Some 453 Capitol employees planted 30,000 mangrove seedlings to help rehabilitate the mangrove area in Barangay Cotcot, municipality of Liloan last June 28.
This was part of the “Run 2 Plant” activities initiated by the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. in partnership with the local government units. This was also done in other provinces in the country every last Saturday of June.
The residents, whose houses were near the coastlines, welcomed the initiative.
“Ang bawod diri dagko man gud ilabina inig abot sa amihan matag bulan sa Oktubre hangtud Disyembre. Kon naay bakhaw ang tubig nalay moabot sa among balay, dili na gyud ang bawod (The waves here are usually higher during October to December. The mangroves helped minimize its impact to our houses),” said Anita Yongco.
They, however, hoped that newly planted mangroves will finally survive against the waves and occasional flooding in its nearby river.
“Mga million na siguro nga mangroves ang natanom diri pero guba ra gihapon (There are already millions of mangroves planted here but none of them survived),” added Yongco, 51, who has been living in the area since birth.
Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office Chief Czareem Joseph Estella said the Capitol responded to the call of the President to plant 1.5 billion trees nationwide.
Section 2 of the Executive Order No. 26 states, “The National Greening Program shall plant some 1.5 billion trees covering about 1.5 million hectares for a period of six years from 2011 to 2016, in the following lands of the public domain: forestlands, mangrove and protected areas, ancestral domains, civil and military reservations, urban areas under the greening plan of the LGUs, inactive and abandoned mine sites, and other suitable lands.”
Estella also stated that planting mangroves is more suitable than planting trees in the highlands. This is due to the looming prolonged dry season brought by El Niño, which is affected to affect water supply.
He urged the residents in Barangay Cotcot to help care and protect the mangroves. The local government of Liloan has already prohibited the entry of any person to the mangrove area.
The Capitol employees arrived in Liloan at around 4 a.m. to catch up the low tide. The Run 2 Plant began after a short program at around 5 p.m.
“Wa namo igsapayan kung sayo mi ningari. Ang amo nga makatabang mi sa kumonidad diri (We don’t mind being here very early. What matters is we are able to help the community),” said Manolito Cortes of PENRO.