Teodoro Palma Gil Elem School Gym, Davao
9 September 2015

Giving utmost importance to the youth and the environment, President Benigno S. Aquino III joined students and other guests at the Teodoro Palma Gil Elementary School within Davao’s central district for the “TreeVolution of the Young”, a program that aims to encourage the youth to help in the re-greening of the environment.

He was warmly welcomed by the students, teachers, local government officials, staff of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and officials of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

During the event, President Aquino listened to the report of Jiro Junn Juri Lopoz who is the current president of the Supreme Pupil Government (SPG) District Federation. He thanked the Chief Executive for accepting his request to join them in their program that helps save the environment. According to Juri, the goal of their group is to do their share in saving mother earth and making it a better place to live in, considering that their generation will inherit it in the coming years. He also said that the attendance of President Aquino in this activity serves as an inspiration to him and his fellow students to be responsible citizens that care for others, the environment and the country.

The young leader also informed the President that together with his fellow youth and the young at heart, they were able to plant around 2,000 trees and seedlings of Mahogany, Narra, Cacao, Jackfruit and other fruit trees endemic to the Philippines. This is part of their continuing efforts to achieve reforestation in Mindanao and support the objectives of the National Greening Program (NGP) in increasing the region’s forest cover, raising environmental awareness, addressing climate change, and encouraging proactive participation for the protection, rehabilitation, conservation, and management of the region’s natural resources.

The event was also an opportunity for the youth to have a dialogue with President Aquino, and he answered their questions as to what the government is doing to address air pollution, the continuous illegal logging in the country’s forest, the importance of trade and its possible effects to the local industry, and how K-12 is beneficial to the youth.

On 26 September 2014, the DENR and the Mindanao Development Authority organized TreeVolution: Greening MindaNOW, more popularly known as ‘TreeVolution,’ that successfully assisted the massive tree planting of four (4) million trees in strategic areas in Mindanao, particularly in typhoon-affected provinces. The program is also the holder of the Guinness World Record for the Most Trees Planted Simultaneously at Multiple Locations, surpassing the record of India.

It was in July 2015 when Jiro Junn Juri Lopoz handed the invitation to the President which was immediately read and accepted.

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