Captain John “Jojo” M. Abad witnessed the unveiling of the heritage tree marker for the 70-year old Kamagong tree situated at the Batasan Complex in the morning of October 6, 2015 (Tuesday) at the open grounds of the House of Representatives.
House Speaker Feliciano “Sonny” Belmonte, Jr. and officials of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) led by Assistant Secretary Marcial C. Amaro and DENR-National Capital Region Director Lourdes C. Wagan spearheaded the uncovering.
Kamagong or Mabolo is a fruit tree found only in the Philippines. The wood of which is extremely hard and dense, and famous for its dark color. It belongs to the ebony family (genus Diospyros). The tree is grown for its rich-tasting fruit as well as its pleasantly grained black timber, which is used in furniture-making. It is an endangered tree species and protected by the Philippine law – it is illegal to export Kamagong timber from the country without special permission from DENR’s Bureau of Forestry. Finished products from Kamagong wood, such as ornaments, can be exported provided that they are properly documented and approved by the Bureau of Customs authorities.
Precedent to the unveiling, a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was signed by Speaker Belmonte, ASec Amaro, Dir. Wagan and House Secretary General Atty. Marilyn B. Barua-Yap. The MOA indicates the creation of a Tree Park on the Batasan Pambansa grounds where varieties of trees will be planted and protected.
In the opening program, the singing of the Philippine National Anthem was initiated by Asia’s Got Talent 2015 2nd Runner-Up Gerphil-Geraldine Flores.
During the inspirational speech of Speaker Belmonte, Capt. Abad was invited to the rostrum to be formally introduced to the spectators. Speaker Belmonte proudly announced that he’s known Capt. Abad since the latter’s fresh years in public service. He specifically mentioned that Capt. Abad may be young by age but has already matured in the politics. He expressed his admiration to how much Capt. Abad’s administration reflects decisiveness and respect towards diversity. “Tayo ay mga kongresista mula sa iba’t ibang distrito. Si Jojo Abad ay kapitan na nakakasakop sa kinatatayuan ng mababang kapulungan. Kung kaya’t hindi dapat siya ang sumasaludo sa atin. Tayo ang dapat sumasaludo sa kanya.” (We are representatives from various districts. Jojo Abad is captain where the lower house holds office. He should not, therefore, be the one to salute to us. We must be the ones to salute to him.), Speaker Belmonte lightly said.
Written by Aphrodite
Photos taken by Arvin Dimzon