GCash, the Philippines’ leading mobile wallet, together with the non-profit organization HOPE, and Century Pacific Food, one of the country’s largest branded food companies, will be working together to fund the planting of 1 million coconut trees in the provinces of South Cotabato and Sarangani. This will be done via GForest, the environmental protection feature on the GCash app. This marks the first time that a GForest tree-planting initiative will be implemented in Mindanao, extending the app’s reach nationwide, and helping thousands of farmers in the province.
HOPE has been working to provide agriculture interventions such as replanting, farmer training, intercropping, and increasing market access to smallholder farmers in Mindanao since 2014. To date, they have distributed over 100,000 quality seedlings to over 10,000 smallholder farmers in the region.
With this tree-planting partnership, the farmers are expected to increase their nut yield by 55% and their income from coconuts by 90%. It will also have a positive effect on female farmers, who comprise 40% of the farmers in the program. The project will cover the areas of Sarangani, Banga, Surallah, Norala, Koronadal, General Santos City, Malungon, Glan, Alabel, Maasim, Kiamba, Maitum, Polomolok, Tampakan, and Tupi.
“We are excited to partner with HOPE and Century Pacific as we work together to promote environmental sustainability, and support farmers in South Cotabato and Sarangani. Through this program that will be implemented via GForest, we now have planting sites in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. We are committed to promote environmental stewardship through GForest, as we seamlessly integrate this with GCash’s innovative cashless technology,” said GCash President and CEO Martha Sazon.
GForest allows customers to take an active role in helping mother nature through tree planting. GCash users can do this by collecting enough green energy to plant virtual trees. When users plant a virtual tree, GCash then plants a real tree, which users may select on the app. GForest users earn green energy points by using various cashless services of GCash. Through sending money, paying bills or buying load in the app, users are awarded green energy points for adopting a lifestyle that reduces their carbon footprint.
“We are grateful for this partnership with GCash and Century Pacific as it expands our reach and intensifies our efforts toward sustainability and environmental protection. Through this initiative, we are able to reach out to millions of GCash users, encouraging them to preserve the environment while helping to support smallholder farmers,” said Nanette Medved, HOPE chairperson and president.
Since 2019, 7.7 million registered users have “gone green” using the GForest feature on the GCash app. To date, more than 560,000 trees have been planted in various parts of the Philippines.
“This partnership with HOPE is a big boost to our GForest program as it will bring us closer to our sustainability goal of having a “greener Philippines” simply by promoting cashless transactions,” said Chito Maniago, GCash’s Vice President of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs.
Since 2018, GCash has been actively involved in promoting a greener Philippines. It partnered with the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) for the reforestation initiatives in the Visayas. GCash users with energy points can adopt different species of trees to save them. RAFI, through its One to Tree Program Unit which encourages communities to help protect and rehabilitate the environment, is involved in establishing native tree nurseries and tree plantations in Cebu.
For more information, visit https://www.gcash.com/gforest.