Monday December 11 , 2017
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Red Lions Living Highways project

SBCAF - News & Events



Washington SyCip (second from right) accepts an architectural rendering of the site development plan  for the proposed Washington SyCip garden of Native Trees.

About 90 species of native trees will be planted at the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman campus to honor  the founder of the country’s biggest accounting firm, Washington SyCip, on his 90th birthday celebration.

In a ceremonial tree planting activity held last Dec. 14,  SyCip marked the launch of the project with Diliman chancellor Caesar Saloma, San Beda College Alumni Foundation, Inc (SBCAF) president Dr. Jaime Galvez Tan, Dr. Noemi Bellosillo of the Department of Education and Daniel Zuellig, director of Bridgebury Realty Corp., owner and developer of the Zuellig Building.

 

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THE RED LIONS’ LIVING HIGHWAYS.  Dr. Jaime Galvez-Tan, President, San Beda College Alumni Foundation (SBCAF) and Dr. Manuel V. Pangilinan, Chairperson, Manila North Tollways (MNTC) signs a unique and pioneering agreement for thousands of native tree species to be planted along the world-class highway via the Red Lions Living Highways Project.  The Red Lions Living Highways is a fund-raising project of SBCAF in partnership with MNTC that aims to popularize the use of native trees for urban re-greening, thus, bringing biodiversity back into the urban environment.  Aside from the ecological services provided by trees, these also mitigate the effects of climate change as seven trees absorb the C02 emissions of one vehicle.  Funds that will be raised will support SBCAFI’s educational apostolate to include college scholarships, professorial chairmanships and research grants.  The Living Highways is also expected to significantly improve current standards on Philippine roads.  Also present during the MOA Signing are Atty. Jonas L. Cabochan, President, SBC Alumni Association; Mr. Gabriel Mathay, Vice President, Mr. Edgardo Favila, Treasurer and other officers of SBCAF; Rev. Mateo J. de Jesus, Rector-President, SBC and Rev. Benigno Benabarre, Assistant Moderator, SBC Alumni Office and the oldest living monk at the Abbey of Our Lady of Monserrat, Manila; Mr. Rodrigo E. Franco, President and Mr. Raul Ignacio, Vice President for Operations, MNTC;  Mr. Ramoncito S. Fernandez, President, Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation; Mr. Jose Ma. K. Lim, President and CEO, Metro Pacific Investments Corporation.

 

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BRINGING BIODIVERSITY BACK INTO THE URBAN ENVIRONMENT.  Dr. Jaime Galvez-Tan, President, San Beda College Alumni Foundation (SBCAF) and Dr. Manuel V. Pangilinan, Chairperson, Manila North Tollways (MNTC) exchange copies of the Red Lions Living Highways Project Memorandum of Agreement.  The Red Lions Living Highways is a fund-raising project of SBCAF in partnership with MNTC that aims to popularize the use of native trees for urban re-greening, thus, bringing biodiversity back into the urban environment.  Aside from the ecological services provided by trees, these also mitigate the effects of climate change as seven trees absorb the C02 emissions of one vehicle.  Funds that will be raised will support SBCAFI’s educational apostolate to include college scholarships, professorial chairmanships and research grants.  The Living Highways is also expected to significantly improve current standards on Philippine roads.   In this photo are (L-R) Mr. Gabriel P. Mathay, Vice President, SBCAF; Atty. Jonas L. Cabochan, President, San Beda College Alumni Association; Rev. Mateo J. de Jesus, Rector-President, SBC; Mr. Rodrigo E. Franco, President, MNTC; and Mr. Ramoncito S. Fernandez, President, Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation.

 

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LET’S PLANT NATIVE TREES!  Dr. Jaime Galvez-Tan, President of the San Beda College Alumni Foundation, Inc. presents to Dr. Manuel V. Pangilinan, Chairman of the Manila North Tollways Corporation, a PILI seedling (Canarium ovatum), an endemic Philippine tree species, during the MOA Signing of the Red Lions Living Highways Project on 30 March 2009 at the PLDT Bldg. in Makati City.  The Red Lions Living Highways is a fund-raising project of SBCAF in partnership with MNTC that aims to popularize the use of native trees for urban re-greening, thus, bringing biodiversity back into the urban environment.  Aside from the ecological services provided by trees, these also mitigate the effects of climate change as seven trees absorb the C02 emissions of one vehicle.  Funds that will be raised will support SBCAFI’s educational apostolate to include college scholarships, professorial chairmanships and research grants.  The Living Highways is also expected to significantly improve current standards on Philippine roads.  Looking on are Rev. Mateo de Jesus, Rector President, San Beda College; Ms. Imelda P. Sarmiento, Managing Director, Hortica Filipina Foundation, Inc., SBCAF’s technical partner; Atty. Jonas Cabochan, President, San Beda College Alumni Association; Mr. Rodrigo Franco, President, MNTC; Mr. Gabriel Mathay, Vice President, SBCAF and Rev. Benigno Benabarre, Assistant Moderator, SBC Alumni Office and the oldest living monk at the Abbey of Our Lady of Monserrat, Manila

