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CALABARZON Regional Development Council celebrates Civil Service Month with a TREEmendous growing activity along STAR tollway

Some 400 government employees or “civil servants” in Region 4A CALABARZON (Calamba, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) trooped to  the Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (STAR) Tollway on Friday, September 21, 2012 and planted 4,000 Narra (Pterocarpus indicus) trees as part of the month-long 112th Philippine Civil Service Anniversary celebration.

Spearheaded by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region 4A CALABARZON office and the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) CALABARZON, the civil servants—officials and staff of the 35 government agencies comprising the Regional Development Council—joined forces to green the highways in an activity dubbed “CALABARZON Regional Development Council TREEmendous Growing Activity.

 All government agencies are a part of the annual commemoration of the birth of the Philippine Civil Service in September 1900. This year’s anniversary theme is “Kawani, Ikaw ay Isang Lingkod Bayani!” which underscores the potential in civil servants to be heroes in their own right. Lingkod bayani is a play on the Filipino words lingkod bayan which means public servant and bayani, hero.

 Forester Manuel Escasura, chief of the DENR Region 4A CALABARZON Forest Resource Development Division and Regional Coordinator of the National Greening Program, and who led in the preparations said the activity was an appropriate venue for civil servants to celebrate their anniversary. 

 NEDA Regional Director Agnes M. Espinas, who is also Acting Vice Chairperson of the CA:ABARZON Regional Development Council, echoed Escasura’s observation and that she appreciated DENR’s effort in making the activity happen. She said it made possible her being able to comply with the required planting of ten trees by a government employee like herself. She admitted she has not planted a tree for sometime now, and vowed to plant her ten trees. She urged others to do the same.

 DENR Undersecretary Demetrio Ignacio, who represented Sec. Ramon Paje expressed appreciation for the good number to participate in the planting activity.  The activity, he observed, was a gathering of sorts of fellow government employees as a meaningful observance of the civil servants’ month and  a venue for a better understanding of other government programs such as the National Greening Program.

 Regional Executive Director Reynulfo Juan said the activity was a result of an agreement with the STAR Tollways corporation and thanked the management for their support. “The STAR Tollways corporation will take care of the trees we plant today.” He said.

 He further revealed as the employees of the government agencies’ regional offices of CALABARZON Region are planting at the stretch of the STAR Toolways, ”our counterparts in the CALABARZON provincial offices are doing their own tree planting activities.

 He said similar tree planting activities were held in Brgy. San Agustin I in Dasmarinas, CAVITE; in Sitio Baytangan, Brgy. Pintong Bocaue in San Mateo, RIZAL; Brgy. Kay-anlog in Calamba City, LAGUNA; Brgy. Santo Nino in Taysan, Brgy. Taklang Anak in Calaca, Brgy. BIlaran in Nasugbu, Brgy. Subic Ibaba in Agoncillo, Brgy. Gulod in Laurel, Brgy. Sanisidro in San Luis and and Brgy Santiago in Calatagan, all in BATANGAS; along the Pan-Philipine highway in Lucena City, Brgys. Panikian, Kamohagin and Bamban in Gumaca, Brgys. Pinagsakayan, Bukal and Bantolinao in Calauag; Brgy, Tagbakan Ibaba in Catanauan; Cawayan Watershed in Real; Brgy. Anoiling in Gen Nakar; and along the National Road in Infanta, QUEZON. 

 Director Lucina Flor Ramos of the Civil Service Commission Regional Office  representing CSC chair Francisco Duque congratulated the DENR and the NEDA ‘for organizing the event which is aimed at raising awareness and promoting green practices among government offices in CALABARZON.”

 She stressed, ”we are the environmental warriors tapped by Pres. Aquinoto wasge the battle and save the environment—planting more trees and prohibiting illegal logging activities, and exhaust efforts in greening our urban areas.

 She said the CSC’s ‘gawing lingkod bayani ang bawat kawani’ is not just patriotism or heroism but accepting responsibility to protect and play a significant role to save the environment.

 “Going green is the way to go,” she said.

 Civil servant-planters coming from the NEDA, NIA, NSO, PCA, PNP, DILG, OCD, DepEd, DOH. DSWD, CHED, TESDA, DOLE, HLURB, HUDCC, DA, DAR, DENR, DTI, DOT, DOST, NCIP, DPWH, LTO, BFAR and other government agencies planted their trees assigned planting sites.  Site 1 at the Tanauan Interchange; Site 2,  at the Malvar Interchange, Site 3 will be at the Lipa Interchange and Site 4 at the stretch from Ibaan Interchange.