Lobregat: Damage to marine life is harder to replace than on land PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 16 June 2011 16:10

“What is lost to marine life is much harder to replace than what is lost to the forest.”
Thus, Mayor Celso Lobregat stressed during the launching of the National Greening Program by the Department Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) yesterday morning at the Celebrity Hall of Grand Astoria Hotel, this city.

While he commended the National Greening Program aimed at reforestation through massive tree planting activities nationwide, Lobregat bewailed that such should be carried out sincerely and honestly.

He voiced out observation that most tree planting activities in the past by certain sectors were conducted just for a show—trees were planted at improper distance and left to die. “This time I hope we shall have honest to goodness tree planting activities.”

Lobregat, however, took pride in the successful tree planting activities of the city government under the annual “ Arbor Day na Zamboanga” where trees were properly distanced and taken care of until they grow. The program will again be conducted this coming June 25.

In last Sunday’s celebration of the country’s sovereignty, Lobregat cited President Aquino’s challenge to each and every Filipino citizen “to actively work towards liberating ourselves, our people and our country from the many complex challenges we face today such as global warming, economic hardships and political instability. As the population continues to increase, so does the need to balance the needs of the environment and the people for sustainable and quality life to be possible.”

“The destructive use and continued abuse of our natural resources have contributed to the deteriorating state of the environment. The ecological balance had been disrupted, our very survival threatened,” Lobregat said, adding that in the past years, “we have witnessed the destruction and losses resulting from storm surges, megaquakes, tornado and similar natural phenomenon.” These are, without doubt, a manifestation of the abuses inflicted on Mother Nature and a reminder for all of us to protect what is left of our environment while slowly working on its restoration.

But more than the need for reforestation, Lobregat pointed out the pressing need to protect and preserve marine resources as well, even as he cited the recent black sea coral smuggling controversy that has dragged Zamboanga City into the mess, it being the transshipment point of contrabands from outlying provinces.
“If we have deforestation on land, we have marine quarrying in the sea,” he said.

Present during the program were Deputy House Speaker and District 1 Rep. Beng Climaco-Salazar, DENR Assistant Secretary for Field Operations Regidor De Leon, DENR Regional Director Arleigh Adorable, former PIA Usec. Leo Omoso and representatives from various government agencies and non-government organizations. — Vic Larato