IBM Supports Pasig River Rehabilitation Project

IBM announced last December 08, 2011 the award of a ‘Community Grant’ to ABS CBN Foundation, supporting the organization’s environmental sustainability programs in the country. Earlier this year, IBM collaborated with the organization to hold a company-wide seedling potting and environmental awareness initiative, as part of its Centennial Celebration of Service.

In July, approximately 1,000 IBMers with their families and friends, embarked on the Big Blue Jungle: Save the La Mesa Watershed project.  Done in partnership with ABS-CBN Foundation, the project aimed to raise environmental awareness, and help reforest the La Mesa Watershed, considered as the last remaining forest in Metro Manila, and the site of the reservoir that supplies water to millions of Filipinos in the metropolis. The participants were able to plant over 800 tree seedlings.  

Managing Director of ABS-CBN Foundation Gina Lopez graced the activity and reiterated the state of environmental degradation in the country, particularly in the area of mining and urban river systems.

“We are Taga Ilog. We are a river people. If the river gets cleaned, we reclaim the promise of our heritage,” explained ABS-CBN Foundation Managing Director Gina Lopez. “Cleaning the Pasig River is not about water, it’s about hope. It’s about giving the future the gift of possibilities. There is no way the river will get clean if we don't work together. In that spirit lays the key to a future our country can be proud of.”

Previous attempts to clean the Pasig River have been futile because of the lack of sustainability and the goals were mostly short-term. Moreover, the 48 tributaries, made up of esteros and rivers which drain to the main Pasig River, were neglected. Kapit Bisig para sa Ilog Pasig (KBPIP), which literally means “linking arms for the Pasig River”, has refocused on these tributaries by rehabilitating the Pasig River one estero at a time and harnessing together different sectors to unite and contribute for the Pasig River cause. KBPIP began with Estero de Paco, a three-kilometer tributary of the Pasig River, and will move on to Estero de San Miguel and four other esteros behind the Malacañang Palace.

The USD 2,000 IBM grant will be used to fund the foundation’s projects to restore urban river systems or esteros in Metro Manila, with a portion of it going towards environmental awareness programs.

Celebrating its global centennial in 2011, IBM launched the Centennial Celebration of Service in support of the company’s rich legacy of corporate social responsibility. IBM participates in numerous volunteer opportunities in local communities in an effort to apply IBMers’ professional skills to support and aid in local issues. The program, designed for employees, retirees and business partners, was put in place to lend time and support to local community organizations during the company’s Centennial year.

“IBM has been working with ABS-CBN Foundation towards our shared goals of making the world work better through sustainable contributions to communities.  As we approach our 75th anniversary in the Philippines next year, we believe we have been able to have reinforced environmental awareness in the minds of IBMers, with the goal of continuing our efforts toward sustainable development.” said Chestnut Andaya, Country Manager for Marketing, Communications, Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Affairs, IBM Philippines.

To learn more about IBM's Centennial, please visit: www.ibm100.com and to learn more about IBM's corporate citizenship initiatives, please visit: http://www.ibm.com/blogs/citizen-ibm.

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