TARAKA, Lanao del Sur — In the continued effort of the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources, and Energy (MENRE) to achieve environmental sustainability and to combat the impact of climate change in the Bangsamoro region, the MENRE has further strengthened Vice President Sara Duterte’s “PagbaBAGo: A Million Learners and Trees Campaign.”

In the province of Lanao Del Sur, the first tree-growing and planting activity was held in the Municipality of Taraka, where the Provincial ENRE Office of Lanao Del Sur provided 500 seedlings of Bamboo, Narra, Mahogany, Durian, and Jackfruit to bolster the campaign and promote the growth of these valuable trees. The said activity saw the participation of numerous organizations, partners, and stakeholders, such as educators from the Ministry of Basic, Higher, and Technical Education (MBTHE), the Philippine National Police (PNP), the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), Barangay Local Government Unit (BLGU), Forest, and Palaw Rangers.

During the activity, Forester Asmarie M. Labao, the Provincial ENRE Officer of Lanao Del Sur, reiterated that the tree-planting activity is part of the flagship program of MENRE, aimed at reforesting the Lake Lanao Watershed, which includes the Ramain-Taraka Subwatershed. He also expressed his gratitude to the Municipal Local Government of Taraka and the Office of the Vice President (OVP) for their warm welcome and for their support.

Asnawi A. Dataman, the Community ENR Officer of the 1st Congressional District, led the prayer and demonstrated proper seedling planting before the activity.

Further, the representative from the Office of the Vice President also expressed gratitude to all the partners that have supported their campaign. She also emphasized the ‘tree growing’ is part of Ibadah and informed the participants that they would be returning after three months to monitor the progress of the program. Additionally, the uniformed personnel from PNP, AFP, and BFP also delivered brief messages.

Following the success of the tree-growing activity in the Municipality of Taraka, Lanao del Sur. Seven (7) other municipalities are set to follow and implement this program, targeting to plant 6,000 seedlings in the province of Lanao del Sur.

It can be recalled that the Provincial ENRE Office of Maguindanao also conducted a series of tree-planting activities in the previous month as a support to the OVP’s “PagbaBAGo: A Million Learners and Trees Campaign.” Not only does this effort encourage environmental sustainability, but MENRE also found a valuable partner in promoting it within the Bangsamoro Region.