The Energy Development Corporation (EDC) has found a fitting home for 200 of its BINHI Trees for the Future at the Rafael M. Salas (RMS) Park in Bago City. These 200 seedlings of 27 different premiums and threatened indigenous species were planted on June 5 at the launch of the RMS-BINHI Tree for the Future Arboretum Project, which aptly coincided with the World Environment Day.The BINHI Greening Legacy is EDC’s nationwide reforestation program that aims to restore our diverse and fertile Philippine forest. Its Tree for the Future module preserves and propagates premium and rare indigenous species, a lot of which are also endangered, by planting them in school grounds, public parks and similar areas that provide a safe haven for their growth and survival. EDC is implementing this reforestation project in partnership with the Bago City government, the Rafael M. Salas Parks and Nature Center (RMSPNC) Foundation and the University of St. La Salle-Institute for Negros Development (USLS-IND). “We take pride in knowing that these esteemed institutions are now part of our BINHI Greening Legacy,” said EDC Senior Vice President for Environment and External Relations, Ms. Agnes C. de Jesus.
“This partnership seals our commitment to green Negros Occidental.” Bago City Mayor Ramon Torres and Vice Mayor Nicholas Yulo; BINHI-RMS Park project convenor and former Bacolod City Mayor Joy Valdez; USLS-IND head, Mr. Rhoderick Samonte; and RMSPNC Foundation head, Ms. Lyn Gamboa graced the occasion in recognition of its significance not only to the park’s biodiversity but more so in the fight against climate change. EDC was represented by Director Art Valdez; Senior Vice President for Environment and External Relations, Ms. Agnes C. de Jesus; and Corporate Social Responsibility Manager Rei Medrano. Sixty youth leaders from the USLS-IND Youth Commitment for Sustainable Development have also volunteered to take part in the tree planting activity. “For this project, EDC has committed to provide overall project direction and technical assistance for the protection and maintenance of the trees to be planted. It will also coordinate regularly with the RMSPNC Foundation in monitoring the status of the reforestation project within the RMS Park,” confirmed de Jesus.
For its part, the RMSPNC Foundation will be the project convenor of an Ad Hoc Committee directly under the Bago City local government. It will undertake the long-term protection and maintenance of the planted trees until they grow into mother trees. It has also committed to enhance, sustain and strengthen the project and other activities related to its implementation by securing the necessary resources with the help of both public and private sector. Aside from participating in the tree planting activity, the youth from the USLS-IND are taking their green advocacy a step further by promoting this endeavor through various forms of media and participation in various forums and conferences. They will organize student activities at the RMS Park-BINHI area to enable more youth to learn more and appreciate the importance of this project.
“These 200 premium indigenous species that will eventually become mother trees symbolize the youth, which are also represented by the young leaders from USLS-IND,” said De Jesus. “As our future leaders of this country, what they sow now through their studies and their green advocacy will bear fruit and result in a better tomorrow.” BINHI has three other modules, namely: Tree for Life, which focuses on bridging forest gaps, biodiversity research and rehabilitation of 5,000 hectares covering key biodiversity areas in the country. Tree for Food is EDC’s social forestry program that provides an alternative source of livelihood for the people living in the forest as re-vegetation of denuded areas is accelerated. Tree for Leisure aims to convert the company’s geothermal sites into eco-tourism destinations. EDC’s Bacon-Manito geothermal reservation area in Bicol has already been declared as an eco-tourism site by the Department of Tourism in 2005.* http://www.ndb-online.com/060712/local-news/events-edc-rms-park-foundation-usls-ind-plant-200-binhi-trees-future Outreach
Service is a major part of the Lasallian heritage. Thus, a distinct mark of a Lasallian institution is the heart for the poor and its commitment to society. This is expressed through the different in-reach and outreach programs of the University. Bahay Pag-asa
The BAHAY PAG-ASA YOUTH CENTER was established as a separate corrective and transformational facility exclusively for convicted youth offenders of Bacolod City and Negros Occidental. Through the center, we aim to
* administer a wholistic formation/ transformational program with emphasis on basic education, spiritual formation, life skills and livelihood skills; * provide competent and committed legal services which will include non-formal learning modules on criminal behavior and its consequences; * provide an interfaced support system for the youth offenders after their release composed of the family, the school or workplace, the church, and the community to ensure successful re-integration; and * pilot, assess and improve the program so that it may serve as a model for youth rehabilitation which maybe replicated in other areas of the country.
Programs and Activities
Peer Enrichment Program
The Residents who are already more or less proficient in different skills in basic literacy as well as in dance and music are tasked to teach the others, especially the new ones with their own areas of proficiency.
* Last December, the Residents had Advent liturgy
* Para-liturgical, Friday Faith Sharing and scheduled Eucharistic celebrations are on-going
Livelihood Skills and Program Initiatives
The center is seriously working towards integrated farming. It is hoped that such structure of farming would be in place and full implementation by June. It is also the aim of the program that the skills learned by the Residents in their active participation in the management and development of the programs be applied in their own family life context.
Last December, the Residents had their Caroling and Christmas reach-out at
* The Handumanan City Jail – Women’s Facility
* The Social Development Center (Center for Street Children)
* The Girls’ Home and
* The Provincial Jail
Christmas Family Day
Last December 27, 2007, the Residents had a special day with their families at the Grade School Quadrangle of the University of St. La Salle. Out of the twenty three residents, only one had no family present during the celebration.