The various dioceses in the Cagayan Valley region have vowed to plant at least 1.25 million trees in 500 days under their “Missio 500” initiative.
Determined to realize their vow are the Archdiocese of Tuguegarao and each in its suffragans – the dioceses of Ilagan and Bayombong, the vicariate of Tabuk, and the prelature of Batanes.
In its news website, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said the project’s target is to plant at least 1.25 million trees until early next year. It was launched recently before the sacred pallium rites for the imposition of Tuguegarao Archbishop Ricardo Baccay.
Baccay said the launch was conceived “as a symbol of our solidarity, working together, and convergence” and in celebratuib of the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Christianity in the Philippines this year.
The project organizers expect to exceed the target number pf trees planted as the initiative also involves civil society organizations, local governments, and non-government organizations.
Bayombong Bishop Elmer Mangalinao said the flooding that affected thousands of families in November last year shows “the urgency to protect our common home.”
“The Missio 500 is a testament to our commitment to teach, to mold, and to remind our faithful that we are the stewards of God’s creation,” he said.
“May this project intensify and strengthen our advocacy to protect God’s creation and heal the wounds of mother earth for sustainable development of our communities,” Batanes Bishop Danilo Ulep said, expressing his prelature’s commitment to the initiative.
Likewise launched recently was the Metropolitan Ecology Desk and the Eco-convergence Luzon Hub, in partnership with Caritas Philippines, a partnership of church and civil society groups to promote the teachings of Pope Francis’ encyclical on ecology, Laudato Si.