In line with the Philippine Civil Service’s 117th Anniversary and with the Civil Service Commission’s (CSC) continuing challenge in manifesting malasakit in public service, the Central Board of Assessment Appeals (CBAA) devoted a day of tree nursery development on 15 September 2017 at the Buhay Punlaan Nursery in Lake Caliraya, Lumban, Laguna.

The initiative is in support of Haribon Foundation’s Rainforest Organizations and Advocates (ROAD) to 2020 Program which aims to restore one million hectares of Philippine rainforests using native tree species by year 2020.

After a three-hour travel time from CBAA-Manila on that sunny morning, CBAA officials and employees arrived at the venue and promptly commenced the activities that were facilitated by Mr. Ken Carlo Peñaflor, Buhay Punlaan administrator and his nursery staff, Mr. Francisco Dublan. The activity kicked off with a short introduction about Haribon Foundation, its Buhay Punlaan nursery, and the urgency of addressing the shortage of native tree seedlings and restoring the country’s rainforest using native tree species.

After some demonstrations, the actual volunteer activity started with the First Phase: that of preparation of planting materials and soil bagging. Simultaneously, other CBAA volunteers proceeded with the Second Phase: namely seedling maintenance and transplantation. The whole process includes trimming of leaves, weeding, root pruning and finally transplanting. The group worked on some atis seedlings which were provided by the nursery.

At least 200 bags of seedlings were accomplished by the CBAA volunteers during the half-day activity. These bags will be readied for deployment to the foundation’s rainforestation areas.

The activity concluded with expression of gratitude from the Buhay Punlaan staff and a call for continued support to biodiversity conservation particularly the restoration of Philippine forests using native trees. The clarion call of Haribon Foundation’s Buhay Punlaan vision has been wholeheartedly adopted and is now being echoed by CBAA family: TO BECOME CHAMPIONS OF BIODIVERSITY in its institutional and personal life goal of protecting and saving the environment and nurturing / being nurtured by MOTHER EARTH.