Joining Hands for a Noble Cause: Hi-Las Marketing Corporation Reforests Sierra Madre Mountain Range

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7 September 2018, Laguna Quezon Land Grant, Siniloan, Laguna, Sierra Madre Mountain Range.   In his welcome and opening remarks, Hi-Las Marketing Corporation Founder & President Roberto Amores, stated his deep thanks to the 47-strong crew Hi-Las team for agreeing to participate in this Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) tree- nurturing program.  “Instead of celebrating our company’s 35th anniversary with a party like most people do, we thought it would be more fulfilling and meaningful to together join hands in more noble environmental endeavour; to help preserve our biodiversity conservation and environmental integrity, and to protect our communities against critical climate changes”.

HiLas.jpgConsidered a “Total Agri-Business Specialist”, Hi-Las Marketing Corporation indeed demonstrated its pioneering spirit, by being the first agricultural producer and exporter to plant with FEED in the Sierra Madre Mountain Range – the longest mountain range in the Philippines*.

After the moderate and slightly challenging 40 minute “FEED Forest Fitness” program trail up the ridge, along muddy stony pathways, and across makeshift bamboo bridges over wild flowing streams –  the 40+ Hi-Las eco-warriors arrived 1350 feet above sea level at an open where 350 holes with standard spacing and depth had been prepared in advance by our Forest Guardians, to restore 350 Philippine indigenous forest trees at the Laguna Quezon Land Grant – an over 9500 hectare protected forest in the Sierra Madre Mountain Range, in Siniloan, Laguna managed by FEED’s Living Legacy partner, the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB).

hilas-marketing-corp-reforestation-feed-07sep201889Following the practical debagging of seedling demonstration by Forest Guard Larry of UPLB, the 350 trees were planted within 40 minutes amidst a short drizzle and with the sun out.

hilas-marketing-corp-reforestation-feed-07sep201865On the return trek, only 2 participants returned to the base camp Training Centre by tractor. Native binalot (Tag. for wrapped in banana leaves) lunch of adobo and rice was served for everyone, which had been prepared by the local community too.

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Jointly issued by FEED Founder and President, Ofelia Bakker-Mananquil, and Forester Reynaldo Lorida, Manager of the Laguna-Quezon Land Grant,  Certificates of Appreciation for Hi-Las Marketing Corporation team were distributed to all to acknowledge each eco-warrior’s contribution to carbon capture targets of the Philippines: “For taking Climate Change Action through FEED’s CSR Patron’s Program, as part of the “Living Legacy: Plant a Tree, FEED our Future” initiative.

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Photo Journal (Slideshow)

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Video Clips (via FEED’s YouTube Account)

Hi-Las Marketing Corporation Tree-Planting Demo: https://youtu.be/3E9rvyC-444

Hi-Las Marketing Corporation FOREST FITNESS TRAIL – Bamboo Bridges Trail: https://youtu.be/FNStDrN61Ro

Hi-Las Marketing Corporation Tree-Planting – Roller Coaster Tractor Riding: https://youtu.be/g45U68CU_O0

*Protected Sierra Madre means life for IPs, the whole nation

According to the Save Sierra Madre Network Alliance Inc. (SSMNA), citing a 2004 study by Eken, et al. and a 2007 study by Langhammer, et al. key biodiversity areas (KBAs) are identified nationally using simple, globally standardized criteria and thresholds, based on the needs of biodiversity requiring safeguards at the site scale.

Sierra MadreThe Sierra Madre has at least 201 species of mammals, 556 species of birds, over 85 species of amphibians and 252 species of reptiles, of which 48 percent are endemic, with many of these near-threatened, critical, vulnerable and endangered.

According to SSMNA, a recent study published by the University of Kansas revealed that the nor thernmost par t of the range has yielded 101 species of amphibians and reptiles, suggesting further that more species within the range are yet to be discovered.

Furthermore, the study of Larry Heaney on the mammals highlighted Luzon, where the expansive mountain range resides, as the most endemic oceanic island in the whole world.

Besides the KBAs within the mountain range are three national parks and at least nine other protected areas.

SSMNA said its watershed supports the water supply in Central Luzon and Cagayan Valley, including Metro Manila.

The Northern Sierra Madre Natural Park’s (NSMNP) 16 watersheds alone provide water to more than 1.5 million people.

