Speech

Speech by President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr. at the National Simultaneous Bamboo and Tree Planting and Kick-off Ceremony

Event Bamboo and Tree Planting Kick Off Ceremony
Location Old Sanitary Landfill in San Mateo, Rizal

Maraming salamat sa pagpakilala ng ating DENR Secretary, Secretary Maritoni Yulo-Loyzaga sa araw na ito at sa kanyang pagbati sa aking kaarawan.

Alam niyo po akala ko ‘pag nag-Presidente ka na, puwede mong i-cancel ‘yung birthday para hindi na counted. Hindi pa rin pala kaya.

Ang ating DILG Secretary, Secretary Benjamin D. Abalos; Rizal 3rd District Representative Jose Arturo Garcia Jr.; at the Province of Rizal Governor Nina Ricci Ynares. Siyempre nandito si — ang ating kaibigan — hindi ko na sasabihin na matagal ng kaibigan dahil sasabihin matanda na tayo eh. Ngunit ito po ay isa sa kung tawagin namin ng pamilya ko at ng sa pulitika sa grupo namin ito ‘yung talagang isa sa mga original — hanggang ngayon ang tawag natin sa kanya ay si Gov. Ito [applause]; other distinguished guests; my fellow workers in government; ladies and gentlemen.

Napakahalaga nitong ating ginagawa ngayong araw na ito dahil — at nag-uusap po kami ng ating butihing Secretary ng DENR at napag-usapan namin sabi niya kailangan gagawa ka kasi very environmentally concerned ka. Ika niya gumawa naman tayo ng isang event na para maipaalala natin sa ating mga kababayan na napakaimportante na lagi natin inaalagaan ang ating kalikasan.

Kaya naman ay pinili namin sabi ko siguro ang pinakamaganda ay para ‘yung kaarawan ko ay maging mas makabuluhan at talagang may dahilan na tayo ay mag-celebrate ay sabi ko gawa tayo ng greening tree planting at ‘yan naman talaga ay ang pinakaimportanteng isyu hindi lamang sa Pilipinas kung hindi sa buong mundo ngayon.

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.

During my address sa State of the Nation I made it clear: “Preserving the environment is nothing less than preserving life.” And therefore, it can only be one of our important priorities if we wish to make sure that our plans for the country’s economy will succeed.

Itong ating ginagawa nitong araw na ito ay isa sa mga hakbang na maaari nating gawin upang tulungan at patibayin ang ating kalikasan. Alagaan ang ating kalikasan para ay tayo naman ay mayroon tayong imamana sa mga anak natin sa mga susunod sa atin na mga Pilipino.

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.

Allow me to extend my gratitude of course to the DILG [applause], the DENR, Department of Agriculture, for the collaboration that made this event possible.

This initiative will greatly help in raising awareness on environmental welfare and protection. Let me also thank the various civil society non-government organizations na nandito ngayon upang tumulong dito sa event na ito upang maipakita natin sa taong-bayan na tayo naman ay lagi nating iniisip ang ating kalikasan hindi lamang sa iba’t ibang lugar kung hindi sa buong Pilipinas.

Your presence in the selected areas across the country shows your commitment to prioritize Mother Earth and encourage everyone to unite for her benefit.

Indeed, this initiative will contribute to the DENR’s National Greening Program, the country’s most ambitious reforestation program yet. With the goal of reducing poverty, ensuring food security, environmental stability, conserving biodiversity, and mitigating climate change, and adapting to climate change, more than two million hectares of reforestation sites were established from 2011 to 2021.

An additional 46,265 hectares are expected to be developed in 2022. The DENR targets 11,631 hectares of Enhanced National Greening Program Sites in 2023.

And so, the seedlings that we will plant today will be significant in realizing this goal. This program will generate jobs, will generate opportunities, and will generate livelihood for our countrymen.

More than the economic benefit of this activity, we are essentially and primarily investing in ensuring that our planet remains a safe space. Never mind for us, but we are only custodians of this earth. But more so that we can say to the children, the Filipinos that follow us, that we have taken good care of that, which they will inherit.

Trees and plants in general are vital to human existence. They take in the air we breathe out so we may give – 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 interests and have the future in sight.

It is a reminder for us to move beyond the obstacles that we face and act always with love and compassion for our fellow Filipinos.

In the immortal words of Kahlil Gibran, “Trees are poems that the earth writes upon the sky.” Ladies and gentlemen, let the seedlings we plant today empower us to help nature thrive in the years to come.

On the way here, I was also thinking about the symbolism that we have here, the symbolism that we bring to the environmental movement, that we now, instead of having [an] eyesore, an environmental disaster area, na kailangan nga isara ni Gov. Ito, eh ngayon tinataniman na natin at magkakaroon tayo ng mga magandang halaman na nagpapaganda ng ating kalikasan. [applause]

In a way the symbolism is extended dahil ang ating ginagawa ngayon ay — sa nangyari sa pandemya, sa marami — sa daming problema na hinaharap ng ekonomiya ng Pilipinas ay parang ito ngayon ay natulog na at hindi na magamit.

Ngayon po, itong ganitong gagawin din natin sa ekonomiya, mula sa natutulog at hindi nagagamit na iba’t ibang bagay ay bubuhayin natin ulit kagaya ng pagbubuhay natin sa ating mga itatanim na mga puno ngayong araw na ito. [applause]

Maraming, maraming salamat sa inyo, sa inyong tulong. Maraming, maraming salamat sa lahat na tuloy-tuloy, hindi lamang ngayong araw na ito, ay lahat na tuloy-tuloy na ipinaglalaban na ipaganda ang ating kalikasan. Ipinaglalaban na alagaan ang ating kaisa-isang mundo, ang ating kaisa-isang lupa, ang ating kaisa-isang ipagmamana sa ating mga anak at sa ating mga apo.

Maraming, maraming salamat sa inyong lahat at magandang umaga po. [applause]

— END —

 

SOURCE: OPS-PND (Presidential News Desk)