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CEBU, Philippines - The Municipality of Liloan recently reported that the 2,315 tree seedlings they had planted on a 1.5-hectare tree plantation in Barangay Lataban during the Run 2 Plant 4 GREENIN Philippines last June 25, 2011 all survived.

“It is the highest survival rate so far in our reforestation efforts. This is due to our Adopt-a-Mountain Program,” Roland Tabuñag, Liloan’s municipal environment and natural resource officer, said. Liloan’s Adopt-a-Mountain Program is a tree-growing initiative aimed at establishing pocket native tree forests.

Under the program, lot owners, private individuals, and groups who want to engage in the planting activities entered into an agreement with the Municipality of Liloan. Agreements include the use of the lot for a period of 25 years, maintenance activities, and the benefits that an owner can get from the tree plantation.

The fourth year students of Arcelo Memorial National High School were tasked to nurture the seedlings in the plantation. Nurturance activities include ring weeding every month. Students do not only see this as a requirement for graduation for they take extra effort to ensure that the seedlings under their care will survive and become full-grown trees.

Municipal Mayor Vincent Franco Frasco enjoined all municipal officials and employees, including personnel of national government agencies stationed in Liloan, as well as all barangay officials, totake part in the Run 2 Plant 4 GREENIN Philippines conducted in June last year.

The Run 2 Plant 4 GREENIN Philippines is an initiative under the GREENIN Philippines (Generation REdemption and Expansion of Natural resources INitiatives in the Philippines) Program of RAFI.

The program’s strategies and approaches are holistic, focusing more on tree-growing and post-planting activities to ensure the survival of the native trees planted and the growth of vibrant forests.

GREENIN Philippines Program is a program under the Integrated Development focus area of RAFI, addressing the foundations needed to develop successful communities. Its other focus areas include Micro-finance & Entrepreneurship, Culture & Heritage, Leadership & Citizenship, and Education.

Through the passage of Executive Order 3 by Governor Gwendolyn Garcia, all component local government units in the province are mandated to take part in the Run 2 Plant for GREENIN Philippines.

The event, which combines both running and planting to promote the health of the people and health of environment, was first implemented in Cebu in a province-wide activity wherein 55,372 participants actively responded to plant 239,950 native tree seedlings in 115.052 hectares.

Monitoring, maintenance and nurturance of seedlings planted are integrated in the Our Cebu Program of the Cebu Provincial Government and RAFI. The Run to Plant for GREENIN Philippines will once again take place in Cebu and Davao del Sur simultaneously on June 30 this year.

For more information about the Run 2 Plant 4 GREENIN Philippines, please contact (032) 418-7234 loc. 519 and look for Myryl Mendoza, or visit www.rafi.org.ph or www.facebook.com/rafi.org.ph.  (FREEMAN)