Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay—More or less 600 college students from different year levels join their school’s annual planting of trees in two of Ipil’s Barangays on Saturday, January 12.

Barangays Ipil Heights and Upper Pangi in the municipality of Ipil were flooded by student-tree planters whose goal is to replenish and reforest the environment.

The school, Sibugay Technical Institute Incorporated (STII) through its National Service Training Program (NSTP), has been initiating the moves to plant more trees and support the greening program of the government.

In an interview with one of the school’s students, she strongly aired her grief over the calamities and tragedies that hit the country because of the degenerating environment caused by the people’s disrespect and abuses to nature.

It can be recalled that the Philippines has been hit by super typhoons and claimed thousands of lives and millions of properties due to floods and landslides. Of course, the blame was thrown on the deforested areas in the highlands.

“There were no more trees to hold the land and no more protection against floods because the forests are destroyed”, said freshman, Maribel Reponte.

According to Eliseo Deocos, the school’s NSTP Coordinator, the annual event is a wake-up call not only for students but also for people from all walks of life. The students are made to realize the importance of environment conservation and protection through planting more trees and urging others to do the same.

“We are still hopeful that we can reforest our deforested lands. This is our mission every year and our students are glad to participate in this kind of activity. In our own small ways and initiatives, we can make a big difference”, Deocos emphasized.

The trees planted were mahogany seedlings and the school pledged to monitor and see to it that the newly planted seedlings will grow and become people’s protection against natural disasters like floods, etc.