CU Alumni leads “10,000 Trees in 10 Sundays” Project

The Capitol University Alumni Association, Inc. (CU Alumni) led more than 3,000 volunteers in planting, caring and growing trees in a project called “10,000 Trees in 10 Sundays that started July 29 and ended September 30, 2012.
The massive tree planting event was held in Balubal Tree Park in Barangay Balubal, a western part of the second district of the Cagayan de Oro City approximately 25 kilometers from the city proper via Puerto road.
“The “10K Project” actually supports the Executive Order No. 26 – National Greening Program: Which aims to plant some 1.5 billion trees covering about 1.5 million hectares for a period of six years from 2011 to 2016 and mobilizing students identified by the DEPED and CHED who shall be individually required to plant a minimum of ten (10) seedlings per year”, said Vernie Santi Pimentel, a board of director of CU Alumni.


Dr. Elizabeth Figueroa, the dean of the CU College of Business Administration who encouraged more than three hundred of her students, alumni and faculty added that such activity also supports the Republic Act. 9418 – “Volunteer Act of 2007”, which aims the inculcation of volunteerism as a way of life shall rekindle in every Filipino the time-honored tradition of bayanihan to foster social justice, solidarity and sustainable development.


Every Sunday, volunteers would always ask, why 10,000 Trees and why 10 Sundays?


“Ten thousand (10,000) trees refer to the combined objective of planting, caring and growing the previously planted seedlings (those planted in the last 3 months) and planting new seedlings in that area”, said Dr. Myrna Garde, another member of the CU Alumni Board.


“Though Sunday is reserved as rest and family day, this is a very appropriate time for students and workers alike so as not to disrupt classes and work duties, respectively. If the volunteer can start planning exactly 7am, we can finish the activity at 10 am”, Professor Ferdinand “Bong” Paurom explained.


The CU Alumni initiated this project but the participation was not limited to alumni members only.


“We encourage participation from all groups, offices, student and campus associations, professional sector and civic or humanitarian organizations”, Engr. Noli dela Rita shared.


Mr. Dela Rita even invited his High School Batch 1980 and proof of the participation from other schools and sectors was the involvement of selected staff of Cagayan de Oro Medical Center and faculty, students from Philippine Southfield School and members of the Rotaract Cagayan de Oro Clubs.


The Local Government Unit of Balubal, headed by Captain Pablo Bactong passed a resolution converting the planting area into a “Man-Made Tree Park”. The planting area is a 2.5-hactare rolling and plane land. The Balubal Senior Citizens office was tasked to prevent localities from building houses and cattle from grazing the planted materials.


In addition, every Sunday, Mr. Merlito Clavejo of City LGU Environment and Natural Resources Office (CLENRO) guides the volunteers to make sure the cropping, weeding and planting were performed well.


Alumni board directors Dr. Romeo Minoza and Second Mate Manuel Suganob brought the most number of volunteers from College of Maritime Education and did the hardest tasks of preparing holes using digging bars and garden bolos.


Trees like shades, hardwood (Teakwood, Narra, Mahogany, etc.) and fruit-bearing (like Mango, Nangka, Marang, etc.) can be planted, cared and grown. A 1 meter by 1 meter distance is applied for shade trees while 2 meter by 2 meter for fruit-bearing trees.


Dr. Nanette Cano, the dean of CU College of Criminology led one Sunday at least 400 volunteers for the tree caring process wherein they made sure the month-old trees survived by watering, clearing its perimeter and weeding out grass and herbs.


CLENRO thru the leadership and initiative of Capt. Bactong providing for free the seedlings, thus, the LGU Balubal is maintaining a sustainable supply thru its local nursery. But volunteers and their organizations may donate a minimum amount for each seedling as way of helping and sustaining the supply.


Parents, pupils and faculty members of the Capitol University Basic Education Department (CUBED) led by its principal, Dr. Amor de Torres led the planting of the flaglets to identify the seedlings actually planted, cared and grown.


The CU National Services Training Program (NSTP) led by its director, Ms. Amor Mendoza helped in the briefing of the volunteers. This includes:


The volunteers can do one or more tasks, or plant 10 or more seedlings;


Tree planting is when the volunteers withdraw the seedlings from the nursery and plant them in the designated area;


Tree caring is when the volunteers checked on the previously planted trees and ensure the tree guard (if any) is set, the plant perimeter area is free from herbs and grasses. The volunteers may water the plants if necessary; and


Tree growing refers to the volunteers’ assessment on the planted trees and continuous care on those trees that survive after four (4) weeks or one (1) month period from the start of planting.


Louella Yap-Bout and Lorimar Sabellina, President of CU Red Cross Youth and Chair of the CDO Red Cross Youth Council, respectively provided the supplemental first-aid support in addition to the Philippine Red Cross – Misamis Oriental / CDO Chapter-provided ambulance in case of emergency.


Among the notable sponsors who helped provided the transportation and gardening materials were the Rotary Club of West CDO headed by its president, Architect Lito Busgano and Ms. Joanna Motoomull, a doctoral student of the CU Graduate School.


The organizations and departments who sent the most number of volunteers: Junior Marketing Association, College of Education, Elite Society, CU Non-teaching Staff Alumni, Working Scholars Association, CU Dance Troupe, College of Computer Science, College of Engineering, PSALM, Lotus Sutra, Student Peer Counselors, College of Maritime Education – Student Body Organization (SBO), College of Engineering SBO, Regimental Corp Of Officers, Campus Ministry and members of the CU Central Student Government.


The CU Alumni Batches who participated thrice or more Sundays were CCC High School Batch 1979, 1980, 1990, 1992, 1994 and Drum and Bugle Alumni Association.


This is the second tree planting initiated by the CU Alumni. The first initiative was in partnership with Philippine Nurses Association – Misamis Oriental Chapter and completed in planting 100 Narra and Mahogany seedlings along the riverbanks of Barangay Consolacion last May 2012.


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