THE Archdiocese of Cebu, together with a mining firm, will be planting 1,600 trees in the southern town of San Fernando, Cebu as part of their commitment to the environment.

In a press conference yesterday, Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma and officials of Solid Earth Development Corp. signed an agreement for the tree-planting in a one-hectare property in Magsico, San Fernando this year.

The archdiocese, through the International Eucharistic Congress Committee on Environmental Concern (IEC-CEC), also activated its parish community-based Pocket Forest Program that aims to create small forests in various parishes in Cebu.

San Agustin de Hippo Parish, which is located in Barangay Magsico, will serve as the pilot site for the program.

The parish is headed by Fr. Murphy Sarsonas, who is also the chairman of the IEC-CEC.

Palma told reporters that the tree-planting project is part of the archdiocese’s “act of penance” for the cutting of trees within the Archdiocesan seminary grounds to make way for the construction of the IEC Pavilion.

Aside from the 1,600 seedlings to be planted in Magsico, there will be at least 13,000 native trees will be planted in other parishes in Cebu.

Palma said that while they were required to plant 13,000 trees, he doesn’t want to just end there.

He urged all parishes to have their own pocket forest or to support its establishment in partnership with other parishes.