Last July 21, 2021, under the Dole-assisted Projects is the Chairs-for-Trees Project implemented by Mahintana Foundation, Inc. The team of Engr. Jade Robenson Gatdula (Mahintana), Erwin Balogo of Dole Philippines, Inc. Community Relations Department together with Nathaniel Gemarino (Manager for DUVO and Mizpah Sunshine Ming Tribal Affairs Unit Officer), together with Councilor Keno Tuan, facilitated the celebration and turn-over of 50 armchairs to Kule Elementary School, Sitio Kule, Brgy. Salacafe, Tboli, South Cotabato which was donated/funded by Tarami Corporation and Dole Philippines, Inc.
At the activity, Mr. Gemarino gave a speech in behalf of Dolefil in helping public schools in providing quality education for the future generation. Engr. Gatdula briefly shared about the Chairs-for-Trees Project and highlighting their appreciation to the TARAMI CORPORATION for their support to the project.
Councilor Keno Tuan and Ms. Monica Esconde (head of school staff) gave their message of appreciation to Dolefil and Mahintana. They expressed their commitment to take good care of the chairs and planted fruits and forest trees. Sitio Leader Herman Muan expressing his heartfelt gratitude for the armchairs to Kule Elementary School Extension as they are a big help to the students of their sitio. Mr. Balogo shared that Dolefil will continue its effort in aiding programs for community development.
Following the messages of support, the signing of the memorandum of agreement (MOA) and photo op to was conducted to formalize the turnover of armchairs.
Snacks from Nutripan Bread were given to the children of the sitio. The team implemented health and safety protocols such as wearing of masks and social distancing in the duration of the event.
As part of the area development activities of the Sustainable Eco-tourism and Environment-based Innovations Demonstration (SEED) Farm of Mahintana Foundation, Inc., a tree growing activity was conducted at the perimeter of the fenced area. This is also in line with the launching activity of the monthlong celebration of Mahintana’s 44th Foundation Anniversary.
Mahintana Foundation, Inc., through its president Mr. Martiniano L. Magdolot, executive director Ms. Liza D. Hora, and around 26 Mahintana staff (program managers and project staff) celebrated by planting seedlings.
Ptr. Ruiz P. Espanol led the prayer and dedication for the area. Mr. Iyad A. Tantong, project officer for the Gully Tree Planting project gave an orientation of the proper way of planting seedlings. The staff could tie ribbons around the stakes to mark their planted seedlings.
Through the activity, the group planted 430 hills of forest and fruit trees: 150 seedlings of Lauan, 150 seedlings of nabol, 100 seedlings of chestnut and 30 seedlings of mangosteen, rambutan, and lanzones.
On July 8, 2021, the SOLARES project invited the members of its project management team and project implementation team for a Joint PMT-PIT Meeting cum Mid-year Annual Planning.
Together with Mahintana Foundation, Inc., and Peace and Equity Foundation (PEF), physically present during the meeting were Sultan Kudarat Electric Cooperative, Inc. (SUKELCO), Bacbacan Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Kalamansig Coffee Growers’ Inc., and KPS-Small Enterprise and Economic Development Microfinance, Inc. The Coalition of Social Development Organizations in South Cotabato (CSDO-SC) also joined the meeting for partnering with PEF on the upcoming activities in the livelihood component. The rest of project partners joined via Zoom (South Cotabato II Electric Cooperative, Inc., Sta. Cruz Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Kiamba Micro Entrepreneurs’ Multipurpose Cooperative, and PEF).
Project updates were presented by component. On social preparation and community mobilisation, during the actual solar home system (SHS) installation, there were beneficiaries who backed out and new member-consumers who signed up upon seeing the SHS package. There was a significant number of beneficiaries of Maasim, Kiamba, and Malitum areas expressed interest in availing the SHS package despite the sign-up period having ended. For the RE/SHS Electrification component, as of June 30, 2021, 3,874 off-grid households solar are energized/energy-secured through the SOLARES project.
On capacity building and technical assistance, follow-through trainings on finance and enterprise management are to be conducted. Mr. Babera added there are pending trainings: online sessions will be conducted for Sarangani partners on the end of July. With the travel restrictions lifted in the area, physical training for Sultan Kudarat partners will be facilitated in the coming weeks.
