A hundred square meter area, more or less, within the Mount Samat National Shrine in Pilar, Bataan was planted with 300 Benguet pine seedlings on August 1.
Some 89 employees from the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) – Mount Samat National Shrine (MSNS), Regional Office and PENRO Mt. Province of the DENR-CAR, Bataan Police Provincial Office and 305th (BAT) Community Defense Center, 3rd Regional Community Defense Group, RESCOM Philippine Army took part in planting 300 out of the 700 seedlings requested from the DENR -CAR Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) Baguio City headed by the CENR Officer Engr. Leandro De Jesus.
The remaining 400 seedlings will be planted by the other partner agencies and stakeholders of MSNS.
Prior to the activity, DENR-CAR Regional Coordinator of the National Greening Program Forester Marilyn L. Malecdan shared the proper procedure in tree planting.
Also, she pointed out the difference of Benguet pine grown in warmer places like those within the Shrine as against those in colder areas. An elevation of 900 – 1500 meters above sea level is the best place for said trees to grow. According to Ms. Cecilia A. Medes, MSNS Administrative Officer, the Shrine is 555 meters above sea level.
Officer-in-Charge of Operation/Maintenance Rizaldy Mamuad shared that the first Benguet pine in the area were planted 5 years ago through the initiative of their then Shrine Curator Ms.Sabling who hails from Bontoc, Mt. Province.
Mamuad also made mention of the participation and bravery of the Igorot soldiers belonging to the 11th Division, Battle of the Pockets in Bataan during the World War II.