SURIGAO CITY – Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar on Sunday asked the public to support the government’s move to focus more on environmental issues, as these have serious implications to human health.
Secretary Andanar joined the Australian Embassy in commemorating the Battle of Surigao Strait through a tree planting activity at the proposed Multi-Species Marine Hatchery site in Barangay Looc. This is also part of the Philippines-Australia Friendship Caravan in celebration of the 75th anniversary of the diplomatic ties between Australia and the Philippines.
The Battle of Surigao Strait, joined by both Filipino and Australian armies, was one of the historical events that helped turn the tides against the Japanese occupation in the Philippines during World War II, bringing liberation to the country from foreign oppression.
“It is a pleasure to once again be able to visit Surigao City and to join you as we mark another year of friendship,” Secretary Andanar, who is also an Australia Global Alumnus, said in his message.
“The trees that we plant here are dedicated to emphasizing our respective responsibility to having better and meaningful ties among our allies and stakeholders, in the same way, we need to strengthen environmental protection as our economy continues to recover from the ill effects of the pandemic,” he added.
He said that conducting environmental campaigns such as tree planting not only strengthens the community but also provides awareness of the vital role of the environment in developing the country.
He stressed that addressing environmental concerns is a whole-of-nation approach where every Filipino can be a part of.
“The activity we have here is a gentle reminder for us to invest and reconnect with nature and consider its hefty benefits alongside our development,” he said.
“These trees will soon grow and provide shade and oxygen for us–a symbol of our dependency on mother nature, giving us a glimpse into how much better our lives could be if we lived in harmony with it. May this be a reminder of our commitment to provide a sustainable future for our next generations,” he added.
This is the second time this year that the PCOO and the Australian Embassy partnered for a tree planting activity for the same commemoration. The first was at the Arroceros Forest Park in Manila last May 22.
The said activity is also part of the initiative of the Australia Global Alumni network to plant 750 trees across the country in celebration of 75 years of diplomatic relations between Australia and the Philippines.