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The Civil Service Commission (CSC), in partnership with the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), conducted a tree planting activity on 29 November, the eve of Bonifacio Day, at the CSC Central Office in Batasan Hills, Quezon City.

CSC Chairperson Karlo Nograles led the activity with UPLB Vice Chancellor for Community Affairs Roberto P. Cereno, MM. Joining the two officials were CSC Commissioners Aileen Lourdes A. Lizada and Ryan Alvin R. Acosta, UPLB Assistant to the Vice Chancellor for Community Affairs Dr. Benevieve D. Villanueva, and other CSC and university officials.

Planted on the site were bignay, lipote, and catmon seedlings, all donated by UPLB.

Chairperson Karlo Nograles noted that it is CSC’s way of commemorating the heroism of Andres Bonifacio, the Father of Philippine Revolution, and a Supreme Leader of the Katipunan.

“Bilang pagkilala sa iniwang legacy o pamana sa atin ni Andres Bonifacio, nagsagawa tayo ng tree planting activity na isang paraan upang maipamalas ang ating pagmamahal sa bayan sa pamamagitan ng pangangalaga ng ating likas yaman,” Chairperson Nograles said.

He added, “Sa harap ng kabi-kabilang sakuna na nagpapahirap sa ating mga kababayan, isang ‘green revolution’ ang uri ng rebolusyong hinihingi sa makabagong panahon. Hinihimok ko ang iba pang mga ahensya ng pamahalaan na samahan kami sa proyektong ito at magsagawa rin ng kani-kanilang tree planting activities.”

Nograles said that the CSC is already gearing up for a nationwide tree planting activity to be conducted next year.

The CSC chief stressed that, in partnering with UPLB, the CSC opted for native fruit-bearing trees to maximize the potential of the planting site and because “they will not be forgotten.”

Vice Chancellor Cereno said that the seedlings can start to yield in three years. He also brought fruit wines made from bignay and lipote as examples of what can be produced from the planted seedlings.

Message to civil servants

Meanwhile, in a recorded message, Chairperson Nograles called on civil servants to emulate the values exemplified by Andres Bonifacio as they face the modern-day challenges of public service.

He said, “Sa natatanging okasyon na ito, hinihimok ko ang lahat ng lingkod bayan na sariwain ang mga aral ng pakikibaka ng ating mga bayani tungo sa kalayaan. Bagama’t ang pagsisilbi sa bayan sa makabagong panahon ay may kalakip na ibang uri ng mga hamon at kaaway, tinatawagan tayo na tularan ang mga pagpapahalaga na ibinahagi sa atin ni Bonifacio—ang pagmamahal sa Diyos at bayan, katapangan, maayos na pamumuno, at determinasyon upang malagpasan ang mga hamon ng buhay.”

[On this special occasion, I urge all civil servants to reflect on the lessons gained from our heroes’ struggle for freedom. While modern-day public service presents a different set of hardships and adversaries, it calls on us to adhere to the same values as Bonifacio had—love of God and country, courage, good leadership, and determination to rise above the challenges in life.]

Nograles also stressed on the importance of civil servants working together for the country’s future, inspired by the life of Bonifacio. “Nawa’y ang pamana ni Bonifacio ay magpatuloy sa atin, mga kapwa ko lingkod bayan, habang pinaglilingkuran natin ang ating mga kapwa Pilipino nang may buong husay, katapatan, at dedikasyon. Magkaisa tayo tungo sa pagkamit ng ating iisang adhikain na mas masagana at mas inklusibong kinabukasan.”

[May his legacy live on through us, civil servants, as we serve our fellow Filipinos with utmost dedication and commitment to excellence and integrity. May we unite and work in harmony toward achieving our common vision and desire of a more prosperous and more inclusive future.]

The 30th of November of every year is celebrated as a national holiday to commemorate the birth of one of the country’s national heroes, Andres Bonifacio.

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