As official sponsor of U2’s The Joshua Tree Tour 2019, PLDT wireless unit Smart Communications Inc. announced that it would step up reforestation efforts in various locations in the Philippines, particularly the Marikina watershed, in celebration of the band’s first ever concert in the Philippines.
The world-renowned Irish group played their first-ever performance in Manila on Dec. 11, 2019, at Philippine Arena, as they brought the highly acclaimed The Joshua Tree Tour to the Philippines. The commitment to strengthen its tree-planting activities is part of Smart’s sponsorship of the concert.
Smart will donate to reforestation efforts at the Marikina watershed and other protected areas. This collaboration also aims to implement programs that will improve the livelihood of those living within those areas. The initiative is part of the Gabay Kalikasan sustainability program of Smart and its parent company PLDT.
“Our support for the U2 concert has given us a welcome opportunity to refresh our longrunning efforts to promote reforestation in various parts of the country, particularly in the Marikina watershed,” said Chaye Cabal-Revilla, PLDT chief sustainability officer.
2019 marks the 10th year since Tropical Storm “Ondoy” hit the Philippines and caused severe flooding, loss of lives, and damage to property in Metro Manila. Much of the flood waters that inundated the national capital region came from the Marikina watershed which had suffered significant deforestation through the past several decades.
In the aftermath of “Ondoy,” Smart has assisted community-based tree-planting programs in the Marikina watershed under the umbrella of the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation. PLDT and Smart have also been active in reforestation and mangrove planting in other areas of the country such as the provinces of Quezon, Cebu, Bohol, and Camarines Sur.