WHAT brought President Benigno C. Aquino III to Teodoro Palma Gil Elementary School in Davao City on Wednesday?

A joint effort of school children to plant hardwood and fruit trees as their contribution to efforts to protect the environment through the Treevolution of the Young.

It helps that one of the leaders has a mom who’s a top official of the Mindanao Development Authority (Minda) and thus have that access to the President.

Some 2,000 seedlings were planted at Tigatto, Buhangin during the Treevolution of the Young, an event of the Supreme Pupil Government (SPG) Federation of the Davao Central District.

Sixty pupils from seven different schools in the Davao Central District participated in the event, which is comprised of Teodoro Palma Gil Elementary School, Bolton Elementary School, Cesario Villa Abrille Elementary School, Doña Pilar L. Marfori Elementary School, Kapitan Tomas Monteverde Sr. Elementary School, Magallanes Elementary School, Wireless Elementary School.

Fruit trees, endemic to the Philippines such as Cacao and Jackfruit and hardwood Mahogany and Narra were planted at the site near Deca Homes.

Councilor of Barangay Tigatto, Claide Kinneth Saludar expressed his gratitude to the organizers who chose their area, "The whole council is very excited and thankful. We will do our part to nurture and take care of these trees to ensure their survival."

It can be recalled that during the past years, the area of Buhangin experienced heavy flooding especially during the rainy season.

Treevolution is a joint event of Mindanao Development Authority (Minda) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), in partnership with the Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), and Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

President Aquino was present at the latter part of the program as President of the SPG, Jiro Junn Juri Lopoz invited him to be a part of their cause to mitigate the effect of climate change and help build a green community.

In his letter, dated June 30, 2015, Lopoz wrote:

President Noy, it is an honor to invite you to our Treevolution and personally come to plant trees with us.

I am sure the students will be more inspired with your presence. But if your schedule in August is already full, I understand. I know that as President you have many things to do for our country. If you cannot come, I hope you can request our DepEd Secretary Armin Luistro to join our activity in Davao City.

Lopoz is the son of Minda Undersecretary Janet Lopoz.