Friday, June 22, 2007

The CSC Centennial Forest

The month of June is an environmental awareness month. However, September of each year is a tree planting month when I was still NIA’s Senior Executive Assistant almost ten (10) years ago. We have to survey and trek the mountains surrounding Pantabangan Dam in Nueva Ecija with Engr. Alex Coloma, our Project Engineer, to rehabilitate NIA’s Mango plantations and replant fruit trees in coordination with the Department of Agriculture. In Pilar, Bohol, we planted thousands of trees in the surroundings of the Wahig-Pamacsalan Dam to protect Bohol Irrigation Project’s watershed areas, whose Project Engineer was my best friend, Gene Cacho. Gene, finished the project after so much delays and cost overruns by the previous administrations prior to President Ramos’ term. Gene died a year after finishing the project. May his soul now rest in peace.

The lead agency of the government’s tree planting activities during the Ramos Administration was the Civil Service Commission, then under Chairperson Corazon Alma De Leon. The Department of Agriculture’s Secretary, which has the most areas for the activity and NIA’s mother agency, was then Secretary Salvador “Sonny” Escudero. I met Secretary Escudero during Chairman De Leon’s birthday after my stint at NIA. I greeted him and when I asked him of his intended plans after the Ramos Administration, he told me: ‘tapos na ako sa pagharap ng problema ng gobyerno sa ngayon’. After which, we laughed at each other.

I heard that Sec. Escudero is now back as Congressman in Sorsogon while his son “Chiz” landed second in the Senate. He was very proud of Chiz, who was then a law student when we were still at the Department. Lately, I met Secretary Panganiban, who was then our Undersecretary and the incumbent Secretary of the Anti-Poverty Commission, during the Anniversary of Usec. Robert T. Rivera’s show Pilipinas Ngayon Na! We laughed at each other as I congratulated him during the show. Old boys are back.

I lost track of the trees we planted after I left the Department of Agriculture and NIA. It reminds me of the past whenever I see flowers of rain trees blooms as rainy season approaches whenever I walk along the alley of the Office for Legal Affairs, my new home after I left NIA. I only hope, however, that those trees are now as tall, as big and cared dearly like the trees in the Commission’s Centennial Forest, then under Chairperson Karina Constantino David. Her husband, Randy David, was so impressed of the forest when he once visited the Commission.

The "CSC CENTENNIAL FOREST": a legacy of Chairperson Patricia Sto. Tomas, Corazon Alma De Leon, Chairperson Karina Constantino-David, Acting Chair Cesar D. Buenaflor, and now, Chairman Ricardo L. Saludo.

In memory of Assistant Commissioner Nelson Acebedo.


(This presentation already enjoyed nearly a thousand views at You Tube, almost 500 page views at yahoo 360 and thousands of views at this page since we broadcasted it. Thank you.)

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