CU Alumni leads ‘10,000 Trees in 10 Sundays’ project-A A +A
Sunday, October 28, 2012
THE Capitol University Alumni Association Inc. (CU Alumni) led more than 3,000 volunteers in planting, caring and growing trees in a project called “10,000 Trees in 10 Sundays,” which started on July 29 and ended on September 30.
The tree planting activity was held at the Balubal Tree Park in Barangay Balubal, located in the western part of the second district of Cagayan de Oro City, approximately 25 kilometers from the city proper.
“The ‘10K Project’ actually supports Executive Order No. 26 or the National Greening Program which aims to plant some 1.5 billion trees covering about 1.5 million hectares for a period of six years from 2011 to 2016. The programs seek to mobilize students identified by the Department of Education and the Commission on Higher Education who shall be individually required to plant a minimum of 10 seedlings per year,” said Vernie Santi Pimentel, a board of director of CU Alumni.
Dr. Elizabeth Figueroa, the dean of the CU College of Business Administration who encouraged more than three hundred of her students, alumni and faculty, added that such activity also supports Republic Act (RA) 9418 or the Volunteer Act of 2007.
RA 9418 aims to inculcate volunteerism as a way of life in every Filipino and rekindle the time-honored tradition of bayanihan to foster social justice, solidarity and sustainable development.
Every Sunday, volunteers would always ask, “Why 10,000 trees and why 10 Sundays?”
“Ten thousand trees refer to the combined objective of planting, caring and growing the previously planted seedlings or those planted in the last three months and planting new seedlings in that area,” said Dr. Myrna Garde, another member of the CU Alumni Board.
Professor Ferdinand “Bong” Paurom said that though Sunday is reserved as rest and family day, this is a very appropriate time for students and workers so as not to disrupt their classes and work duties.
“If the volunteer can start planting at exactly 7:00 a.m., we can finish the activity at 10:00 a.m.,” he added.
The CU Alumni initiated this project but participation is not limited to alumni members only.
“We encourage participation from all groups, offices, student and campus associations, professional sector and civic or humanitarian organizations,” said Engr. Noli dela Rita.
Dela Rita even invited his High School Batch 1980.
Proof of participation from other schools and sectors was the involvement of selected staff of Cagayan de Oro Medical Center and faculty, students from Philippine Southfield School and members of the Rotaract Cagayan de Oro Clubs.
The local government unit of Balubal, headed by Captain Pablo Bactong, passed a resolution converting the planting area, a 2.5-hactare rolling and plane land, into a “Man-Made Tree Park.”
The Balubal Senior Citizens office was tasked to prevent the locals from building houses and cattle from grazing the planted materials.
In addition, every Sunday, Mr. Merlito Clavejo of the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (Clenro) guides the volunteers to make sure that the cropping, weeding and planting are performed well.
Alumni board directors Dr. Romeo Minoza and Second Mate Manuel Suganob brought the most number of volunteers from the College of Maritime Education and did the hardest tasks of preparing holes using digging bars and garden bolos.
Trees like shades, hardwood (teakwood, narra, mahogany, etc.) and fruit-bearing (like mango, jackfruit, marang, etc.) can be planted, cared and grown. A one-meter-by-one-meter distance is applied for shade trees and two-meter-by-two-meter for fruit-bearing trees.
Dr. Nanette Cano, the dean of CU College of Criminology, led one Sunday at least 400 volunteers for the tree-caring process wherein they made sure that the month-old trees survived by watering, clearing its perimeter and weeding out grass and herbs.
Clenro, thru the leadership and initiative of village chief Bactong, provided the seedlings for free thus the local government unit of Balubal is maintaining a sustainable supply thru its local nursery.
However, volunteers and their organizations may donate a minimum amount for each seedling as a way of helping and sustaining the supply.
Parents, pupils and faculty members of the Capitol University Basic Education Department led by its principal, Dr. Amor de Torres, also led the planting of the flaglets to identify the seedlings actually planted, cared and grown.
The CU National Services Training Program (NSTP) led by its director, Ms. Amor Mendoza, also helped in briefing the volunteers.
Louella Yap-Bout and Lorimar Sabellina, president of CU Red Cross Youth and Chair of the CDO Red Cross Youth Council, respectively, provided the supplemental first-aid support in addition to the Philippine Red Cross-Misamis Oriental/Cagayan de Oro Chapter-provided ambulance in case of emergency.
The CU Alumni Batches who participated thrice or more Sundays were CCC High School Batch 1979, 1980, 1990, 1992, 1994 and Drum and Bugle Alumni Association.
This is the second tree planting activity initiated by the CU Alumni. The first initiative was held in May 2012 in partnership with the Philippine Nurses Association-Misamis Oriental Chapter wherein 100 Narra and Mahogany seedlings were planted along the riverbanks of Barangay Consolacion. (Clifford Jose G. Roa, Contributor)
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on October 28, 2012.