Zambo marks ‘Arbor Day’ with tree planting, mangrove rehab PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 25 June 2011 15:17

Thousands of tree seedlings and propagules will be planted to the city’s forest lands and mangroves respectively as Zamboanga City joins the entire nation in today’s celebration of Arbor Day dubbed “Arbor Day na Ciudad de Zamboanga.”

Mayor Celso Lobregat said over 5,000 seedlings and 5,000 propagules will be planted to three identified sites that include the 1.5-hectare forestland in Abong-Abong, the 0.5-hectare watershed in Manicahan, the 1.2-hectar mangrove in Barangay Victoria and the 1.5-hectare mangrove in Mampang.
The tree/mangrove planting activity will kick off with a commemorative program at 7 a.m. today at Freedom Park in Abong-Abong, to be headed by Mayor Lobregat, House Deputy Speaker and District 1 Rep. Beng Climaco-Salazar and District 2 Rep. Erbie Fabian.

After the program, the participants mostly students from different schools, civic groups, police, military and religious will proceed to the three identified sites for the planting activity.
Today’s activity will be highlighted with the signing of a memorandum of agreement between the city government, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and other concerned agencies relative to the Greening Program, a nationwide activity that aims to plant 1.5 billion trees in about 1.5 million hectares of land nationwide for the next six years.

Early this week,  Lobregat issued an executive order declaring 24 mostly acacia trees as “Heritage Trees” and “Century Trees,” bringing  to 82 the total number of such trees since 2009.
Executive No. CL 406-2011 formalized the declaration of three Century Trees and 21 Heritage Trees.

The 100-year old trees composed of two narras and an acacia can be found at WMSU main Campus, Barangay Upper Calarian and Malagutay Elementary School while the 21 heritage trees are located inside the WMSU Campus, City Hall Compound, R.T Lim Boulevard, Plaza Pershing, Vitali Central School Compound, Canelar Elementary School, Upper Calarian and Sinubong Elementary School.
Since City Ordinance No. 341 otherwise known as the Century and Heritage Tree Ordinance came into law on December 2008, Mayor Lobregat had been leading the preservation campaign in declaring trees as Century Trees and Heritage Trees.

According to the said ordinance, “Century Trees” are those that have lived for more than 100 years while “Heritage Trees” are those which may not have reached 100 years “but are considered ecologically, historically or culturally valuable or belonging to a rare species or are adjacent or near a water source, spring or well and whose cutting or destruction will disrupt or destroy the water source.”

These trees will be tagged with metal plates with inscriptions about its common name, scientific, name, date of registry and the declaration of the City Government signed by the mayor. — Vic Larato