Former quarry sites in Naga converted into pocket forests

Large swaths of old limestone and pozzolan quarries inside the country’s second oldest cement plant have been rehabilitated into pocket forests.

During a plant tour with reporters yesterday, officials of the APO Cement Plant in Naga City, Cebu revealed that more than five hectares of mined-out areas in Sitio Sindulan, Barangay Tinaan, which is inside their 192-hectare property, has been converted into small forest areas.

The firm began rehabilitation efforts some four years ago, as part of its mines rehabilitation and recondition plan that it presented to the Mine and Geosciences Bureau, said Jenevy Patalinjug, CEMEX’s Environment, Health, and Safety engineer.

‘Grow a Tree’ program

Based on the plan, the firm will restore other patched areas in different parts of the quarries.

Patalinjug said efforts to rehabilitate the mined-out areas were difficult at first, as they had to protect the seedlings they planted from outside intervention.

However, the firm created the joint “Grow a Tree” program that requires employees not only to plant seedlings, but also to see to it that these grow and survive.

She said they usually coincide a tree-planting activity with an employee’s birthday.

Free seedlings

She said they’ve planted various trees like neen, narra, malubog, acacia, Indian, magtalisay, jackfruit, mango and cacao, among others.

Patalinjug said they’ve also converted three hectares into a cacao plantation.

She said they also provide seedlings of different fruit-bearing trees to outsiders.

Chito Maniago, CEMEX Philippines’ corporate communications and public affairs director, said their Naga plant has been awarded several times for its rehabilitation efforts and for its work in providing a sustainable environment within the plant.

(This article was written by Justin Vestil and was published in SunStar, 18 June 2013.)

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