A total of 50 volunteers participated in the biannual Community Service Day organized by the UST SIMBAHAYAN Community Development Office (SIMBAHAYAN) in coordination with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Central Office (DENR) held on August 24, 2019. Planted at the Ipo Watershed in Brgy. San Mateo, Norzagaray, Bulacan, were 100 seedlings of narra and coffee in the one-hectare area prepared by the Bantay Gubat and staff of DENR.
Headed by SIMBAHAYAN Director Prof. Arvin D. Eballo, Ph.D., the volunteers were composed of administrators, faculty members, support staff, and alumni. The tree-planting activity was conducted in commemoration of National Heroes Day that was celebrated nationwide on August 26. Participants were from the UST-AMV College of Accountancy, College of Architecture, Faculty of Arts and Letters, College of Education, Faculty of Engineering, Institute of Information and Computing Sciences, College of Nursing, Institute of Physical Education and Athletics, Institute of Religion, College of Science, College of Tourism and Hospitality Management, Junior High School, and UST Health Service.
The tree planting and growing activity site is a vital part of the Angat-Umiray-Ipo watershed system that supplies around 97 percent of the water needs of Metro Manila. With the recent water shortage exacerbated by the illegal activities such as illegal logging and charcoal making in Bulacan watershed, the planting activity validates the importance of communities, such as the Thomasian community, in joining activities on reforestation and protection of forests.
Before the actual seedlings were planted, an orientation on the program was given and reminders were explained by the Training and Community Engagement Officer of SIMBAHAYAN, Asst. Prof. Evalyn Abiog, Ph.D. Before the actual tree planting, Mr. Dexter Villa and Mr. Donny from Bantay Gubat, staff from DENR Strategic Communication and Initiatives Service, demonstrated the proper method of planting the seedlings.