It has a total land area of 2.8 million hectares, stretching from Cagayan Valley in the north of Luzon to Calabarzon in the south of Luzon, encompassing the 10 provinces of Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Aurora, Nueva Ecija, Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna and Quezon. There are 28 protected areas within the mountain range, including 12 KBAs.

Around 10 million people living within and around the Sierra Madre depend on its bounty—for food, water and medicine, shelter and livelihood.

An IP territory

MANY of the people living within Siera Madre Mountain Range (SMMR) belong to different indigenous people’s (IP) tribes. It is a shared territory by different IP tribes who had been its protector against various threats for centuries.

According to records at the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), 11 IP tribes are living on Sierra Madre. They are the Agta or Dumagat, who occupy territories in Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Isabela, Aurora and Quezon; Bungkalot in Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino and Aurora; Isinai in Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya and Dupax Norte and Dupax Sur; Gaddang in Nueva Vizcaya, Isabela, Quirino and Cagayan; Ibanag in Cagayan, Nueva Vizcaya and Isabela; Itawes in Northern Cagayan; Kalahan in Southern Caraballo and Central Sierra Madre; and Yogad in Isabela.

There are a total of 15 different IPs with Certificate of Ancestral Domain Titles (CADTs) or ancestral domain claims groups. These include six in the Cagayan region; five in Central Luzon; and four in Calabarzon.

Oldest form of conservation

DIRECTOR Theresa Mundita Lim of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Biodiversity Management Bureau said IPs have long been the DENR ’s partner as steward of the environment.

Lim underscored the role of IPs in the sustainable management of the country’s natural resources, particularly within their so-called ancestral lands.

“For as long as they maintain their tradition, practice and culture, they are considered as our formidable partner in environmental protection,” Lim said.

Source: https://businessmirror.com.ph/protected-sierra-madre-means-life-for-ips-the-whole-nation-2/

Thank you HI-LAS MARKETING ECO-WARRIORS!

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Amores, Roberto C.
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Alvarado, Elizabeth B.
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Angcahan, Felixberto M.
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Saclauso, Rhoda G.
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Galpao, Louie H.
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Caceres, Jaime D.
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Gomez, Rolando B.
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Fernandez, Jemson F.
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Gonzales, Rex G.
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Lorizo, Benjamin E.
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Mabale, Engiefier C.
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Briones, Jacqueline
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Manzo, Rodel M.
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Sagucio, Martina U.
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Mula Cruz, Merwin
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Reyna, Genoveva M.
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Pamplona Jr., Raul A.
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Molata, Myrna G.
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Armas, Justin Dale L.
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Cielos, Melanie
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Bandian, Sarah Luz A.
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Gregore, Greg Q.
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Barrera Conchita B.
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Marcalain – Amores, Nina Paula O.
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Barrientos, Eldie May
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Amores, Roberto Angelo O.
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Beltran, Alexies C.
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Asiatico, Gina P.
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Casayuran, Kathren M.
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Galpao, Jake H.
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Dacuya, Joyce Jennifer A.
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Arbolida, Rolly Y.
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Galagar, John Eddie L.
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Eugenio, Annaliza V.
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Marcelo, Cecille C.
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Ko, Jerlon L.
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Montero, Erica Jane M.
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Pangan, Chumar P.
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Peñas, Nerrielyn Ds.
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Eclarino, Noel G.
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Bacalzo, Lorna F.
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Penor, John Raymund
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Zoilo, Evelyn C. 
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Sangalang, Patrick
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Diaz, Rachelle C.
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Roy Bolneo
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Jundis, Ricardo M.
48 Nina Amores

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About Hi-Las Marketing Corporation: “The Total Agri-Business Specialist”

A PIONEER AND BUSINESS LEADER

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Hi-Las Marketing Corporation is a pioneer in the Philippine Fruit and Vegetable industry. Founded in 1976, Roberto C. Amores’ passion for the Philippine Super Mango propelled its growth from a local fruits and vegetable trader to one of the country’s highly diversified grower, exporter and processor, backed by more than 30 years of experience and a group of satisfied international customer-partners in Japan, Korea, USA, China, Netherlands, Germany, UK, and Hong Kong.

