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Telco joins tree planting at ‘Station of the Cross’

/ 09:37 AM May 09, 2011

AS the worldwide celebration of the Earth Day coincided with this year’s Good Friday, the Cebu City government and Smart Communications Inc. found a way to commemorate both occasions in one event called the “Station of the Trees.”

Employees of Smart were among the volunteers who planted various species of native trees in barangay Guba during this fusion of religious and environmental practices.

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“Trees are very significant to the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ. He died on a cross which is made of wood. His death symbolizes eternal salvation and new life. As we plant trees today, we are planting life for future generations,” said Fr. Tito Soquiño, executive director of Sto. Niño de Cebu Augustinian Social Development Foundation.

Soquiño led a solemn rite in each of the 14 Stations of the Cross. After saying a prayer, the participants planted around 50 seedlings in each station plus the Resurrection Station — coming up with a total of 750 trees planted in all 15 stations during the event.

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“This is a well-spent Holy Week for me. I feel better knowing that I’ve done a simple sacrifice and a worthy cause at the same time,” said Smart employee Tere Donasco.

Cebu City Councilor Nida Cabrera was very happy that the Cebuanos chose to spend Good Friday for a worthy environment cause. “We are destroyers of the environment, we must restore something. Today, we are restoring life,” Cabrera added.

Considered a first in the country, the “Station of the Trees” will now be an annual event in Cebu City.

The planting site in barangay Guba covers 16 hectares of land identified as communal forest.

Around 80 Guba Elementary School pupils were chosen to maintain the newly planted seedlings. Through the “Stewardship for Scholarship” program, a joint partnership of Cebu City government and Smart, the students will receive school supplies in exchange for maintaining the newly planted seedlings.

Smart will give bags made from recycled Smart tarpaulin banners as school classes open in June.

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