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PHILIPPINES
Environment
July 18, 2007

Arroyo urges Filipinos to plant trees
Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on July 18 urged Filipinos to plant trees and take up initiatives for the protection and conservation of the environment.

The President led the tree planting activity at the La Mesa Dam Watershed and Ecological Park in East Fairview in Quezon City during the launching of the Trees for Life, which aims to plant 20 million seedlings all over the country up to December this year.

"All of us are called to transform heart and mind for the environment," she stressed. President Arroyo said that before, there existed a debate between development and environment.

The President said her administration has taken up initiatives to strengthen the environment such as finishing the geo-hazard mapping of some 724 cities and municipalities, completing sewage treatment plants, including flood control project for the CAMANAVA (Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, Valenzuela) area, constructing the Batanes wind diesel hybrid system, wind power project, and building jathropa nurseries in Bukidnon and General Santos City for alternative source of diesel fuel.

She also declared the Mt. Inayawan Range in Lanao del Norte and the La Mesa Dam Watershed as protected areas and national parks to further strengthen the protection of environment, which is a vital component of the country's development. PNA

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