LINGAYEN --- In a couple of years, residents of Barangays Carot and Cabungan of Anda will have added protection from typhoon and tidal surges and reap added livelihood benefits because of the massive mangrove tree planting spearheaded by the Provincial Government of Pangasinan, thru the Provincial Agriculturist Office (OPAG), in these areas last July 21.
From the onset of Governor Espino’s first term, the Provincial Government shifted its programs to address the threat of climate change into long term solutions, instead of reactionary remedies. Though the Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council have been properly equipped and more ready to respond to calamities than in any other times, Governor Espino, still, is more focused on measures that will not only benefit the present generation but also the next generation. Thus, activities such as upland tree planting and mangrove reforestation become regular fixtures of Provincial Government activities.
In 2008, Pangasinan was awarded as the region’s Most Outstanding Coastal Resources Project Implementer because of its outstanding environmental protection and management programs and policies. The massive mangrove tree planting, dubbed “Alay Tanim Mula kay Governor Espino,” is in support to the province’s sustainable coastal resources management program.
Mangrove propagation, in particular, is a priority program of the Espino Administration, having embarked on a grand construction and renovation of facilities to support his vision.
The Arnedo, Bolinao Mangrove Information Center and Nursery is capable of producing 80,000 to 100,000 mangrove seedlings annually, and where supply of seedlings are sourced during planting activities.
Why does Governor Espino put so much importance on mangrove reforestation of the province’s coastal areas?
Foremost, mangrove forests provide sanctuary and breeding ground for fishes. Aside from increasing fish and other marine creatures’ population, fisherfolks can be assured of a larger catch of fishes that will give them more income. We cannot also underestimate the environmental value of mangroves since they serve as natural barriers in times of typhoon and tidal surges. They also prevent and minimize erosion of coastal areas and filter water pollutants. As an added bonus, mangroves provide aesthetic value to the surroundings where sightings of local and migratory birds can be seen.
Provincial Agriculturist Dolly Moya said the activity last July 23 covered an area of about 1.2 hectares where some 4,000 mangrove seedlings were planted. Though said areas are naturally grown with mangrove, Moya added that Governor Espino wanted to supplement and enhance the natural proliferation of mangroves.
Before the year ends, OPAG aims to reforest mangrove areas in the 12 coastal towns and cities of the province.
Aside from OPAG, Fil-Media in Action Pangasinansi, an NGO, participated in the activity, including students of Cabungan National High School, the Municipal Agriculturist and Municipal Social Welfare employees of the said municipality.
Fil-Media President and Chairwoman Regie Aquino was awed by the diverse and active participation of the provincial and local governments, NGOs and POs, as well as members of the community. She said their organization, which is primarily involved in community service, will always support worthy programs and endeavors of the Provincial Government.
Jerryvale Navalta, Sr., Barangay Captain of Cabungan, and Reuby Celeste, President of Samahan ng Mangingisda sa Cabungan, both expressed gratitude to the Governor for bringing the project to their community, which according to them, will give the community numerous benefits. (PIO/Rafael U. Manuel III)