Leading fiber broadband provider Converge ICT Solutions Inc. has adopted two hectares of the Angeles watershed in Pampanga under a partnership with the Abacan River and Angeles Watershed Advocacy Council Inc. (ARAW-ACI) and the Kapatirang Aetas ng Angeles-Porac para sa Kalikasan at Agrikultura (KAAPKA).
In a company-wide activity marking the start of the partnership held Friday, over 70 Converge employees planted 500 seedlings – fruit-bearing and forest trees – in its designated 2 hectares.
“We are honored to mark our three-year partnership with the ARAW-ACI and KAAPKA with this activity. The presence of our employees today demonstrates the commitment of Converge to its sustainability agenda,” said Converge President and Co-Founder Maria Grace Y. Uy.
The partnership with Converge is under the auspices of the ‘Adopt-A-Watershed’ program which involves the planting of at least 2,000 trees, and falls under the broader Angeles Watershed Rehabilitation Program of ARAW-ACI.
The broader program is being supported by the local government of Angeles City to rehabilitate and nourish the 500-hectare Angeles Watershed. This would ensure the reliable supply of clean water in the city and the whole of Pampanga province while providing livelihood to the Aeta community which serves as stewards of the trees planted in the watershed.
The reforestation program’s main goal is to populate and improve forest health in the Angeles watershed, for better rainfall collection and conservation of the city’s water supply. This will also support flood control in the area.
“We believe that our actions today, no matter how humble, contribute to a better future for all. And we hope that with our commitment to rehabilitate the Angeles Watershed, we will be helping Angeles City and Pampanga province as a whole become a sustainable place for business and communities to thrive for many generations to come,” said Converge CEO and Co-Founder Dennis Anthony Uy during the partnership signing ceremony.
Under the partnership, Converge will be supplying the seedlings, ensuring a sustainable water supply and fertilizer; and funding the overall costs of caretaking and protection for the three-year period.
KAAPKA, as the stewards, will look after the day-to-day upkeep of the 2-hectare land. ARAW-ACI will oversee implementation of the project and be the main coordinator with the land owner – the Bases Conversion Development Authority – and the Angeles City local government.
“When we started this project, Converge was one of the first to respond to the call. Hopefully, with your example, others will follow,” said Renato “Tatang” Abong Jr., President of ARAW-ACI during the signing ceremony cementing the partnership.
“Kami ay nagpapasalamat sa Converge at sa ARAW-ACI. Sa sitiong ito (ng Sapangbato), nagkaroon kami ng trabaho at bunga ng mga puno na naitamin ay maaring maging pagkain ng tribo (We are thankful to Converge and ARAW-ACI. This initiative generated jobs for our community in Sapangbato and the trees can also be a source of food for us.),” Fred Pan, President of KAAPKA, also said.
“Tree-planting is one of the most effective ways to arrest the worsening environmental degradation. We only have one environment so let’s do our best to protect it,” Mr. Archie Lazatin, City Environment and Natural Resources Office head, noted during the ceremony.
Forests absorb roughly 30 percent of carbon dioxide emissions, according to the nonprofit World Resources Institute. The forests take the emissions out of the atmosphere and prevent them from warming the climate.
“As Converge grows, so does our responsibility to communities where we operate in, to our country, to our kababayan, and to the planet. We realized we need to manage our impact on the environment and make sure we give back to communities we work with, to the environment, and to broader society. This led us to make our Sustainability Commitment,” said Converge Chief Strategy Officer Benjamin B. Azada.
Converge’s latest activity in its ESG Commitment coincides with the wrap-up of the COP26, the global climate summit gathering commitments from governments to reduce carbon emissions and arrest climate change.