Prayer and meditation for guests will now be more meaningful at Grotto de Banloc in Looc, Romblon as it just became home to endangered Philippine native trees in a BINHI arboretum that was recently inaugurated.
BINHI is geothermal leader Energy Development Corporation’s (EDC) forest restoration and biodiversity preservation program that aims to save endangered premium Philippine timber tree species by planting their seedlings in school grounds, public parks, and other areas that provide a safe haven for the long-term survival of these future mother trees.
Grotto de Banloc founders Jonathan and Virna Gaytano signed up as EDC’s 176th out of its 177 BINHI partners to create a safe haven for our premium Philippine native tree species where locals and tourists can learn how to care for our environment as they do their reflection or prayer. The local government of Looc, Romblon, the office of Romblon Governor Jose Riano, and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation are also their partners in putting up the arboretum.
Mangkono, Dalingdingan, Katmon, Red Lauan, Yakal-saplungan, and more premium Philippine native tree species will be planted and grown here with the guidance and scientific monitoring of EDC’s BINHI team.
The inauguration was graced by Looc, Romblon Mayor Atty. Lisette Arboleda, as well as key representatives from selected schools, and employees of EDC led by its External Relations Head, Mr. Eduardo L. Jimenez.
“It brings us true pride and joy to share this passion for saving endangered Philippine native tree species from extinction with like-minded people like Mr. and Mrs. Gaytano of Grotto de Banloc,” said Jimenez. “This arboretum here in Looc, Romblon is a proof of your efforts to preserve the environment.”
“We are proud to host the first arboretum of endangered Philippine native trees here in Romblon in this sanctuary. It is our way of caring for our common home in answer to Pope Francis’ Laudato Si,” said Mr. Gaytano.
Grotto de Banloc is EDC’s 13th arboretum under its BINHI program which the company has been implementing since late 2008. Over 150 seedlings from 30 different native species that were taken from EDC’s automated tree nursery in Antipolo City will be planted here today. Grotto de Banloc will be responsible for nurturing the native trees to ensure their survival.
As of 2018, BINHI has identified and rescued 96 species of prime and endangered Philippine hardwood. Almost 200,000 seedlings have been raised in central and satellite nurseries, distributed and planted across 3,214 hectares with the help of its 177 partner organizations and 88 farmers associations.
EDC is a global pioneer in geothermal energy and the country’s largest renewable energy company, delivering 1,457.8MW of clean and renewable energy to the Philippines. It has been supplying clean, reliable geothermal energy to Cebu City and other parts of the country for almost 40 years.