9 February 2018, Bgy. Magsaysay, Siniloan, Laguna. FEED Co-Founders, Chairman and President Jacob Bakker and Ofelia Bakker-Mananquil, supported by FEED’s Nursery Manager Nomer Cuartero, attended the 88th anniversary of the Laguna-Quezon Land Grant (LQLG) in Siniloan, Laguna.
Dr. Virgilio T. Villancio, Manager of the LQLG, delivered the welcome remarks to launch the occasion attended by the UP System’s President Dr. Danilo L. Concepcion and VP for Development Dr. Elvira Zamora.
The emphasis of its development remains on agro-forestry to contribute to the #greening4sierramadre* campaign designed to restore the range’s biodiversity to its natural abundance, as noted by LQLG’s long-time Forester & Forest Guardian Rey Lorida.
The LQLG is a 6,765-hectare property that straddles Siniloan, Laguna and Real, Quezon. It was acquired by the University of the Philippines (UP) on Feb. 8, 1930 by virtue of Republic Act 3608 – “An act endowing the University of the Philippines with portions of the public domain for additional support and maintenance, and for other purposes.”
The University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), which manages the LQLG, was one of FEED’s first universities to receive a scholarship for research in Biological Sciences in the early 1990’s. It was in the early 2000’s after FEED started planting with the Army on government lands that the LQLG was adopted as part of FEED’s reforestation programs, under the LIVING LEGACY: Plant a Tree, FEED Our Future initiative, which remains until today, grouped into two primary social forestry interventions:
- Students and Volunteers for the Environment (SAVE); and
- Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) tree-planting initiatives.
FEED continues to host nursery establishment and tree planting activities at LQLG, amongst other sites requiring critical interventions in social forestry for the community and livelihood development, in line with the UPLB’s aims to manage the near 10,000 hectares as a sustainable forest.
*Why Reforesting Mountains & Watersheds Matter: Excerpt from the 87th Anniversary
‘With the increasing incidence of devastating typhoons over the years, the slopes and peaks of the Sierra Madre mountain range, the longest in the Philippines, have stood their ground to buffer storms before they hit inland and create more havoc. But the LQLG team believes we may not have this luxury for long.
“The massive deforestation in the area has significantly weakened the mountain,” said For. Reynaldo E. Lorida, LQLG area manager.
This issue is being addressed by the LQLG team with the launching of the #Greening4SierraMadre campaign during the LQLG 88th Foundation Day at Brgy. Magsaysay, Siniloan, Laguna on Feb. 9.
The campaign encourages everyone to help save the Sierra Madre by planting and growing trees in the mountain range.
“We can appreciate the importance of our land grant if we look at it not just for UP but for the betterment of the environment,” said Dr. Virgilio T. Villancio, the Land Grant manager.’
© FEED, Inc.