Cebu News

Nationwide tree-planting set on December 6

Caecent No-ot Magsumbol - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — A simultaneous nationwide tree-planting activity is set on December 6, 2023 following the launch of Department of Education’s (DepEd) 236,000 Trees-A Christmas Gift for the Children project.

“This is an initiative that aims to promote environmental preservation and instill environmental responsibility among Filipino children,” read part of DepEd 069 s.2023 order signed by Vice President of the Philippines and concurrent DepEd Secretary Sara Duterte.

The simultaneous planting of over 236,000 trees will have the participation of 47,678 public schools all over the country, including schools from Cebu.

Each school is set to plant a minimum of five trees in their own school.

However, if space is limited, an alternative area such as barangay parks, local government unit parks, marine protected areas, or any other open space near the school that may be used for tree planting will have to be secured.

Each of the schools will be represented by a team consisting of teachers, students, and staff members responsible for planning, implementing, and reporting on the tree-planting efforts.

There should be no more than 10 teachers and not more than 20 students who will participate in the activity. Classes on this day for participating schools will be on asynchronous set-up.

This project serves as a gift from DepEd to ensure a clean and green environment for Filipino children and future generations.

This is also expected to provide a unique educational opportunity for students to actively participate in tree planting activities, fostering a deeper understanding of environmental issues, and promoting conservation efforts.

It also hopes to provide hands-on learning and practical application of environmental concepts, and for students to develop a strong sense of responsibility towards the environment.

The planting of trees also aims to contribute to the beautification of school grounds while also providing shade, improving air quality, and creating a calming atmosphere that enhances the overall ambience of the school and creating a more pleasant and conducive learning environment for students.

DepEd also stressed other health benefits from trees including the absorption of harmful pollutants from the air and release oxygen, leading to improved air quality and reduce the risk of respiratory diseases and promoting overall well-being.

Seedlings of trees that will be planted in schools will be coordinated by DepEd’s regional offices with its counterparts at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).This coordination aligns with the memorandum of agreement between the Office of the Vice President, DENR, and DepEd for the program titled Pagbabago: A Million Trees Campaign.

DENR regional offices are also requested to issue certifications containing the total number of trees planted by the DepEd in each region.

Distribution of seedlings were set to be done last November 29. Seedlings that were distributed were fruit-bearing trees, Philippine native species trees, or mangroves if the school selects a coastal area as a venue for the tree planting activity.

If DENR was not able to provide the seedlings in some areas, schools with nurseries may use their own seedlings or they can request directly from their local City or Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office.

Aside from doing a post-event report, DepEd also emphasized that there should be a “post-care for the trees planted” and regular inspections by the school officials shall be done to assess the condition of the trees, identifying any potential risks or diseases, and promptly addressing them.

The growth of the seedlings should also be monitored to ensure the health, growth, and sustainability of the trees under the school's care. – /ATO (FREEMAN)

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