Bancasi, Butuan City – On the 3rd day of the Mindanao Week of Peace celebration, the 402nd Brigade with other member agencies and stakeholders of the Caraga Conference for Peace and Development (CCPD) led by the Diocese of Butuan City conducted a Tree Planting and Growing activity dubbed as “SIKADIYAHAN” or Sikad sa Kinaiyahan at Mt Mayapay, SItio Tapnigue, Brgy Sangay, Buenavista, Agusan del Norte, on November 30, 2019.

“SIKADIYAHAN” or Sikad sa Kinaiyahan which means Walk for the Environment, is one of the highlights among the series of activities of the MWOP responding to the call to take action to mitigate the effects of Climate Change and Global Warming.

Reverend Father Carlito L Clase, Parish Vicar of the Diocese of Butuan City said, “Mt Mayapay is a Military Reservation and we thanked the 402nd Brigade for allowing us to have it as our site to plant and grow trees as they also recognized the need of reforestation of the area to preserve its scenic beauty and mainly help fight against climate change. It has served as a landmark for Butuan City for more than a thousand years and as peace advocates, we chose Mt Mayapay as a symbol of peace of the AgNor province in Mindanao”.

Mt Mayapay has an elevation of 675 meters and situated on a wide plain between the Sumagaya range to the west and Mt. Hilong-Hilong and other Agusan mountains to the east. Its strategic position offers a good view of Agusan River emptying into Butuan Bay through the city; and behind them, the mountains.

Led by the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) of Buenavista, Agusan del Norte, more than 500 individuals coming from different LGAs and LGUs, schools and members of the religious group composed of Christians, Muslims and IPs, planted more than 1, 000 seedlings of indigenous pieces at Mt Mayapay.

In his statement, Brigadier General Maurito L Licudine said, “We support the National Government program on its environmental protection and preservation programs. The AFP’s presence in this kind of activity is in line with the implementation of the Whole of Nation Approach not only curbing the insurgency problem but address the effects of global warming and climate change. We congratulate all members of the CCPD in including this activity that benefits the AFPs’ military reservation”.

Under Presidential Proclamations No. 113, dated November 23, 1936 and No. 356 dated December 23, 1940 during the time of the late Interior Sec. Elpedio Quirino and Commonwealth Pres. Manuel L Quezon, Mt. Mayapay was declared Military Reservation (Reserved for Military Purposes) covering a total of about 2,400 hectares of land area.