Reigning Miss Earth Philippines Yllana Aduana joins the students of San Vicente Elementary School and Balara Elementary School at the tree-planting activity during Manila Water’s Punong Puno ng Pag-asa: Arbor Day Bootcamp for Kids.”
OVER 40 students from Balara Elementary School and San Vicente Elementary School joined Manila Water’s Arbor Day boot camp at the Orosa Open Grounds in the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) complex in Balara, Quezon City, on 30 June 2023.
Dubbed as “Punong Puno ng Pag-asa: Arbor Day Bootcamp for Kids,” the bootcamp featured activities geared towards gaining a deeper appreciation of the environment especially in the protection of the watersheds. Joining the students in the activities were 2023 Ms. Earth Philippines Yllana Marie Aduana, MWSS Deputy Administrator for Customer Service Regulation Lee Robert Britanico, Mr. Christian Baluca of the MWSS-Corporate Office Policy, Planning and Public Relations Department, Quezon City’s Environmental Management Specialist Maribel Marquez, ABS-CBN Foundation’s Sarah Agcaoili and Rona Cadalino, and Manila Water Enterprise and Regulatory Affairs Group Director for East Zone Atty. Kaye Celera.
At the planting activity, which was facilitated by ABS-CBN Foundation’s Rona Cadalino, the students were taught the proper way of planting and caring for seedlings in pots. Each student was given a potted seedling to take home and nurture.
ABS-CBN Foundation’s Sarah Agcaoili demonstrated to the students the vital role trees play in the protection of our watersheds. Agcaoili also led the students to compose pledges for environmental protection.
As part of the boot camp, Manila Water Advocacy Manager Renel Donguya showcased how the water concessionaire treats wastewater before bringing it back to the rivers. Donguya also shared with the students practical ideas they can do at home to minimize their environmental impact related to wastewater management.
Reigning Miss Earth Philippines Yllana Aduana gave the students a backgrounder on Arbor Day and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDG), as well as simple and realistic practices that would aid in restoring nature.
“Now, I’m talking to the children. There are different techniques and different approaches on how I will raise awareness for our causes. That is what I do. There is a sense of fulfillment at the end of the day that I use my voice to reach out and talk to them to raise awareness,” Aduana shared, of her passion for engaging students.
In her welcome remarks, Atty. Celera encouraged the students to think towards “healing” in environmental stewardship.
“What’s important is that we have a restorative culture. Hindi lang sa pagtatanim kundi (sa) pag-aalaga rin ng mga puno,” Celera told the students.
Punong Puno ng Pag-asa Bootcamp for Kids is part of Manila Water’s observance of Arbor Day, which is celebrated every June 25 in the Philippines. Year on year, through various partnerships with local and national government agencies and private organizations, the company continues its tree-planting activities across the country. This year, various business units held their respective Arbor Day activities, including planting 500 native and fruit-bearing trees in at the Santa Rosa Watershed and 1,500 narra and mahogany seedlings to benefit the watershed in Luyang River in Cebu.
Manila Water is also set to launch “Pasibol” which is a tree-nurturing activity involving its employees and stakeholders. The project aims to strengthen employee-stakeholder relations while engaging in tree planting and maintenance of seedlings planted in the previous years.
Manila Water aims to plant and nurture 580,000 trees in key watersheds across the country by 2025 as set in their Environmental, Social and Governance targets.