Story & photo by Randy S. Peregrino
FOR Isuzu Philippines Corp. (IPC), a more meaningful way to celebrate its 20th anniversary is by doing a community social responsibility through environment protection and preservation.
Recently, the automotive manufacturer held the kick-off commemoration activity at the Makiling Botanical Gardens at the University of the Philippines Los Baños, in Laguna.
Since 2010, IPC has been committed to protect and further develop a portion of the Mount Makiling Forest Reserve (MMFR). In response to the institution’s Adopt a Forest program, IPC embraced the responsibility, and nurtured 13 hectares of the forest reserve. Since then, the company already planted more than 300 trees, composed of 13 species, and had constructed a 1.3-kilometer walkway.
Recognized as an Asean Heritage Park, the MMFR covers a total of 4,224 hectares of forest land that spreads across the towns of Los Baños, Calamba and Bay in Laguna, including Santo Tomas in Batangas. Under the care of the Makiling Center for Mountain Ecosystem and Forest Reserve (MCME FR), the forest reserve allows for scientific studies concerning conservation and sustainable development. Moreover, this protected site, along with the Dipterocarp Arboretum, has become a preferred venue for educational trips, field laboratories, scientific studies and leisure activities.
No less than IPC President Hajime Koso led a big crowd of company associates in attendance, together with officers of the Botanical Garden and several media guests in the tree-planting endeavor. “IPC would not have thrived in the automotive industry for 20 years if it were not for the dedication, competence and hard work of its officers and associates. But a bigger part of IPC’s success comes from people who have patronized Isuzu products and services for two decades. It is only fitting that, as we celebrate this momentous occasion, we return the favor to society and continue pursuing our commitment to sustainability and environmental protection. This should be beneficial not only to residents of the communities we operate in but to all stakeholders, as well,” Koso said.
Also present during the celebration was the Director of MCME FR Asean Heritage Park Dr. Nathaniel Bantayan, who shared his appreciation. “This partnership has been going on for 20 years. Perhaps, you are the first, if not the first, corporate partner of Makiling Center, and this is very inspirational. You [IPC] are an inspiration to other companies, since forest protection is not the sole task of the government; it is the task of everyone, including corporate entities. You [IPC] are an inspiration for protection, as well as partnership,” he said. Likewise, Bantayan even imparted an interesting anecdote, representing the letters from the IPC acronym, by affirming “I” for inspiration, “P” for protection, as well as partnership, and “C” for commitment.
Meanwhile, IPC also introduced the “20 Years and Beyond” official 20th anniversary logo. It depicts the company’s journey from past to present, while also presenting its commitment to provide excellent products in the years to come. IPC Assistant Vice President for Administration David Yandoc Jr. led the pledge on commitment for the environment, and further elaborated the meaning behind the symbol. Rationalizing the design are the two-shaped onto highway, which symbolizes the journey from past to present future; the platinum color, which connotes the strength of the bond between Isuzu and Filipinos; and the Philippine flag colors inside “zero,” which symbolizes the perfect partnership of Isuzu values and Filipino values. Since the zero is positioned perfectly next to “2,” it connotes the oneness of Isuzu and the country, and the chosen font is equally modern and timeless, representing the strong partnership.
Through the years, IPC has engaged in various environmental projects in the country as part of its community social responsibility initiatives. These are the staging of eco-themed shows for the children living in Biñan, Laguna; donated a river garbage trap to the local government of Santa Rosa, Laguna; contributed 10,000 tilapia fingerlings to the Laguna Lake Development Authority; help expanded a forest strip in Atimonan, Quezon, by planting 15,000 Narra seedlings; planted mangroves in Hundred Islands, Pangasinan; took part in a variety of conservation efforts in Rizal Park (Manila), Osmeña Park (Cebu) and Davao City Park; involvement in the Save the La Mesa Watershed Project; and provided 3,000 seedlings and environment signage to Caliraya, Laguna, as well as 1,000 seedlings to Ilagan, Isabela. “This event is just the start of a yearlong celebration for IPC, expect that we will bring in more products and events throughout the year,” Koso added. IPC then capped the entire gathering with a boodle fight (a military style of eating) feast.