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LET’S PLANT NATIVE TREES!  Dr. Jaime Galvez-Tan, President of the San Beda College Alumni Foundation, Inc. and Ms. Imelda P. Sarmiento, Managing Director, Hortica Filipina Foundation, Inc., SBCAF’s technical partner, gives Dr. Manuel V. Pangilinan, Chairman of the Manila North Tollways Corporation, a book on Philippine native trees during the MOA Signing of the Red Lions Living Highways Project on 30 March 2009 at the PLDT Bldg. in Makati City.  The Red Lions Living Highways is a fund-raising project of SBCAF in partnership with MNTC that aims to popularize the use of native trees for urban re-greening, thus, bringing biodiversity back into the urban environment.  Aside from the ecological services provided by trees, these also mitigate the effects of climate change as seven trees absorb the C02 emissions of one vehicle.  Funds that will be raised will support SBCAFI’s educational apostolate to include college scholarships, professorial chairmanships and research grants.  The Living Highways is also expected to significantly improve current standards on Philippine roads.  Looking on are Rev. Mateo de Jesus, Rector President, San Beda College and Atty. Jonas Cabochan, President, SBC Alumni Association (partly hidden).

 

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LET’S PLANT NATIVE TREES!  Dr. Jaime Galvez-Tan, President of the San Beda College Alumni Foundation, Inc. presents to Dr. Manuel V. Pangilinan, Chairman of the Manila North Tollways Corporation, a YAKAL seedling (Hopea plagata), a native Philippine tree species, during the MOA Signing of the Red Lions Living Highways Project on 30 March 2009 at the PLDT Bldg. in Makati City.  The Red Lions Living Highways is a fund-raising project of SBCAF in partnership with MNTC that aims to popularize the use of native trees for urban re-greening, thus, bringing biodiversity back into the urban environment.  Aside from the ecological services provided by trees, these also mitigate the effects of climate change as seven trees absorb the C02 emissions of one vehicle.  Funds that will be raised will support SBCAFI’s educational apostolate to include college scholarships, professorial chairmanships and research grants.  The Living Highways is also expected to significantly improve current standards on Philippine roads.  Also present are Ms. Imelda P. Sarmiento, Managing Director, Hortica Filipina Foundation, Inc., SBCAF’s technical partner; Rev. Mateo de Jesus, Rector President, San Beda College; Atty. Jonas Cabochan, President, San Beda College Alumni Association; and Rev. Benigno Benabarre, Assistant Moderator, SBC Alumni Office and the oldest living monk at the Abbey of Our Lady of Monserrat, Manila.

 

RED LIONS' LIVING HIGHWAYS: Let's Plant Native Trees! 
North Luzon Expressways
 
PROJECT BACKGROUND:
The North Luzon Expressway was recently rebuilt and rehabilitated to make a world-class superhighway that serves as a catalyst for the growth of Central and Northern Luzon in particular and the Philippine economy in general.  Its renovation gathered positive feedbacks from motorists as well as commuters who has very well benefited from it. 
San Beda College, on the other hand, is one of the best schools in all levels and academic and non-academic disciplines, producing many successful personalities in the country.  One of its most well-known alumnus is Mr. Manny Pangilinan who now leads the country's most thriving businesses like Metro Pacific, PLDT, Smart etc.  Mr. Pangilinan also happens to be on top of the Manila North Tollways Corporation, the organization who manages NLEX.


PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
The 'Red Lions' Living Highways' is a greening program for NLEX and eventually, SCTEX, in partnership with the San Beda College Alumni Foundation (main proponent) and the San Beda College Alumni Association (SBCAA) and the San Beda Law Alumni Association (SBCLAA).  The technical partner is Hortica Filipina Foundation, Inc.  It is a high profile project to benefit the society while achieving the main objectives of the SBCAF.  As a continuing transformation program of NLEX, the program is intended to showcase the Philippines' unrelenting drive toward progress and modernization.   
There are two benefits to this project.  The first is aesthetic.  NLEX as a structurally world class would be aesthetically world class too, at par with the highways of Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia and will polevault the current standards on Philippine roads if trees planted could be "well-constructed" too!  The second is practical.  One mature tree can absorb the CO2 emissions of seven cars. 
 
