Old San Mateo Sanitary Landfill, Rizal
September 13, 2022

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. marked the first working hours of his birthday by leading this year’s National Simultaneous Bamboo and Tree Planting Kick-off Ceremony with the theme, ‘Buhayin ang Pangangalaga sa Kalikasan’ at the Old San Mateo Sanitary Landfill in Rizal.

The Chief Executive expressed his Administration’s commitment and appealed to the Filipino citizenry to unite in preserving the Earth, the only planet that humans have. “The challenges we hurdled in recent years highlighted the fact that we have just one earth. We must spare no effort to ensure that it survives in the years to come,” he said.

The President planted a seedling of Kawayan Tinik (spiny or thorny bamboo) on site and emphasized that the activity was conducted symbolically at a former ‘waste basket’ which is currently being rehabilitated. “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 our obstacles and act with love and compassion for our fellow Filipinos,” he added.

Likewise, he conveyed his appreciation for the efforts of civil society and non-government organizations (NGOs), government employees, active and reserve uniformed personnel and other voluntary groups who joined the activity.

“Your presence in the selected areas across the country shows your commitment to prioritize Mother Earth and encourage everyone to unite for her benefit,” President Marcos Jr. said.

During the program, the Chief Executive was rendered a birthday song and presented with a cake to celebrate his birthday. He also received a wooden sculpture made of Philippine hardwood guiho by a Rizalian homegrown talent, Agi Pagkatipunan. It was named ‘Misteryosa’ — a naked pregnant woman that represents giving birth to a new era for the Philippines and San Mateo, Rizal.

The planted seedlings aim to cover more than 11.6 hectares of land for 2023 as it becomes part of the tangible solution of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) under its National Greening Program (NGP), the country’s biggest reforestation project.