West Zone concessionaire Maynilad Water Services, Inc. (Maynilad) aims to plant around 210,000 native trees in vital watersheds for its “Plant for Life” program implementation in 2023—a 133% increase from last year’s target of 90,000 trees.

For this year’s run of the Maynilad annual reforestation initiative, the company committed to plant 210,000 tree saplings and mangrove propagules over a land area of approximately 525 hectares at the Ipo watershed in Bulacan, Kaliwa watershed in Quezon Province, La Mesa watershed in Quezon City, and the Manila Bay coastline in Cavite Province.

“One climate change mitigation measure that will have a long-term and major impact on protecting our water sources is the planting of trees. It not only enhances carbon sequestration, it also increases the soil’s water-retention capacity, thus preventing erosion in watersheds that could lead to high turbidity in the raw water supply,” said Maynilad’s Quality, Sustainability and Resiliency (QSR) Head, Atty. Roel S. Espiritu.

Espiritu said that intensified reforestation activities this year will focus on improving forest cover at Mt. Balagbag in Bulacan, which is now highly denuded and has to be restored.

Maynilad plants trees with the help of volunteers from private and public organizations—including its sister companies under the MVP Group such as PLDT/Smart—that share in the water company’s concern for environment conservation. Maynilad also works with the Mt. Balagbag Farmers, local communities, indigenous people, and Bantay Gubat to sustain high survival rate of the trees planted. More than 1 million trees have already been planted through “Plant for Life” since the program’s inception in 2007.

Maynilad is the largest private water concessionaire in the Philippines in terms of customer base.

Its service area includes the cities of Manila (all but portions of San Andres and Sta. Ana), Quezon City (west of San Juan River, West Avenue, EDSA, Congressional, Mindanao Avenue, the northern part starting from the Districts of Holy Spirit and Batasan Hills), Makati (west of South Super Highway), Caloocan, Pasay, Parañaque, Las Piñas, Muntinlupa, Valenzuela, Navotas, and Malabon, all in Metro Manila; and the cities of Cavite, Bacoor, and Imus, and the towns of Kawit, Noveleta, and Rosario, all in the province of Cavite.