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Western Visayas public schools have contributed an estimated 20,285 native trees to the Project DepEd 236,000 Trees – A Christmas Gift for Children tree-planting activity held simultaneously nationwide on Wednesday.

Hernani Escullar Jr., information officer of the Department of Education (DepEd) in Western Visayas, said each of the 4,057 public schools in the region planted at least five seedlings within their school or any suitable area.

These schools used only local, native, or fruit-bearing trees in coordination with the offices of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

Five schools from five schools division were chosen to join the tree planting live streaming, including the E.B. Magalona National High School in Negros Occidental, San Jose Elementary School in San Miguel from Iloilo province, Barangay E. Lopez National High School in Silay City, Esteban R. Abada Memorial School-East in Kabankalan City, and Tacas Elementary School in Iloilo City.

Escullar said the activity aimed to provide a unique opportunity for students to actively participate in tree-planting activities, foster a deeper understanding of environmental issues, and promote conservation efforts.

“It’s a hands-on learning and practical application of environmental concepts for our children, and we look forward for them to develop a strong sense of responsibility toward the environment,” he said.

The school heads have to ensure the survival of the trees planted within the school premises, while those outside schools will be coordinated with concerned barangay officials. (PNA)