CALBIGA, Samar- Soldiers based this town have turned green as they planted close to 300 seedlings of various varieties not only for aesthetic purpose but also to help avert climate change. The soldiers, who belong to the 87th Infantry Battalion based in Barangay Polangi, this town, conducted the tree planting in coordination with the municipal government and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources DENR). By planting the 280 seedlings of different varieties inside the camp, their objective to develop a tree park of half a hectare would be attained, said Lt. Col. Antonio Dulnuan, commanding officer of the battalion. The initiative was in accordance with the national greening program of Pres. Benigno Aquino which is embodied under Executive Order No.26. Under the program, the government aims to plant 1.5 billion trees in 1.5 hectares of public land within a span of six years which is to end by 2016. The 87th IB has planted 50 seedlings of rambutan and 115 seedlings of red lawaan and 115 seedlings of mahogany. They started their tree planting activity on April of this year. Aside from Calbiga, the 87th IB covers the municipalities of San Jose de Buan, Paranas, Jiabong, Motiong, Daram, Hinabangan, Villareal, Pinabacdao,San Sebastian, Zummaraga,Talalora, Sta. Rita, Basey and Marabut, all in Samar. Planting trees on public lands and mountain catchments help reduce environmental destruction; halting erosion through the retention of topsoil, harvesting of rainwater, and helps communities build their resilience to climate change. (JAZMIN BONIFACIO)