Holcim, Baguio community partner for Panagbenga environmental awareness

Holcim Philippines La Union Plant Manager Andy White (leftmost) joins Baguio City officials during a briefing on the plans for the Panagbenga Festival last Jan. 22. To his left are Mayor Mauricio Domogan, Hotel and Restaurant Association President Anthony de Leon and police chief Sr. Superintendent David Lacdan.

Cement manufacturer Holcim Philippines, Inc. recently signed a deal to help rehabilitate a park central to Baguio City’s famous Panagbenga Flower Festival and train the recreational area’s caretakers on sustainable development and safety, in line with the Company’s advocacies.

On Feb. 1, Holcim Philippines Chief Operating Officer Roland van Wijnen signed a memorandum of agreement (MoA) with Anthony de Leon, president of the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Baguio, for the rehabilitation of the Panagbenga Park, the staging point of the Panagbenga Flower Festival which started that day.

Under the agreement, Holcim Philippines donated the cement and provided workers in the park with safety equipment. Aside from improving the park’s pathways and landscaping, structures such as an eco-friendly butterfly sanctuary, a wishing well, restrooms, benches and a waiting shed were built.

Holcim Philippines also agreed to provide training on waste management, water conservation and biodiversity and other necessary skills for sustainable development for the Panagbenga Park’s caretakers. The MoA covers a three-year partnership.

The Company will likewise participate in annual activities in the park to help raise awareness on environmental protection and preservation.

We see how the Panagbenga Park can become a living laboratory or classroom to share lessons about keeping the environment healthy,” van Wijnen said. “Beyond our donation of cement, we look forward to being a partner in driving a safety mindset and educating people on environmental protection through creative and interesting activities in the park,” he added.

De Leon thanked Holcim for the partnership it extended that helped enable the park’s rehabilitation.

“Most of the undertaking of the Foundation will focus on the preservation and protection of the environment which is why we also partnered with Holcim given their similar green advocacy,” he said.

The Panagbenga Flower Festival is a five-week activity that is one of the city’s top tourist draws. Panagbenga comes from the kankanaey word which means “blossoming.”  The festival celebrates Baguio City’s beautiful flowers and recovery from the earthquake that hit the city in 1990. The theme of this year’s Panagbenga Festival is “The Environment and the Community in Harmony.”

About Holcim

Holcim is one of the world’s leading suppliers of cement and aggregates (crushed stone, gravel and sand) as well as downstream activities such as ready-mix concrete and asphalt. The Group holds majority and minority interests in more than 70 countries on all continents.  Holcim Philippines, Inc. (HPHI) is a Philippines-based cement manufacturer and a member of Holcim Group. Holcim Philippines is involved in the manufacture, sale and distribution of cement to the domestic and export markets. The Company produces four cement products: Holcim Excel, Holcim WallRight, Holcim Premium Bulk and Holcim 4X. Its products are sold in bags, tonner bags and in bulk. Holcim Philippines operates four cement plants in La Union, Bulacan, Misamis Oriental, and Davao.  It currently has over 1,600 employees in the Philippines.

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