Despite the recent downpour brought by the rainy season, the Employees Compensation Commission (ECC) employees trooped to plant some 900 Narra seedlings on the hillside portions of Sitio Suha, Barangay San Mateo, Norzagaray, Bulacan on August 23, 2019.

Executive Director Stella Zipagan-Banawis said that the ECC has been very active in the tree-planting program in support of government’s initiative to rehabilitate the environment and in the furtherance of the ECC-Green Our DOLE Program (GODP).

All the employees trekked their way up despite the uneven and muddy terrain. The determination and initiative of all the employees were shown during the actual planting which was then followed by a boodle fight which concluded the activity.

Roy O. Gulane of the DENR, with the assistance of some CAFGU Members stationed in the area, briefed the ECC employees on the proper handling and planting of the seedlings prior to the actual planting activity.

Gulane expressed his gratitude for the ECC employees for the agency’s unwavering support and strong commitment to help out in the rehabilitation of the environment saying, “ECC has been consistently participating in the campaign. Last year, a total of 500 Kupang and Fire Trees were planted also in Norzagaray.”

Carlo Katigbak, a new employee of the ECC shared, “I’m glad to know that ECC has this kind of commitment. Because, in a way, this serves as an extension of my personal advocacy to help rehabilitate and protect the environment.”

The tree-planting activity is in line with DENR Memorandum Circular No. 2011-01 (Guidelines in the Implementation of the National Greening Program- NGP) requiring all government employees to plant a minimum of 10 seedlings per year. NGP is a massive forest rehabilitation program of the government which seeks to grow 1.5 billion trees in 1.5 million hectares nationwide. It also aims to alleviate poverty by providing alternative livelihood activities for marginalized upland and lowland households through seedling production and maintenance of newly-planted trees.

Reporting by Carlo Katigbak