'TREE CARING'. Personnel and partners of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in the Soccsksargen region plant trees in celebration of Philippine  Environment Month on Wednesday (June 8, 2022). At least 41,000 tree seedlings were planted by volunteers in the Soccsksargen area and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. (Photo courtesy of DENR-12)

COTABATO CITY – Volunteers have planted more than 41,000 trees of various species during the simultaneous tree planting activities across the Soccsksargen (Region 12) and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), officials said Thursday.

In the Soccsksargen, personnel of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-12) led by Regional Director Felix Alicer led volunteers in planting the tree seedlings during the nationwide simultaneous tree growing activity Wednesday.

Alicer said various species of seedlings like bamboos, fruit, and indigenous trees were planted on 155.3 hectares in identified sites across the region by over 1,000 participants.

The activity was in line with the celebration of this year’s Philippine Environment Month which carries the theme, “Aksyon Para Sa Natatanging Mundo.”

“This tree growing activity is one of the examples of collaborative actions that we need to save and protect the only planet that we have, our Mother Earth,” Alicer said.

In the BARMM, the region’s Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Energy office also organized a tree planting of around 900 seedlings all over Lanao del Sur.

Provincial Environment Officer Asmarie Labao said among the objectives of the tree planting activity include the greening of the communities and environmental awareness.

“We are using the term 'tree caring' instead of tree growing or planting to focus more on ensuring the higher rate of tree survival,” Labao said. “We do not just plant tree seedlings, but we are also providing extra care for them.”

He said caring for the trees includes regular monitoring, protecting, and maintaining support until the seedlings become mature, sturdy, and are assured of survival.

The group planted seedlings of Molave (Vitex parviflora), Golden tree (Cassia fistula L.), Narra (Pterocarpus indicus), Mahogany, and Mortality tree. (PNA)