President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. marked his 65th birthday on Tuesday by planting bamboo at a landfill in San Mateo, Rizal, hoping that the event would remind Filipinos of the importance of taking care of the environment.
Marcos recalled that it was one of his priorities during his first State of the Nation Address to preserve the environment, saying that it is "nothing less than preserving life."
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"Sabi ko siguro ang pinakamaganda ay para yung kaarawan ko ay maging mas makabuluhan at talagang may dahilan na tayo ay mag-celebrate ay sabi ko gawa tayo ng greening tree planting at yan naman talaga ay ang pinakaimportanteng isyu hindi lamang sa Pilipinas kung hindi sa buong mundo ngayon," Marcos said in his speech.
"Itong ating ginagawa nitong araw na ito ay isa sa mga hakbang na maaari nating gawin upang tulungan at patibayin ang ating kalikasan," he added.
According to Marcos, the bamboo-planting activity will contribute to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources' National Greening Program, which he described as the country's "most ambitious" reforestation program yet.
From 2011 to 2021, more than two million hectares of reforestation sites were established under the government's greening program. An additional 46,265 hectares are expected to be developed in 2022, with the DENR targeting 11,631 hectares of enhanced National Greening Program sites in 2023, Marcos said.
"The seedlings that we will plant today will be significant in realizing this goal. This program will generate jobs, will generate opportunities, and will generate livelihood for our countrymen," he said.
"Never mind for us, but we are only custodians of this earth. But more so that we can say to the children, the Filipinos that follow us, that we have taken good care of that, which they will inherit," he said.
Last Sunday, Marcos led the activities for the celebration of the 105th birth anniversary of his father, former President Ferdinand Marcos Sr., seeing it as a "rebirth" of the late chief executive's dreams for the Philippines.