With the tagline “We will because we can” Race to One Million Seedlings (R1MS), a project that aims in targeting to plant one million seedlings to combat climate change, has officially launched at Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City on March 11.
R1MS is a project spearheaded by the 7th Civil Relations Group of the Civil Relations Service, Armed Forces of the Philippines (7CRG, CRSAFP) that aims to gather and plant one million seedlings, particularly fruit-bearing and indigenous seeds, in the National Capital Region (NCR) within a year. This effort is centered in alleviating the effects brought about by climate change.
The event commenced with a ribbon cutting by guests of honor including Vice Chief of Staff, LTGEN Glorioso Miranda, Commander, CRSAFP, BGEN Joselito Kakilala, Department of Agriculture, Regional Executive Director Vilma Dimaculangan, ABSCBN Lingkod Kapamilya Managing Director Susan B. Afan and Miss Philippines Earth 2015 Angelia Ong. The said activity was preceded with a seed potting facilitated by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources- National Capital Region (DENR-NCR) and Department of Agriculture Region IVA (DA) wherein they demonstrated proper seed handling and potting.
In his welcome remarks, COL Jeavy Resureccion (GSC) PA, Acting Deputy Commander, CRSAFP cited that “the task of environmental protection is universal responsibility” and that R1MS is a project that requires “little patience” since it would take some time for the seeds to grow.
Meanwhile, LTC Marlowe Patria, Group Commander, 7th Civil Relations Group briefed the audience of what the project is all about. He also reiterated its main objectives 1. ) to plant one million trees; 2.) enhance advocacy for environmental protection and preservation; and 3) enhance partnerships for future endeavors . “The objectives may sound noble but of course we cannot do it alone in the Armed Forces of the Philippines nor any one of us here alone. That is why we are together in this endeavor” said LTC Patria.
Guests were also provided an opportunity to give their inspirational messages with regards to R1MS. Director Dimaculangan of the DA gave an overview of what climate change is, what has been its effects, and what people can do, such as “container gardening” “promoting organic agriculture” and enjoining in activities such as R1MS in order to build resilient communities. Secondly, Miss Earth 2015 Angelia Ong, mentioned that “ [Miss Earth] is more than just a beauty pageant… we want to get your attention and once we get it, we want you to listen”. Ong emphasized the 5Rs that they promote—Rethink, Reuse, Reduce, Recycle, and Respect.
Moreover, BGEN Kakilala said that there is a need for “complete action” in combating climate change. He said that the project “may be a small effort compared to the gravity of the issue at hand” but definitely it would make a change.
In his keynote message, LTGEN Miranda commended first the Civil Relations Service of the AFP for organizing such huge activity that is in partnership with various sectors of the society. He read AFP Chief of Staff, LTGEN Hernando Iriberri’s message who was not able to attend due to prior commitments. “… with small acts from every individuals, we can conserve the environment, fight pollution, and contribute in the global scale” read LTGEN Iriberri’s message.
R1MS had its soft launched in December last year participated by several organizations and national institutions.
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