On Sunday November 18, 2018, the staff of JPIC-IDC in Cebu City went to Janssenville Bagalnga, Compostela, Cebu to do ‘tree growing’ as one of its advocacies in conserving and protecting our environment. Janssenville Bagalnga is one of the partner communities of JPIC-IDC.

The day’s activity started with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist which was lively animated by the active participation of the youth. After the Holy Mass, the resource person Mr. Astrio Tanjay, the Barangay Captain of Barangay Molua spoke to the community and to the JPIC-IDC staff about the importance of tree growing. Mr. Tanjay once worked with DENR and with other environmental institutions in Cebu. And Barangay Molua is a supported by RAFI for ‘tree growing’.

Mr. Tanjay said that trees play a very important role in the ecosystem and to the health of human beings. Among other things, they absorb air pollution and prevent soil erosion. He emphasized that the activity is not so much about tree planting, but more correctly it is about ‘tree growing’. Planting trees without care would be naught, he said.

Equally, he demonstrated the correct and proper way of bagging and planting trees. He also underlined that even on dry seasons, we can plant trees without much hassle. He explained and demonstrated the technology of ‘water dextrose’. This does not necessarily entail high and expensive technology. It can easily be done by simply using used water bottles. First, is to make a little hole at the bottom of the bottle; then, to fill it with water and adjust the cover according to the desired flow of water; and finally, to place it on the side where the water can easily flow to the newly planted tree. One liter of water could easily be adjusted to last for a week.

In the afternoon, accompanied by a family, each of the JPIC-IDC staff has planted one tree or two trees in areas previously identified. And each of the trees planted was assigned to the care of a designated family. This was done to make sure that all the trees that were planted would grow. We were all made aware that it is not enough to plant trees, but more importantly to make sure that these trees would grow and mature. We planted Narra, Tugas, Mahogany, Talisay and Cacao. The seedlings/saplings were provided by MENRO of the Municipality of Compostela and by the LGU of Barangay Molua.

The staff left Bagalnga with much hope that their efforts would not be in vain.