On Livelihood/Financing and PURE (Productive uses of renewable energy) Support, there was already an online pre-bid meeting held last June 28 for the supply, delivery, and installation of solar-powered water systems (SPWS) (SB-SOLARES-PURE-21-01). SPWS are only one of the many PURE proposals to be implemented in Sarangani and Sultan Kudarat.
The proposed spending plan was also approved during the meeting and other PURE and non-PURE proposals to be implemented during the remainder of the project duration and in line with the request for possible project extension as with the intentions of the implementers and its partners.
Participants observed safety protocols such as wearing of masks and social distancing during the event.
Dole Philippines, Inc. through Mahintana Foundation, Inc, and its Ridge-to-Reef Program in collaboration with the local government unit of Polomolok and the Task Force Kalikasan at Kaligtasan (TFP2K) facilitated the online celebration/culmination of the 33rd Philippine Environment Month in Polomolok with this year’s theme, “Sama-samang Pagkilos, Sama-samang Paghilom: Ikaw, Ako, Tayo ang Kalikasan.”
Dolefil through Mahintana with support from its stakeholders in the public and private sectors, established various environmental and disaster risk reduction – climate change adaptation initiatives through the Silway-Klinan River Watershed to Sarangani Bay Protected Seascape Ridge-to-Reef Program (SKRW-SBPS R2R) which aims to help reverse degradation and improve the economic and environmental status and benefits of the upland, downstream, and coastal resources of SKRW to SBPS since 2014.
Speakers and notable guests include Hon. Alan Ines, Chairperson, Sangguniang Bayan of Polomolok Committee on Environment, Engr. Agustin Valencia, Jr., Head of Office, Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office (MENRO), Mr. Junbard Mahinay, Chairperson, Municipal Cooperative Development Office (MCDC), and Mr. Nicholaos “Nick” Yiannakis, Vice President & Managing Director of Dole Philippines, Inc.
The celebration also included the announcement of the contests on Miniature Bamboo Model House and TFP2K Logo-making which will conclude on August 4 and announcement of winners will be on August 12, 2021 just in time for the 44th Anniversary of Mahintana Foundation, Inc..
A highlight of the event is the launching of Civet Cat as the flagship species of the Municipality of Polomolok through General Ordinance No. 12, s. 2020 otherwise known as the “Civet Cat Flagship Species of Polomolok, South Cotabato,” mandating for the protection of Civet Cat and its habitat. In support to the Civet Cat launching, Dolefil through Mahintana launched the Agro-Biodiversity Strips Project which aims to establish baseline data of existing macroflora and macrofauna along gullies in partnership with St. Lorenzo School of Polomolok, Inc., Polomolok National High School, and Dole Philippines School. The partner schools have adopted Field 113, 116, and 117 gullies, of barangays Cannery, Upper Klinan, and Polo, Polomolok, South Cotabato, to study the area’s biodiversity and develop measures to further protect and conserve the macroflora and macrofauna species found in those gullies.
For the culmination of the Philippine Environment Month Online Celebration 2021, Ms. Liza Hora, Executive Director of Mahintana Foundation, Inc. encouraged everyone through her closing message:
..renew our commitment in making a healthy and sustainable environment by building alliances and partnerships, and raising our voices in making the environment a better place to live in.
Liza D. Hora
The celebration aligned with the Proclamation No. 237, s. 1988 which was signed by the late President Corazon C. Aquino, declaring the month of June of every year as Philippine Environment Month. This annual celebration seeks to call upon all citizens and residents of the country regardless of race or creed, to support and participate actively in the observance of the Philippine Environment Month, and to give generously their time and effort towards the protection, enhancement and development of our environment. Philippines’ celebration of World Environment Day was declared by the late President Ferdinand Marcos on June 1, 1973, by virtue of Proclamation No.1149, Series of 1973. This event is in consonance with the United Nations General Assembly’s Resolution No. 2994 dated December 15, 1972, declaring the 5th day of June every year as World Environmental Day and urging governments in the United Nations System to undertake on that day, activities reaffirming their concern for preservation and enhancement of the environment.
Arbor Day in the Philippines has been institutionalized to be observed every June 25th throughout the nation by planting trees and ornamental plants and other forms of relevant activities. The necessity to promote a healthier ecosystem for the people through the rehabilitation and re-greening of the environment was stressed in Proclamation No. 643 that amended Proclamation No. 396, s. 2003. Proclamation No. 396 enjoined the “active participation of all government agencies, including government-owned and controlled corporations, private sector, schools, civil society groups and the citizenry in tree planting activity.”