As Soldiers, we are not only mandated to protect the people and the state, but also to act as models in protecting and saving our environment for the next generation”. These were the words of the Commander, 5th Infantry Division, Philippine Army, Major General Perfecto M Rimando Jr to the men and women of the Star Troopers during the conduct of tree planting activity at MFDC camp.
The command spearheaded tree planting activities to fill the open spaces and idle lands inside the 5ID Military Reservation. The command has 545 hectares of land, and large portion of that can be convertible into farmland that can produce income-generating-crops. However, the lands become idle when civilian tillers were already banned from farming inside the camp.
Having seen this vast and idle land, the Commander ordered the filling of these lands with fruit bearing and forest trees with the aim of converting the 5ID military reservation as an ideal hub for the soldiers, their dependents, and a sanctuary to the wild birds and other wild animals.
The tree planting activities were alternately done during Tuesday or Friday Kae-Bo exercise every week. With this effort the soldiers has now planted 6, 768 trees and covered around 10 hectares of land in the area.
The command also planted Bamboos along the creek lines inside the command. The extensive roots system of the Bamboo will prevent soil erosion and helps to keep watershed. It can be a possible source of food and materials for future endeavors of the command.
Other units on the ground has also initiated their separate Tree Growing activities which jibed with their other programs to boost the awareness and at the same time foster partnerships among the different sectors in their respective communities.
Under 502nd Infantry Brigade, the unit was able to plant 2,000 seedlings in the areas of Cagayan, Isabela and Quirino while 2,500 seedlings on the part of the 503rd Infantry Brigade in the provinces of Kalinga, Mt Province, Ifugao and Benguet.
On the other hand, the Command also strengthened the application of RA 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000, urging all soldiers inside CMFDC to recycle and apply the methods of eco-compost receptacle (ECR).
“Even at least once a week, we invest some of our time to plant trees and to clean our environment. It might be too little for the big problem of climate change but atleast we have done something to save our planet, most especially our second home – this camp.” MGen Rimando Jr, added, giving importance to the effort of every Star Trooper.