The DENR CALABARZON joined the Philippine National Police Directorate for Information and Communications Technology Management (PNP-DICTM) in conducting a mangrove planting activity in Brgy. Papaya, Nasugbu, Batangas on March 13, 2021.

Themed "Magtanim Ngayon Para sa Ligtas na Kinabukasan (Plant Now for a Safe Future)", the said activity was conducted as part of PNP's "Plant a Tree Program" institutionalized by virtue of Command Memorandum Circular No. 04-2021 dated February 10, 2021, which primarily serves as the national police force's new normal of disaster preparedness and response.

In his message delivered by DENR-CENR Officer, Calaca, Batangas Isagani Amatorio, In-Charge, Office of the Regional Executive Director and Assistant Regional Director for Management Services, Nelson Gorospe, said " the DENR CALABARZON have been tapped by various offices of the PNP for assistance in their tree planting activities in the past two months. As a matter of fact, this activity is already the fourth one, and we expect that there will be more in the coming months as part of the "Plant a Tree Program" of the PNP".

The regional department had previously provided assistance in the tree planting activities of the PNP conducted last January 31, and February 13 and 27, 2021.

Amatorio said the forest cover in the Philippines is about 7 million ha., of which, 4.3 percent or about 300,000 comprises mangrove forest. He added that the province of Batangas only has 600 ha. mangrove forest. Thus, he expressed his gratitude to the PNP-DICTM which is based in the National Headquarters, for choosing Batangas as the site for their tree planting activity.

A total of 600 seedlings of Bakawan babae (Rhizophora mucronata) and Bakawan bato (Rhizophora stylosa) were planted within the 30 ha. National Greening Program (NGP) site in Brgy. Papaya, Nasugbu, Batangas.

PNP-DICTM Acting Director, Police Brigadier General Rodolfo S. Azurin, Jr. said they will be adopting the said NGP site through a Memorandum of Agreement with the local government and the DENR. "Ito ay papatibayin pa natin sa pamamagitan ng isang kasulatan na ang mga kawani namin sa DICTM…ituturing namin (ang napiling NGP site) na pangalawang opisina o tahanan para nang sa gayon ay magkaroon tayo ng ownership pagdating sa pagmimintena ng kalikasan sa Brgy. Papaya" he said.

Sana ay ipagpatuloy natin ang activity na ito hindi lamang po dahil nire-require ng pamunuan but rather we should see it as our way of preserving (the environment and natural resources) for the future generations dahil lahat tayo dito ay mawawala but we have to prepare para sa mga susunod (na henerasyon),” Azurin said. ###