But unique from any haphazardly implemented greening program, this greening program is worthy of a Bedan name.  The Red Lions' Living Highways will be a showcase of Philippine endemic and indigenous tree species.  The Philippines has 3,500 native tree species with 67% endemism.  Imagine our highways as a living museum of trees, educating and raising awareness of our people as they drive along the country's best highway.  It is also a good way to contribute to the preservation of the native tree species.  Not many Filipinos know which trees are native to the Philippines which could have caused the present endangered, threatened and vulnerable status of our God given trees. 
 

The 'Instant' Greening Projects of the Past

It has been a sad fact that the Philippine government's current tree planting, landscaping and greening projects are anchored on using imported (exotic) plants and tree species.  Wide use of the Gmelina (Gmelina arborea, native to India introduced to the Philippines after WWII), Neem (Azidarachta indica, native to Burma), Acacia auri (Acacia auriculaeformis native to northern Australia), Firetrees or caballeros (Delonix regia endemic to Madagascar) and the Mahogani (Swietenia macrophylla native to the West Indies and Swietenia mahogani native to tropical America) have been the norm for these projects because of said trees' fast growing characteristics and our natural predilection to everything "instant".  But exotic (imported) trees were not meant for us and therefore they could, more often than not, have derogatory effects to our environment and biodiversity.  Most of them are invasive.  They become predators and eventually shatters the web of life, our ecosystemn --- no native plants, no native fauna. Like, the imported mahogany varieties severely restrict the growth of all other plants and living organism beneath it.  They bear also large and hard fruits that are dangerous to both motorists and pedestrians.  These mahogany trees and five or six other imported species (neem, gmelina, Indian trees, acacia auri, fire trees, akasya) have homogenized and "monoculturalized" our lands!
 
Sad to say, that the generations of Filipinos have been almost exclusively exposed to tree species of other lands and the nation's identity through these important parts of our native heritage are about to be lost.  Sad to say, these are the kinds of things tourists come here for--- to see what is uniquely Filipino--- yet we do not have them in our public places such as roads and parks.
 
The Philippines as a tropical country occupies an enviable place among nations in that it has many endemic/indigenous ornamental and fruit bearing trees that should be more suitable and are more striking compared with most exotic tree species that are in wide use.  While it is true that the lack of available seedlings of native tree species hampers their use in tree planting projects in both public and private projects, this is now being addressed with the operation of nurseries dedicated to the propagation of these species (like Hortica Filipina Foundation, Inc.).  Furthermore, when planted with deliberate and proper care, these trees bring out the best in the Philippines with their profuse and colorful flowers, adequate shade and vital contributions to the natural ecology – we bring biodiversity back to our urban environment!

Project mechanics
 
It is hereby recommended that the planting of native tree species along the 84-km stretch of the NLEX be accomplished in the following manner:
 
1. One tree species for every five kilometers for a total of 16 native tree species;
2. The trees could be planted at an average distance of five meters from each other, which translates to:
• 200 trees per kilometer or 1,000 trees per five kilometers
•2,000 trees per five kilometers on both shoulders of the highway
•Or a total of 32,000 native trees on both shoulders of the 80-km highway
3. Planting should be done on the months of June to November, in anticipation of the rainy months and to minimize maintenance cost
4. Flowering trees are to be prioritized in the selection of native tree species.  Fruit bearing trees are to be avoided as it could cause harm to the moving vehicles or could attract fruit pickers from neighboring communities, a highway hazard just the same.
5. Ideally, there should be two to three rows of planting verge which will however, double or triple the requirements of trees. 
6. We would also pursue the planting of 1 or 2 or 3 native tree species within the clover leaf (exit-entrance to/from NLEX)
7. Tree deaths due to natural causes such as diseases will be replaced within two year period.  Tree deaths due to typhoons, lightning strikes, fires, vehicular accidents or even theft are not covered, however.
 
For an aesthetically regal highway, tree markers are foreseen to be placed only at the beginning of each strip of tree species (that's every five kilometers, more or less) and should be uniformly spaced and sized.  All these could be decently put up similar to the ones existing along NLEX to mark forthcoming tourism destination exits.  With MNTC, the proper design and color could be discussed and implemented.
 
With approval from MNTC, toll tickets could be designed to include a picture of a single mature tree species among list of trees that are to be planted along the highway.  On the obverse or reverse side basic information about said tree species like its common and/or local names, its scientific name, its values and its distribution in our country (if endemic) or with other countries (if indigenous).
 
The production of markers and toll ticket design will be integral to the appreciation of
our native trees by both our foreign visitors and our kababayan --- so they can see,
feel, recognize them and finally identify with them!  Protection, proliferation of our native trees should then follow!
 
Commencement of tree planting activities will be on 11 July, in celebration of the
Feast of St. Benedict. 
 
Corporate sponsors or SBC class or organization may also schedule tree planting
event along the NLEX with prior approval from MNTC.