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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

1st Cavalry Squadron exceeds NGP target for 2016

By Gideon C. Corgue

TUKURAN, Zamboanga del Sur – In a bid to finally make the National Greening Program (NGP) of the goverment sustainable, the 1st Cavalry Squadron, Mechanized Infantry Division, Philippine Army recently planted some 2,000 mahogany seedlings in barangay Navalan here.

The officers and men of the 1st Cavalry Squadron led by LtCol. Charlemagne  Batayola, Jr,. in coordination with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), office of 1st district representative Victor J. Yu and barangay officials of Navalan conducted the tree planting in the hilly part of the four-hectare farm of Barangay Captain Leoncio Osores.

Batayola said the tree planting activity was in support to the NGP, President Aquino’s flagship reforestation program which aims to plant 1.5 billion trees in 1.5 million hectares by 2016.

He said the activity will not only alleviate poverty and achieve food security, but it will also help address the problem on climate change.

Under the NGP, Batayola said the unit was given a quota of 8,800 trees to be planted and the unit was able to overshoot its goal.

From 2013 to 2015, he said the 1st Cavalry Squadron conducted five tree planting activities in the adopted sister barangays and within the period, they were able to plant more than 8,800 seedlings in the area.

“We have exceeded the NGP target since we planted 2,000 additional mahogany seedlings,” Batayola proudly announced. 

“This is how we showcase the group’s shared passion in sustaining the efforts of the government in greening the Philippines,” he added.

Batayola said the activity was also part of the  9th founding anniversary of the Mechanized Infantry Division in Capas, Tarlac on September 11,  where the different companies have conducted simultaneous tree planting activities in Basilan,  Jolo, Sulu and Zamboanga City, respectively.

Meanwhile, Punong Barangay Leoncio Osores said he mobilized the ‘Bantay Kalikasan’, which composed of barangay tanods to prepare the planting holes, help in planting trees and take care of the newly planted seedlings.

“Among gitabangan ang 1st Cavalry Squadron dili lamang sa pagpananom ug mga kahoy, kun dili lakip na ang pag-amuma niini aron nga ang tanan motubo (We helped the 1st Cavalry Squadron not only in planting trees but also in taking care of it so that it will all grow),”Osores explained. 

Teresita Puno,  63 years old said she did not fail to join the tree planting activity spearheaded by the unit saying that it is her commitment to help in restoring the environment.

“Lima na ka higayon nga nga wala ko misipyat pag-apil sa pagpananom ug kahoy nga gipasiugdahan sa 1st Cavalry Sqaudron. Mokabat na sa 50 ka mahogany seedlings ang akong natanom dinhi sa bukid,” Puno proudly said.   

(For five times, I have not failed to join the tree planting activity conducted by the 1st Cavaly Squadron. There were about 50 mahogany seedlings that I have planted in this mountain)

Batayola attributed the successful implementation of the tree planting activity to the support of various stakeholders such as the DENR, barangay officials and residents  and other private-sector partners.