Five years after the launching of the Annual Million Tree Challenge (AMTC) in February 2017, the MWSS signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Million Trees Foundation, Inc. (MTFI) to ensure the continuity and sustainability of the AMTC for the rehabilitation of seven critical watershed areas in Metro Manila and nearby provinces
Last March 18, 2022, the MTFI inaugurated the Nursery and Eco Learning Center that sits in a five-hectare area inside the La Mesa Watershed. This maiden project serves as support and production arm of MTFI that will supply the tree sapling needs of its institutional partners. It will provide optimum growing conditions to germinated seeds of trees to be planted in reforestation projects. It will also serve as a learning hub for environmental production, venue for seminars and trainings and center for all the programs and initiatives of AMTC. The project was undertaken using sustainable materials such as recovered and old yakal lumber and two 40-footer container vans that now house the on-site MTFI satellite office and Million Tree Souvenir Shop and kiosks.
In her brief message, MWSS Administrator Leonor C. Cleofas stressed that “the partnership with MTFI and concerned local government units (LGU) to reforest degraded watersheds are a big boost to the effort of the government to protect the watersheds, without watersheds, there will be no sustainable source of raw water.”
Speaking during the inauguration, the Guest of Honor, SMC President and CEO, Mr. Ramon S. Ang encouraged the Filipino businessmen including the water concessionaires, Manila Water and Maynilad to invest more in environmental projects. He said “businesses should not always be about profit.”
The event which was attended by MWSS, Maynilad, Manila Water and Luzon Clean Water Development Corp. officials and employees ended with the unveiling of the Dedication Marker and presentation of Million Trees 10-year Development Proposal. As part of its commitment, MTFI aims to plant 10 Million trees until 2030.