Koronadal aims for new record with tree planting fest

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/22 June) – The city government is hoping to make history anew with its upcoming massive tree growing festivity that is presently considered as among the biggest in the country.

Mayor Peter Miguel said Friday the city is presently on track to break records for the 2nd Tree Growing Festival slated on June 29 due to the swelling of support from various sectors in the area for the activity.

“We’re really overwhelmed with the support shown by our constituents so far and we’re expecting that more volunteers will sign up in the coming days since June 29 has been declared by the President as a
special holiday here,” he said.

Miguel said President Benigno S. Aquino III, through Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, issued last June 18 Proclamation 409, declaring June 29 as a special non-working holiday in the entire city.

Proclamation 409 cited that June 29 “marks the culmination program of the Environment Month and the 2nd Tree Growing Festival in the City of Koronadal.”

“It is but fitting and proper that the people of the City of Koronadal be given full opportunity to celebrate and participate in the occasion with appropriate ceremonies,” it said.

The city government earlier launched a massive sign-up drive for the activity, which is targeting the planting of a record-breaking 250,000 trees in various sites in the city.

At least 1,000 hectares of idle lands along the Quezon Mountain Range here are being prepared by the local government as primary sites for the activity.

The targeted planting sites will cover barangays Esperanza, San Jose, Cacub, Topland and Mabini.

During the launching last year, around 25,000 local volunteers planted a total of 131,028 tree seedlings in 522.78 hectares of idle lands along the Roxas Mountain Range, which extends to six of the city’s 27 barangays.

The city government originally targeted to plant 120,000 trees in 500 hectares of land in the area.

The city government decided to launch the tree-growing festival last year to highlight the local celebration of the International Environment Month held every June and support for Aquino’s National Greening Program.

It noted that the festivities aimed to promote environmental volunteerism among residents and the rehabilitation of the city’s declining forest reserve.

A report released by CENRO cited that the city’s forest reserve was so far down to just around 150 hectares or less than one percent of its total land area of about 27,000 hectares. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)