ARMM communities join Mindanao-wide tree planting activity PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 27 September 2014 14:02

Local officials, policemen, soldiers and Moro rebels on Friday planted thousands of forest and mangrove trees in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao to set a world record of having planted 4.6 million trees all together at one time.

Gov. Mujiv Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu and ARMM’s natural resources secretary, Kahal Kedtag, led the planting of trees in four sites in Maguindanao as part of the Mindanao-wide ““Treevolution: Greening MindaNow.”

The project, initiated by the Mindanao Development Authority, which is based in Davao City, and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, was aimed at breaking India’s Guinness record on having planted so many trees, by Indian nationals, in just one activity.

The rank-and-file personnel of different agencies under the ARMM government planted trees on idle lands in Pigcalagan area in Sultan Kudarat town in the first district of Maguindanao.

Local officials in Maguindanao’s adjoining provinces of Datu Odin Sinsuat and North Upi also led their constituents in planting thousands of forest trees in selected areas vulnerable to landslides and soil erosion which strong winds and heavy rains can cause.

Thousands of rubber tree seedlings have also been planted by participants to the Treevolution activity along the road connecting a stretch of the Cotabato-Gen. Santos Highway to the scene of the infamous Nov. 23, 2009 “Maguindanao Massacre.”

“We decided to plant rubber trees to ensure that people residing in the surroundings will take care of them because if fully grown the trees can produce rubber latex that can be sold,” Mangudadatu told reporters.

Officials of the Maguindanao police office and the Army’s 601st Brigade joined Mangudadatu and employees of the provincial government in planting the rubber tree seedlings.

Rep. Ruby Sahali and her younger sibling, Gov. Nurbert Sahali, led the planting of more than 200,000 mangrove and forest trees in the island town of Panglima Sugala in Tawi-Tawi, a component province of ARMM.

“This is an experience of a lifetime,” Sahali said.

Rep. Sahali said employees of the Tawi-Tawi provincial government and different agencies in the island province participated in the tree planting activity in Panglima Sugala.

Kedtag said he is confident that in the autonomous region alone, participants to the tree planting project managed to plant more or less a million trees.

“But we still have to validate all reports coming from the field. It’s no joke attempting to set a world record,” Kedtag said.

Kedtag said he is thankful to Hataman, Mangudadatu, the 6th Infantry Division and the ARMM’s regional police office for helping push the activity forward.

“I am also thanking the MILF for participating in the event,” Kedtag said.

Thousands also joined the activity in five administrative regions in Mindanao.