In Davao del Sur where four of Hedcor’s hydro facilities are located, the AboitizPower hydro subsidiary is set to plant 25,000 seedlings. The reforestation site, Bakakan E-Camp, is a mere 9 kilometers from Mt. Apo’s summit.
Because of the limitations in mobility and other COVID-19 restrictions, Hedcor is once again tapping the assistance of its reforestation partners on site—the Bagobo-Tagabawa tribe residing in Sitio Pogpog, headed by Datu Rudy Agtag. This group along with other locals in the area were also Hedcor’s reforestation partners for last year’s tree planting of 26, 500 seedlings in areas of Santa Cruz, Davao del Sur.
“Hedcor has largely relied on IP groups and partner communities for the success of its reforestation initiatives.” shared Environmental Management Officer Junessa Guimalan. “More than simply planting, what dictates the success of our reforestation efforts is how these endemic trees were cared for. And this is where our partner locals largely contribute.”
Hedcor has constantly collaborated with IP groups such as the Higaonons in Bukidnon, and the Bagobo-Tagabawas in Davao del Sur for its environmental initiatives. These groups have regularly been in close contact as patrollers to assist in the monitoring of the seedlings planted as well as in the prevention of illegal logging.
In addition to the 25,000 seedlings to be planted in Davao del Sur, Hedcor is also targeting to plant 10,000 seedlings in Barangay Carmen, Baguio District, Davao City where five of Hedcor’s pioneering plants are located. Another 10,000 seedlings are targeted to be planted in Barangay Guilang-guilang, Manolo Fortich–the home of Hedcor’s largest hydropower facilities in Mindanao.
Beginning the early 2000s, Hedcor has since planted a total of 3.1 million trees across the country, with about 60,000 trees planted in 2020 amid the pandemic.
Currently, many are bound by limitations of mobility or resources. At this crucial time, the value of partnerships are well-emphasized. For Hedcor, the group finds itself especially fortunate to have partner communities who equally value the environment.