Government officials, educators, other public servants, and students converged along Macagtas Dam in Barangay Macagtas, Catarman town, Northern Samar on May 28, 2024 to plant 300 saplings of hardwood trees.

The tree-growing event marks the Provincial Government’s support to the pressing global concern of caring for the environment. 

Vice Governor Clarence Dato, along with Board Members Albert Lucero, Gilbert Layon and Vicvic Singzon, led Provincial Government (PB) officials, department heads and employees, Barangay Macagtas leaders, educators and the youth, in planting the seedlings from the University of Eastern Philippines and the Provincial Government Environment and Natural Resources Office (PGENRO)-led Local Forest Conservation Project in Silvino Lubos, Northern Samar.

"The effects of climate change are evidently felt by us. This activity is one of the significant steps of the Provincial Government as this is not only about planting but nurturing trees which can help address the adverse effects of climate change. When we nurture trees, we can have fresh air and it can also help mitigate flooding," the vice governor said.

“We hope to continue this meaningful activity next year, with more trees to be planted simultaneously in different municipalities of Northern Samar on the 60th Founding Anniversary of the province,” PB Member Gilbert Layon, chairman of the Committee on Environment, added.

“After today, let us find time to come back and care for our plants in the same way that parents would care for their children,” PB Member Albert Lucero urged.  

Referring to the activity as "tree-parenting," Lucero stressed how the program will contribute to building resiliency. 

The Girls Scouts of the Philippines Northern Samar Chapter, the Philippine National Police, Department of Environment and Natural Resources-PENRO, Catarman Municipal ENRO, Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, and responders from different local government units, barangay officials of Macagtas, Catarman National High School faculty and students, and other men and women in uniform joined the tree-parenting event. 

The Provincial Government, led by Governor Edwin Ongchuan, spearheaded the tree-nurturing event through the PGENRO as part of the Ibabao Festival in celebration of the province’s 59th Founding Anniversary.