Members of SMI Scholars Association of Tampakan, South Cotabato, led a tree planting activity on 25 February 2019 in Palo 19 National High School and Josol Elementary School grounds, with the theme “Buhay na Puno, Puno ng Buhay”.
Various community groups also took part in the initiative such as the officers of the Parents and Teachers Association, members of Pag-asa Youth Association of the Philippines (PYAP) led by Kit S. Felisilda, Sanggunian Kabataan chairpersons Melchor Segui of Barangays Danlag and Bernadette Patian of Palo 19, the Ecological Solid Waste Management (ESWM) Club of Palo 19 National High School headed by Queenie S. Felisilda, and members of the CAFGU headed by SSgt. Dindo Nicor.
Sagittarius Mines, Inc. provided 500 seedlings of various endemic tree species, including technical assistance of the company environment specialist and environment technician, transportation, and refreshments to all participants.
Former SMI scholars and members of the Sangguniang Bayan of the Municipality of Tampakan also extended financial support.
“We wish to expose the high school and elementary students to the benefits of trees and of the natural environment, and to foster environmental stewardship among them,” explained Pinky Simbag, president of SMI Alumni Scholars Association (Tampakan) and a Teacher at Palo 19 National High School.
“At the same time, we want to demonstrate to our community members the essence of planting trees, which can bring great help in mitigating natural phenomena such as landslides and dry spell,” she added.
School heads Jane Jumawan, Teacher-In-Charge of Palo 19 National High School, and Jennifer Leysa, Teacher In-charge of Josol Elementary School, emphasized in their remarks that there is really a need to plant trees to mitigate the effects of climate change. They also assured that the students will help take care of and nurture the seedlings they planted until such time that they are fully grown.
(News article contributed by Johannah Crystal F. Modina, ESWM Officer, Palo 19 National High School)