The Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC), the only agricultural insurance provider in the country, kicked off its corporate social responsibility (CSR) program on July 27 through a reforestation project in Tanay, Rizal, pursuant to the direction of Pres. Benigno S. Aquino III under EO 26, Series of 2011.

Led by PCIC President, Atty. Jovy C. Bernabe, the Head Office and Regional Office IV staff planted some 1,250 narra tree seedlings on a two-hectare lot in a government-owned land in Barangay Tinucan.

The area forms part of a 220-hectatre government-owned land that has been designated a reforestation area by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) under the National Greening Program.

The site is an important watershed that drains into Infanta, Quezon, which was ravaged by floods and landslides caused by a lack of forest cover in 2007, which in turn, caused the death and displacement of thousands of people.

It also forms part of the forest buffer to the Laiban Dam, a long-stalled project whose implementation is now being seriously considered. The dam will augment water supply in the Metro Manila area.

The reforestation project was undertaken with assistance from the DENR, which provided the seedlings free of charge.

The PCIC-DENR partnership will soon be institutionalized through a memorandum of agreement (MOA) that will ensure sustainability not only of this corporate engagement, but more importantly of the tree-planting project.

Recognizing the PCIC’s responsibility to contribute to building a better society and cleaning up the environment, PCIC President Bernabe created a Committee on Corporate Social Responsibility by virtue of Special Order No. 2012-019A. The committee was tasked to mainstream CSR in PCIC’s operations and business strategy and plan, lead and monitor the implementation of CSR programs and projects.

The PCIC’s CSR plan consists of two parts: production aspect and ecological aspect. Under the first, PCIC will conduct seminars and lectures on the physical and climatological conditions of the communities where its clients and stakeholders reside as well as on appropriate and effective pest management practices to enhance crop productivity. Under the second, the PCIC will establish and nurture reforestation projects, like its maiden venture in Rizal.

The regional offices of the PCIC have planned their respective CSR programs along these lines.