Celso declares 13 century, 7 heritage trees on Arbor Day PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 25 June 2013 11:35

In celebration of Arbor Day today, Mayor Celso Lobregat has issued an executive order declaring 13 Century-old and 7 Heritage Trees in Zamboanga City as mandated under Ordinance No. 341 dated December 11, 2008.

Of the 13 declared Century Trees or Rain trees/Acacia (Samanea saman), 6 are located in Barangay Zone 4 and 7 in Barangay Pasonanca, the oldest of which is 145 years. The Heritage Trees are located in Sta. Catalina (1), Pasonanca (4), and Boalan (2).

Under Ordinance 341, century-old and heritage trees may not have reached 100 years but considered ecologically, historically or culturally valuable (or belonging to rare species, adjacent or near water source, spring or well and whose cutting or destruction will disrupt or destroy the water source) that can be effective symbols of taking care the environment.

Lobregat said the declaration will generate participatory and active consciousness among the people to take care, preserve and maintain the trees in their natural state as well as the preservation of other life forms that live within or dependent on said trees for their survival.

As called for under the edict, all century-old and heritage trees shall be strapped with a metal plate declaring as such with such information as the name of the tree (scientific and local), date of declaration, approximate age, registry number and location.

The Office of the City Environment and Natural Resources is mandated to make the necessary and appropriate measures through the use of modern science and technology and undertake the maintenance and preservation of all declared trees in coordination with the concerned barangays where the trees are located.

Record from the OCENR showed that since the program started in 2009, the city government had already declared a total of 54 century-old trees and 44 heritage trees for a total of 98 ecologically, historically and culturally valuable trees. Today’s declaration bring to a total of 118 century/heritage trees

A special technical committee chaired by OCENR spearheads the identification, evaluation of the trees and recommend for declaration (as century and heritage) based on their ecological, historical and cultural values.

Meanwhile, the OCENR has organized a commemorative program and tree planting activity at the Climaco Freedom Park in Abong-abong, Pasonanca, to celebrate Arbor Day Na Ciudad de Zamboanga today.

The activity will kick off at 7am with the commemorative program with Mayor Celso Lobregat as keynote speaker. City Administrator Antonio Orendain Jr. will give the welcome remarks.

Different government and non-government agencies including schools and military and police commands are expected to participate in the event. — Vic Larato