actual tree planting activity.

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