October 17, 2019

How to get your own native tree through GCash Forest

You may have seen it on your Facebook feed before: use mobile wallet GCash and help save the environment.

Through its feature GCash Forest, GCash allows users to be green warriors in their own right by using the app for transactions, eventually earning them points corresponding to a tree.

Upon earning enough points, users may choose a native tree to adopt, an actual sapling to be planted at the Ipo watershed, where GCash aims to plant 365,000 trees in a year, or 1,000 trees a day.


The virtual turned real this month when GCash and partner organization WWF brought several GCash users to the Ipo Watershed in Bulacan. The select group includes those who accomplished the feat of earning at least 20,000 green energy points.

For them, it was an opportunity to get involved in action that would help ensure a healthy environment for the future.

BPO worker and financial adviser Rodolfo Villena Jr. first learned of GCash Forest through a pop-up ad on his computer screen.

“I said sige try ko, wala naman mawawala. Binasa ko, OK, virtual way to plant a tree. Sabi they will plant a tree for you,” he said.

He was happily surprised when, after earning nearly 23,000 green energy points, he was selected as one of the GCash users to join a tree-planting activity on Oct. 12.

“One-of-a-kind experience siya--this is it, pinaghirapan ko itanim ito. It's a chance na not all are qualified to do so ang galing, alam mong ikaw mismo magtatanim ng puno, na-earn mo. You're not just expecting someone to plant for you,” he said.

So how did RJ earn all his green energy points? By using GCash as frequently as he could.

A GCash user for over three years now, RJ said he uses GCash to purchase mobile phone load (even for his friends) and do bank transfers for money he eventually uses for bills payments, which he also does via GCash. He also uses GCash to invest and save, and GCredit when he runs out of funds in his GCash wallet.

RJ frequently uses payment via QR codes, and GCash-to-GCash transfers for his Grab Car. His driver sends him the week's earnings via GCash.

“Bank transfers talaga ang nagpabilis nitong points ko. Minsan I earn 300 energy points for a single bank transfer. I also use QR code, nakaka-engganyo kasi ‘pag may vouchers, bili ka ng bili,” he said.

Phone banker Lorna Jane Andales also learned of GCash Forest through an online ad. A GCash user since April, she has earned 21,962 green energy points by using GCash for bills payments, fund transfers and prepaid load.

“From the very beginning of GCash Forest, I have been so excited to see the outcome. I didn't imagine that I would personally see it,” said Lorna, who was part of the first batch of tree-planters brought by GCash to the Ipo watershed.

Describing herself as a “progressive activist” for the environment, Lorna said the GCash Forest initiative could help spur collective action.

“It's for every one else, but most of all, Mother Earth. I may not be the most green-inspired person you'll meet but for me, every little thing we do affects Mother Nature. That's why it's very important to do small things to get back and fix Mother Nature. Every little thing counts,” she said.

Curiosity led housewife Edna Lyn Pagulayan, 31, to GCash Forest, and she had no second thoughts about lending a hand.

“I saw an ad on Facebook and when I checked my GCash App I saw a new icon for GCash Forest, got curious and found the objective very interesting and helpful,” she said.
Edna, a home-based travel consultant, has earned 20,752 points through using GCash every day for bills payment, groceries and load, and for fund transfers.

“With GCash, I found a better way to preserve our environment by using cashless transactions. Proud of myself, as I am now able to plant a real yakal tree,” she said.

She hopes more Filipinos would get involved, saying protecting our forests “means giving my children a breath of fresh air now and in the future.”

“I look forward to gain awareness and to see all Filipinos help GCashForest in planting more and more trees for a healthier and livelier ecosystem and environment,” she said.

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