As part of the Philippine Environment Month celebration and in participation in the Nationwide Simultaneous Tree Plantings, more than 2,000 seedlings of Narra, Dao, Guyabano, Pili, Kamansi, Kakauate, Lumbang, and Palumaria were planted at Brgy. Sto Niño, Tanay, Rizal inside the Kaliwa River Forest Reserve.
Tingog Party List Representative Jude Acidre called for urgency in addressing climate change. He said "Nararamdaman na natin ang issue ng climate change. This is a reality na itong climate change ay hindi lamang isang isyung pambansa kundi a global issue na dapat nating matugunan. Itong generation natin ang may unang opportunity to eradicate poverty and ang last chance to reverse climate change, at ang small actions natin na pinagsama-sama ang tutugon dito."
Acidre also recognized the role of local communities in protecting the environment. "Hindi lang po dapat kalikasan ang ating pangalagaan kundi ang mga mamamayan na tumutulong upang mapangalagaan ang ating environment", he said.
Prior to the tree planting, NGP Rizal Focal Person Nestor Arriola demonstrated the steps on how to properly plant a seedling to ensure high survival rate. He also reminded the participants to bring back the plastic pots to avoid wastes in the forest.
A ritual called "pagsusuob" by the Dumagat-Remontado tribe was also conducted before the planting activity which is believed to help the trees grow healthy.
Further, For. Ernesto Diso, PENRO Rizal Technical Services Division Chief, stressed the importance of community participation in efforts for the conservation and protection of the environment and natural resources. "We cannot do this alone kaya kailangan ay sama-sama tayo sa pagprotekta sa kalikasan", Diso said.
As stewards of the environment and champions of their own community, Barangay Sto. Niño Chairperson Leonardo Dela Cruz, Sr. responded "Asahan niyo po ang aming tulong sa pangangalaga ng ating mga tinanim nang sa gayon pagdating ng panahon ay yumabong ang ating kagubatan".
Meanwhile, the Regional Mobile Force Battalion 4A headed by PCOL Ledon Monte and the Fraternal Order of Eagles headed by Manila Offroaders Eagles Club Secretary General Joseph Ryan Jocson signified their support in the activity. "Kaisa niyo po kami sa pagpapanatili ng kaayusan ng ating kapaligiran at likas yaman", they said.
On the other hand, Regional NGP Coordinator Herminigildo Jocson reminded the participants that the activity will not end with the tree planting but is only the start of the effort. He said "Hindi po tayo natatapos sa tree planting. Dapat po ito ay masundan natin ng mga aktibidad at patuloy na mapangalagaan upang tumubo hanggang sa mabuhay."
PENRO Rizal PENR Officer Ramil Limpiada appreciated the efforts of partners and stakeholders who joined the activity. Certificates of appreciation were distributed to all participating groups, agencies, and organizations.
The tree planting activity was participated by around 200 individuals from DENR CALABARZON, PENRO Rizal, Fraternal Order of Eagles, Regional Mobile Force Battalion 4A, LGU Tanay, Brgy. Sto Niño, University of Rizal System Environment Education and Biodiversity Research, Samahan ng Manggugulay sa Sto. Niño, Inc, Dumagat-Remontado Tribe and Tingog Party List. It was also graced by PENRO Rizal Executives including PENR Officer Ramil Limpiada, Technical Services Division Chief Ernesto Diso, Management Services Division Chief John Reburiano, and Kaliwa River Forest Reserve Protected Area Superintendent Felomen Antonio.
The provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, and Quezon also held their respective tree planting activities.