The DENR National Capital Region signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the 1502nd Ready Reserve Infantry Brigade (RRIB), National Capital Region Regional Community Defense Group (NCRRCDG) of the Philippine Army Reserve Command (PARC) on the adoption of a National Greening Project (NGP) site at the La Mesa Water Reservation area on Friday, 8 July 2022.
Regional Executive Director Jacqueline A. Caancan signed the agreement for the regional office while DENR Assistant Secretary Joan A. Lagunda, as NCRRCDG Brigade Commander, signed in behalf of the army reservists. Asec. Lagunda holds the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the NCRRCDG.
DENR National Capital Region Assistant Regional Director for Technical Services, Engr. Ignacio R. Almira Jr., and NCRRCDG, RESCOM, Group Commander, Col. Ricky P. Bunayog, MNSA (INF) PA, and 1302nd QC CDC Director, LTC Ariel B. Marquez (OS) PA, stood as witnesses.
Under the MOA—which will run for three (3)-years—the 1502nd RRBID commits to plant and protect 1,000 seedlings of various indigenous forest tree species inside the La Mesa Watershed Reservation area.
Director Caancan said the regional office welcomes the army reservists in La Mesa and is excited to work with them. “We are confident that this partnership will be fruitful, given the commitment and dedication of the NCRRCDG. Our efforts to protect the La Mesa Water Reservation area—as one of the primary sources of potable water for Metro Manila and nearby provinces—is made better with the involvement of our army reservists”, Director Caancan said.
The NCRRCDG, for its part, vowed to help DENR National Capital Region take good care of the planted trees at the La Mesa Water Reservation area and “help rally public support for the NGP”. Relative to this, Col. Bunayog announced that they are planning to mobilize around 16,000 students from 11 campuses under the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) to help with the urban greening and tree-growing efforts of DENR National Capital Region and the NCRRCDG. “We are responding to the challenge. From here onwards, our organization will include efforts to directly address climate change in addition to preparing for and responding to calamities and disaster”, Col. Bunayog said.