The Cebu Provincial Government successfully held a tree planting activity in Toledo City, in cooperation with the Carmen Copper Corporation. This event aptly coincided with the Osmeña Day Celebration last September 9.
Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III and his wife, Mrs. Jobella Angan-Davide, together with the employees of the Capitol, led the activity.
About two thousand seedlings were planted consisting of fruit-bearing trees that included jackfruit, guava, and guyabano (custard apple) and non-fruit-bearing trees such as narra and mangium seedlings. The plants and seedlings were sourced from Carmen Copper Corporation and the Capitol. This is the first time that the Cebu Provincial Government has partnered with the Carmen Copper Corporation. Last year, the Capitol partnered with the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Incorporated (RAFI).
Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) Officer in Charge, Atty. Chad Estella, was also present in the activity. In an interview, Estella explained that the actual site was chosen since it is an identified landslide prone area, and based on the DENR’s records, illegal quarrying and illegal extraction activities are concentrated in Toledo particularly in Sapangdako. According to Carmen Copper Environment Department Superintendent Christopher John Salcedo, the actual site needs protection and rehabilitation, and he is hopeful that the trees planted within said area will help protect the areas from soil erosion.
Daanlungsod Brgy. Captain, Jose Letrago said that he was very thankful that their barangay was chosen as the tree planting site. Letrago added that his administration is coming up with alternative employment opportunities for his constituents to replace some illegal quarrying works in the area. Letrago also revealed that the barangay built a training center where residents can participate in various livelihood training seminars such as sewing, cooking, driving, among others.
The tree planting activity is in line with the advocacies and projects of the National Greening Program (NGP) as espoused in Executive Order No. 26 and Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG’s) Memorandum Circular 21, pushing for the Billion Trees Program. (Rell P. Unabia/USJ-R MassCom Intern)