Hordes turn up for Arbor Day PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 26 June 2013 11:01

Thousands of students, professionals, workers from local and national government agencies including military and police personnel trekked to the hills of Abong-abong in Upper Pasonanca yesterday morning in celebration of Arbor Day na Ciudad de Zamboanga.

Mayor Celso Lobregat spearheaded the event which kicked off with a commemorative program followed by the mass tree planting activity in Abong-abong and culminated with the tagging of century and heritage trees.

In his message during the program at the Climaco Freedom Park, the mayor thanked the different sectors and agencies that participated in the annual Arbor Day celebration and most importantly for sharing in the efforts to preserve and protect the environment.

Lobregat stressed that the city’s unyielding advocacy on environmental protection comes in numerous forms and intended to help ensure a better future for the present generation.

“The ordinance declaring  Arbor Day was during our administration in 2007. Another law relevant to Arbor Day and approved during our term is Ordinance 341 declaring the preservation of century and heritage trees in the city”, Lobregat, who will soon assume as elected congressman for District I emphasized.

It was also during the present administration, he said that the development and management of Sta. Cruz Island was turned over to Zamboanga City. “The Sta. Cruz island is a protected landscape and seascape and the main objective of the management is protection, conservation and preservation of the island and the environment”.

Joining the mayor during the Arbor Day activities were Councilor Percival Ramos; City Administrator Antonio Orendain Jr.; City Environment and Natural Resources Officer Engr. Rey Gonzales and his assistant Ed Bisquera, whose office organized the event; City Planning and Development Officer Engr. Rodrigo Sicat; Zamboanga State College of Marine Sciences and Technology (ZSCMST) president Dr. Milavel Nazario; Red Cross Zamboanga administrator Vic Liozo Jr.; officials and representatives from the military and police commands and numerous others.

Orendain, who gave the welcome message, cited the urgent need to intensify programs to mitigate the effects of global warming given the destructions it wrought on lives and properties in other areas.

He rallied people to continuously do their share by planting trees,  proper disposal of garbage and other ways to prevent destruction of the environment.

Main highlight of the Arbor Day celebration was the tree planting activity where 6,000 seedlings were planted in Abong-abong covering an area of 2.3 hectares.

After leading the tree planting activity, Lobregat and other officials proceeded to the Central Bank premises in Pettit Barracks where 6 declared century trees were tagged. He was assisted by BSP Regional Manager Melodino Patiño during the tagging event.

The mayor has issued Executive Order 260 in line with Ordinance 341 declaring 20 trees of various species as century (13) and heritage (7) trees bringing the total of declared trees to 118 from 2009 to 2013.

Of the total 118 trees, 67 were declared century trees while 51 were declared heritage trees.

The declaration of century and heritage trees enjoins all residents to protect and preserve these trees and all other trees as part of national treasure and patrimony. (Sheila Covarrubias)