City’s ‘Arbor Day’ draws thousands PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 26 June 2011 16:06

Hordes of people representing multi-sectoral groups in the city converged at the Climaco Freedom Park in Abong-abong yesterday for the mass tree planting activity in celebration of Arbor Day na Ciudad de Zamboanga, a yearly event that that promotes planting and preservation of trees in line with the city government’s thrust on environmental protection and preservation.

Mayor Celso Lobregat, House Deputy Speaker Beng Climaco (through a representative) and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) regional director Arleigh Adorable spearheaded the different activities that kicked off with a brief program that was capped by the mass signing of the commitment of support to the National Greening Program.

The massive tree planting activities followed in identified planting areas. The tagging of century and heritage trees culminated the Arbor Day na Zamboanga celebration.

The city government through the Office of City Environment and Natural Resources (OCENR) under Engr. Rey Gonzales identified the following areas with the number of trees planted: the 1.5-hectare forestland in Abong-Abong planted with over 6,000 seedlings, mangrove planting in Barangay Victoria covering 1.2 hectares with 3,000 propagules, 1.5-hectare mangrove in Mampang with 2,000 propagules, and rehabilitation of the 0.5-hectare watershed in Manicahan with 1,000 seedlings.

Participants to the mass tree planting was estimated to have reached over 7,000 and they included college and high school students, forces from the police, military and Air Force, regional offices, city government offices, civic clubs and organizations, NGOs, private establishments and corporations, youth groups, religious group and all others.

Council members present during the event were Abdurahman Nuno, Lilia Nuno, Rudy Lim, Joanna Mas, Luis Biel III, Nonong Guingona, VP Elago and Rodolfo Bayot.

City Administrator Antonio Orendain Jr. in his welcome message thanked the different sectors for their participation which, he said, was a manifestation of the people’s concern to the environment.
He likewise cited the significance of trees to the community, to the people and to the environment.

Climaco, in a message read by Christian Olasiman, said the Arbor Day celebration yesterday was an “attestation that we can do something significant to reduce risks and identify points of action to help adapt in these changing times and promote sustainability”.     Everybody’s efforts, she stressed “has an equal significant to our fervent desire for a more dynamic and innovative leadership in fostering a strong foundation for growth and environmental protection and preservation”.

DENR Director Arleigh Adorable briefed the participants about the National 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.

And as a show of support to the planting and preservation of trees, the different sectors present affixed their signature on the tarpaulin of indicating their commitment to the greening program.
Arbor Day na Zamboanga is pursuant to the provisions of City Ordinance 281.  Arbor Day is a nationwide activity pursuant to Presidential Proclamation No. 396 which “enjoins the active participation of all government agencies, private sector, schools, civil society groups and citizenry in the planting activity,” and declares June 25 of every year as “Philippine Arbor Day.” - Sheila Covarrubias