Over 500 participants joined Project PREMIUM’s Tree Planting Activity in Leyte
On November 8, 2018, alongside the commemoration of the Typhoon Haiyan Tragedy, over 500 sari-sari store owners and representatives from partner organizations participated in a tree planting activity held at Brgy. Opong, Tolosa, Leyte.
“Ito nagkaroon pa kami ngayon ng napakahalagang pangyayari during the celebration ng 5-year anniversary ng Yolanda, iyong tree planting activity naman...napakaganda nang ginawa because in the future, ‘di ba, ito lalago ang puno, o kaya mabubuhay ang puno, maganda nang tingnan at makakatulong talaga ‘to sa kalikasan", shared Tito Romulo, one of the PREMIUM Cohort 3 graduates.
(“We had an important event during the fifth year anniversary of Yolanda, the tree planting activity... which was good because in the future, when these seedlings grow into trees, they will be nice to look at and will really help the environment", shared Tito Romulo, one of the PREMIUM Cohort 3 graduates.)
In partnership with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region 8, City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) of Palo, Leyte and the barangay council of Barangay Opong, Tolosa, Leyte, Hapinoy organized the activity wherein sari-sari store owners from different municipalities of Leyte and representatives from partner organizations had planted approximately 500 Bitaog and Talisay seedlings in the coastal area of Tolosa.
“Bilang ako ngayon ang namamahala, nagpapasalamat kami, buong council, na kami ang napili. Kailangan talaga na magtanim ng mga puno doon sa coastal area kasi makakatulong ‘yon sa amin lalo na kung may, may kala… may disaster na darating... ’yong puno daw ‘yong makakatulong na panangga dyan sa mga alon na malalaki. Kaya, malaking pasasalamat ko talaga na nandito kayo”, Marivic Piedad, Bgry. Captain of Tolosa, said.
(“As their leader, we, the whole council, are very thankful because we were chosen. Planting trees in the coastal area is necessary and beneficial for us especially when disasters strike... the trees will serve as our seawall against big waves. Hence, we are so thankful that you are here”, Marivic Piedad, Brgy. Captain of Tolosa, said.)
“Ang kinatutuwa namin doon ‘yong objective na, matulungan ‘yong barangay sa pamamagitan ng tree planting. So, masaya, masaya as in masaya hanggang sa pauwi kami, pinaguusapan talaga namin. Parang in the next five years, punta tayo doon at the same time maligo na rin tayo habang tinitingnan natin ‘yong puno na itinanim natin”, Tito Romulo shared.
(“We are happy to be part of helping the barangay through the tree planting activity. We were so delighted that we were still discussing about it until we got home. In the next five years, we will go back and at the same time bathe [in the sea] and look at the trees we had planted", Tito Romulo shared.)
To close the activity, Diolina Mercado, the Project Manager of Project PREMIUM, compared the growth of sari-sari store owners to trees. She said microentrepreneurs may start small like the seedlings planted, but in time, they may become big and serve a greater purpose like the trees. Over the last two years, the project has aimed to equip sari-sari store owners in sustaining their businesses especially in times of disasters.
This is part of the Project PREMIUM’s objective of creating awareness and linking its partner stores to support local disaster preparedness activities. Project PREMIUM has started in 2016 led by the Co-operative Development Foundation of Canada with Center for Agricultural and Rural Development Inc. (CARD), Microventures Inc. (Hapinoy), and Microinsurance MBA Association of the Philippines, Inc. (RIMANSI) as implementing partners in the country.