>OLANGO ISLAND, Cebu – In its effort to help save the environment from the harmful effects of climate change, the Kanepackage Group of Companies, a Japanese-owned packing firm that has three branches in the country, has committed to plant five million mangrove trees. It also recently launched a day-care school in this island to help children get a better education. The day-care classroom, which will benefit some 32 pre-school students in Barangay San Vicente, is an added project of the Kanepackage Green Earth which targets to plant five million mangrove trees in a span of five years. The group launched its program in 2009 and has already planted thousands of mangroves in this island. Kanepackage President Yoshikasu Kanesaka personally attended the ground-breaking of the classroom together with some local officials headed by Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza and representatives from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources 7. Kanesaka in his speech said the new program is their way of thanking the community for helping them in their advocacy which is very crucial for the environment. “We decided to help in making this project possible because in this way we can help our little children achieve their dreams by learning at a very young age,” he said. Kanesaka, who hails from a poor family in Japan, shared his experience to the parents and children who attended the event to inspire them in reaching for their dreams like what he did. “When I was young I dreamed of going to the US and luckily I did, and I want these kids to also reach theirs,” he added.
The Kanepackage top official also expressed his interest in putting up a fund for a scholarship program where students will be sent to school for free plus the chance to get employed by the company right after graduation. Meanwhile, Rodney Maguyon, Cebu Plant supervisor, said the school building is estimated to cost R300,000 and is expected to be completed by April this year. “Aside from donating this building, we are also going to give books and school supplies to the students of the day-care center,” he said. Moreover, the 30 square-meter lot in which the day-care school building will be put up was donated by Ma. Therese Serat. On the same occasion, the company has also conducted an aerial survey to look and check on the current status of their mangrove- planting activities as they prepare for the next event slated this March 19 and 20.