President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. has warned of the impact of climate change, marking his 65th birthday by planting bamboo in San Mateo town, Rizal on Tuesday (September 13).
"The challenges we hurdled in recent years highlighted the fact that we have one earth. We must spare no effort to ensure that it survives in the years to come," said Marcos at the MMDA landfill inside the Upper Marikina River Basin Protected Landscape.
Nature "desperately needs attention" and the nationwide tree-planting program will help, said the president, who added that preserving the environment is among his administration's priorities because it entails economic gains.
"We have to do this as a concrete step that we take so that nature is cared for because it desperately needs that care and it desperately needs that attention. As such, I gladly welcome each of you as we kick start this simple yet impactful undertaking, a nationwide simultaneous tree planting activity," Marcos said.
"Trees and plants in general are vital to human existence. They take in the air we breathe out so they might give air that we breathe in. I thus wish that as we appreciate the impact of this endeavor, we also see it for the symbolic gesture that it is. It is a reminder for us to see past our personal interest and have the future in sight. It is a reminder for us to move behind the obstacles that we face and act always with love and compassion for our fellow Filipinos," he added.
Other government and local officials also planted their own bamboo shoots, as part of tree-planting activities headed by the Department of the Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).
Indonesian bamboo or "Kawayang Tinik", which is widely distributed in the country, was chosen for the landfill because of its potential to "absorb heavy metals" and its varied day-to-day use.
The event was concluded by a crowd singing "Happy birthday" to Marcos and presenting a cake to him.
The tree planting program aims to plant over 8,000 seedlings and bamboo planting stocks in Calabarzon.
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