Hi-Las’ Philippine Super mangoes undergo extensive tree-to-table processes to maintain its natural highly nutritious and flavorful characteristics and ensure safe eating quality. The company implements Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) in all its accredited farms that make up its nationwide network of supply for Hi-Las mangoes and vegetables, effectively regulating the use of chemicals from flowering to harvesting, with consistent monitoring of traceability in every kilo labeled under the Hi-Las brands.

STATE OF THE ART VHT FACILITIES

To comply with the stringent regulations and phytosanitary requirements of major markets like Japan, Korea, USA, China and Australia, the company has invested substantially in a state-of-the-art, highly computerized Vapor Heat Treatment facilities, equipped with special sensors and precision, instrumentations designed to regulate the heat treatment process, against fruit flies, while preserving the superior quality and longer shelf life of the mango fruit.

A FULLY DIVERSIFIED AGRI-BUSINESS COMPANY

Hi-Las started the diversification program with frozen mango solids (Halves and Dice) and frozen purees. In 2002, the dried fruits line was commercially launched, a product of several years of research and development.

Driven by demands of its discriminating customers, these diversifications attained full expansion and modernization in the new 10,000 sq. m. processing complex located at the Special Economic Zone (PEZA), at FTI, Taguig City (Metro Manila).

The new IQF facilities with its modern IQF tunnel freezer expand the annual capacity of the company to produce 1,200 metric tons of fruits and vegetable solids. A juice and sweetened puree bottling line compliment these expansions.

The fruit dehydration line has ten dryers with aggregate capacity of 5 metric tons per 24-hour drying cycle (annual capacity 2,000 metric tons). These modern steam heated dryers, are equipped with temperature and humidity sensors which effectively check cold spots thereby ensuring more uniform moisture contents and chewy softness of dried fruits.An in-house laboratory equipped with modern analyzers and other physico-chemical test instruments ensures high conformity of process materials and final products to quality standards and specifications.

A HACCP CERTIFIED COMPANY

Hi-Las is also HACCP certified, by no less than the internationally recognized certifying company TUV SUD PSB Philippines Inc. It continues to implement the strict guidelines in Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), particularly in facilities’ sanitation, CIP and worker hygiene. An in-house laundry outfit ensures consistent hygiene in workers’ uniform and clothing. Hi-Las is also HALAL certified and soon will be aiming for ISO 22000, Kosher; Food Safety Management System, IFS (International Food Safety) and BRC (British Retail Consortium) accreditation.

VEGETABLE FARMING FOR EXPORT

To provide solutions to the issue of reliable supply of export quality Fresh Okra to its major Japanese customers, at seasonable price, Hi-Las established its own production farm and a dedicated modern packing facility, supported with a cold chain post harvest system. The company’s 2.5 hectare Nucleus Farm is GAP certified for fresh okra production.

The model farm is further complemented with contract growership agreements with a network of trained okra farmers which are accredited to adhere to Good Agricultural Practices and the use of acceptable chemicals and farm inputs.

We are committed to ensure the wellbeing of our people, communities and environment and to provide our shareholders with superior returns over the long term.

Hi-Las is a proud member of the following organizations:

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More about Hi-Las Marketing Corporation here: hilasmc.com/

Contact FEED

In 2015, the Philippine government submitted to the United Nations the country’s commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The country committed to reduce its carbon emissions by 70 percent by 2030. The carbon dioxide reductions will come from the sectors of energy, transport, waste, forestry and industry.

Join us!  Help us reverse the Earth’s “hothouse climate” tipping point.

FEED runs a number of Students and Volunteers for the Environment (SAVE)Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) – such as mangrove planting for coastal protection or ridge reforestation plantings; One Child, One Tree; Bio-Intensive Gardens (BIG) for nutrition in public elementary schools and other spaces; Climate Change Survival 101 and other LIVING LEGACY programs – customised environmental engagement activities for individuals and organisations interested in contributing to climate change adaptation efforts and greening critical areas such as watersheds, ridges, and reefs that all require rehabilitation.

Tree-Planting with FEED

Check out the video journey by Clueless Commuter who planted with us last 24th of June 2017 to get a good idea of how FEED plantings go: https://youtu.be/KROn4rjVqBg

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Contact us at FEED for more details, to join our regular activities or to design your own tree-nurturing event: info@feed.org.ph or call/text +63 (0)917 552 4722.

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