Environment & Climate News

MWSS, Million Trees Foundation get pledges to plant 2.7-M trees in watersheds in  2025

QUEZON CITY – The Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) and the Million Trees Foundation, Inc. (MTFI) received pledges from its 31 partners to plant more than 2.7 million trees nationwide, especially in the critical watersheds, in 2025 to ensure the steady supply of water in the country in the years ahead.

The pledge was announced during the 2nd Annual Million Trees Challenge (AMTC) and awarding ceremony held at the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) office in Balara, Quezon City.

During the ceremony, the MWSS led by Administrator engineer Leonor Cleofas and AMTC headed by its president Melandrerw Velasco and chairman emeritus Gen. Reynaldo Velasco honored their partners and individuals who planted millions of trees in 2023.

AMTC is targeting to plant 10 million trees by 2030. To date, AMTC has planted 7.8 million trees since 2017.

The awardees for 2023 received certificates of recognition for fulfilling their pledges to plant trees nationwide.

Recipients of the Champion of Trees Award and Million Trees Achiever that have planted over a million trees from 2017 to 2023 were San Miguel Corporation, Manila Water, Maynilad and Sta. Ana International Corporation.

One Million Tree Foundation’s origin traces back to the Annual Million Tree Challenge, launched on Feb. 18, 2017 by then MWSS administrator Gen. Reynaldo Velasco (ret.)

The foundation rehabilitated seven critical watersheds, namely Angat, Ipo, Kaliwa, La Mesa, Laguna Lake, Umiray, and Upper Marikina, including Manila Bay.

It is advocating for the planting of bamboos along river banks; and narra and ylang-ylang trees in other areas

Bamboos help absorb excess water, cut soil losses, and minimize soil erosion.

The foundation is not only concerned with tree-planting, reforestation, and environmental sustainability but also to provide livelihood opportunities, particularly those in the communities through its tree-planting advocacy.

Meanwhile, the MWSS has drawn up a roadmap designed to protect and preserve the country’s rich natural resources, particularly water, according to its administrator Leonor Cleofas.

“The MWSS’ mission as the prime mover of water security in Metro Manila, parts of Cavite and Rizal, and the province of Bulacan is shared with its environmental and social arm, the Million Trees Foundation,” Cleofas said on the sidelines of the AMTC awarding ceremony.

Cleofas said “the seed we have planted in 2017 has grown and branched and has since touched so many lives, instilling in each and every one of us the importance of taking care of our environment.”

Cleofas said that there is a 25-year Integrated Watershed Management Roadmap for Angat, Ipo and La Mesa.

A similar roadmap is being prepared for the Umiray-Kaliwa-Kanan Watersheds and will also be undertaken covering the Laguna de Bay and Upper Marikina Watersheds.

“These efforts are integral steps towards achieving an integrated watershed management roadmap, a merging of local and scientific knowledge and encouraging collaboration at every level of society,” she said.

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