KORONADAL CITY, June 28 – Local officials and residents here are targeting to plant at least 100,000 trees in various parts of the city on Wednesday as they aim to break the Guinness world record for the most number of trees planted simultaneously.
City Mayor Peter Miguel said Tuesday more than 24,000 volunteers have already signed up for the city’s first-ever Tree Growing Festival, which was earlier endorsed by no less than President Benigno Simeon Aquino III.
“Our preparations are already in place and we’re now ready to set a new world record,” the mayor told reporters.
Miguel said they are mainly aiming to plant the targeted 100,000 trees starting 8 a.m. Wednesday in various sites covering some 250 hectares of forest lands along the city’s critical Roxas mountain range.
The tree planting drive will cover 23 puroks and sitios within the Roxas mountain range, which straddles Barangays Saravia, Carpenter Hill, San Isidro, Assumption, Mambucal and Paraiso.
The mayor said each volunteer will plant four to five trees each to complete the feat, which is around 35,000 more than the current world record.
According to Guinness’ website, the current world record for most number of trees planted simultaneously was set only last February 23 in Siruma and Tinambac towns in Camarines Sur under the El Verde program.
Siruma and Tinambac residents planted a total of 64,096 trees on some 31,000 hectares of land, breaking an earlier record set by India.
Miguel said the volunteers will initially converge at around 4 a.m. at the city hall grounds for a scheduled briefing and opening ceremonies, which would be graced by Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) chair Sec. Lualhati Antonino.
He said the President, who declared Wednesday as a special non-working holiday in the entire city, designated Sec. Antonino to grace the historic event on his behalf.
City Councilor Ester Marin-Catorce, chair of the council’s committee on public information, people's power and participation, said the volunteers will simultaneously proceed to the tree planting sites at around 5 a.m.
She said they have assigned at least three convergence areas that will serve as jump off points for the volunteers.
Catorce said the tree planting activities in each site would be supervised and documented by various department heads and personnel of the city government.
The festivities will later wind up with a gathering and a mini concert at the Rizal Park grounds on Wednesday night.
Miguel said the city government will mobilize at least 60 vehicles to ferry the volunteers to the tree planting sites.
He said several government agencies and private companies have also committed at least 40 buses and trucks for transportation purposes during the activity.
“We’re very much overwhelmed with the support committed by various sectors in the spirit of volunteerism and bayanihan for our environment,” the mayor said.
The city government earlier decided to launch the Tree Growing Festival to highlight the area’s celebration of the ongoing International Environment Month.
In a briefer, the local government noted that the festivities are aimed at promoting environmental volunteerism among residents and the rehabilitation of the city’s declining forest reserve.
A report from the City Environment and Natural Resources Office cited that less than one percent or barely 150 hectares of the city 27,000-hectare total land area were left so far as forest reserve. (PNA) DCT/FFC/AVE