Dioceses in Cagayan Valley have launched a program seeking to plant at least 1.25 million trees in 500 days.
Dubbed as “Missio 500”, the initiative aims to plant 500 trees per day in the Tuguegarao archdiocese, and each in its suffragans: Ilagan, Bayombong, Tabuk and Batanes.
The project also aims to celebrate this year’s 500th anniversary of the arrival of Christianity in the Philippines.
Launched on Thursday, January 14, Tuguegarao Archbishop Ricardo Baccay of Tuguegarao said the initiative is a symbol of their solidarity, working together, and convergence.
Bishop Elmer Mangalinao of Bayombong said last November’s flooding that affected thousands of families 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 in a CBCP News post.
Bishop Danilo Ulep of Batanes expressed hope that the project will “intensify and strengthen the advocacy to protect God’s creation and heal the wounds of mother earth for sustainable development of communities.”
Also launched was the Metropolitan Ecology Desk and the Eco-convergence Luzon Hub, in partnership with Caritas Philippines.
Eco-convergence is a partnership of church and civil society groups to promote the teachings of Pope Francis’ encyclical on ecology, Laudato Si.
The two other regional hubs are the Diocese of San Carlos for the Visayas and the Diocese of Marbel for Mindanao.