MANILA, July 29 — Denuded portion of the tropical jungle inside the Bataan National Park (BNP) is slowly getting back to its natural form with trees starting to grow again even as 300 volunteers trekked the mountain over the weekend to plant more seedlings.
Volunteers from both government and non-government organizations joined the second phase of PTT Philippines Corporations (PTT) massive tree-planting activity dubbed as Gas Up for a Tree project. PTT Philippines is a local subsidiary of Thai-oil giant PTT.
The project is in partnership with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the National Commission for Indigenous People (NCIP), the National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP), the Bataan Peninsula State University (BPSU), Mga Bayani ng Kalikasan, Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA), Municipality of Morong, Bataan and Wide Out Technology.
Secretary Nereus Acosta, Chief Presidential Adviser for Environmental Protection; Wisarn Chawalitanon, president and CEO of PTT Philippines; and Paul Patricio J. Senador, president of PTT Philippines Foundation led other volunteers in planting new trees at the denuded portion of BNP located in Morong, Bataan.
The three were also joined by Thai Embassy Minister and Deputy Chief of Mission Thanis Na Songkhla, former BCDA Chairman Felicito Payumo, Tarlac Gov. Victor Yap, DENR Region 3 Director Maximo Dichoso, Director Adelina Apostol of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Region 3, Brig. Gen. Raul del Rosario of the Philippine Air Force, and General Manager Rafael Llave of the Bataan Technological Park, Inc.
Several students and volunteers from various non-government organizations, including PTT employees, also trekked the mountain to take part in the tree-planting activity.
Since the Gas Up for a Tree project was launched in May, there are about 2,000 trees now growing in the denuded area of BNP, Chawalitanon said. He added that they expect to plant at least 10,000 trees by end of September and eventually reach the 30,000 target by year 2015. (PNA)