In line with the Adopt-A-Mountain Program of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the Philippine Army Reserve Command (ARESCOM) and DENR IX signed several Memoranda of Partnership Agreement (MOPA) today at the H9 Regional Community Defense Group, Dao, Pagadian City.
 
The partnership agreements have made official the collaboration between the different DENR IX field offices and the corresponding Ready Reserve Infantry Battalion of the ARESCOM operating in the areas.
 
The Adopt-A-Mountain program is one of the strategies of the government that aims to accelerate the regreening of degraded mountains and range lands in order to improve water yield capacity and timber production and promote the remaining natural forest as source of endemic species for educational and scientific research purposes.
 
The partnership agreements cover sites within the Camul Reforestation Area in Zamboanga del Norte, the Baclay-Pulacan Reforestation Area in Zamboanga del Sur, the Dona Josefa Watershed Area in Zamboanga Sibugay and Tolosa Reforestation Area in Zamboanga City.
 
ARESCOM Commander MGen Fernando Felipe PA and DENR Assistant Secretary for Field Operations – Western Mindanao Joan A. Lagunda, who is also an Army Reservist, graced the MOPA signing event together with DENR IX and ARESCOM officials and personnel.
 
Asec Lagunda emphasized that the activities that will be conducted under the MOPA go beyond the usual tree planting activities. “Our tree growing activities complement the role of reservists in nation-building,” Asec Lagunda said.
“The trees that we plant and help grow symbolize our lifelong commitment to the environment. The continuous monitoring of our planted trees will allow us to ensure its survival,” she added.
 
Meanwhile, Commander Felipe said that he is grateful for the partnership with DENR Zamboanga Peninsula and said that the MOPA may not introduce new activities to the ARESCOM but it will expand and step up their efforts in serving the communities.
 
Other DENR IX key officials present during the signing were Officer-in-Charge of DENR IX Ronald D. Gadot, Environmental Management Bureau IX Regional Director Alex D. Jimenez, PENROs, CENROs and regional division chiefs.