TREE-PLANTING. Personnel of a private firm in Manila and 150 students of the Mariano Marcos State University plant narra and molave saplings at the Paoay Lake National Park on Friday (Jan. 17, 2020). A massive greening program is being undertaken in Ilocos Norte to raise public awareness of environmental protection as a priority agenda for sustainable development. (PNA photo by Leilanie Adriano)

LAOAG CITY -- Personnel of a private law firm from Metro Manila and 150 Environment Science students of the Mariano Marcos State University planted 700 narra and molave saplings at the Paoay Lake National Park on Friday.

A team of forest rangers from the Environment and Natural Resources Office assisted the participants.

Lawyer Paolo S. Teston, a partner of M&A Associates, said it always feels good to be close to nature after their daily grind in the Metro.

“As we work in the law firm, we attend hearings and meet with clients. I remember joining tree-planting activities way back in college. That was a long time ago," Teston said. "With the eruption of Taal Volcano and with the current environmental crisis around the world, it reminds us to do our part for the environment.”

Through the initiative of lawyer Liza Araneta-Marcos, wife of former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, the tree-planting program of the China-Philippines Unified Enterprises Inc. and M&A Associates aims to generate public awareness of the importance of preserving the environment before it is too late.

Both firms are spearheading an environment awareness campaign in various parts of the province for the first time to ensure that Ilocanos are always reminded of the beauty of nature and their inherent role to protect it.

As the renewable energy capital of the country, Ilocos Norte is poised to sustain its greening programs, particularly in protecting its watersheds and other sources of water.

Estrella “Baby” Sacro, project manager of the Barangay Ranger Officers (BRO) in Ilocos Norte, said they have tapped the services of BROs to help maintain and grow the trees being planted by various groups and individuals. (PNA)