DENR-1 celebrates 2014 World Environment Day (WED)

In observance of this year’s celebration of World Environment Day last June 5, 2014, DENR-1 spearheaded simultaneous tree planting activities along the coastal municipalities of La Union and in Sta. Cruz, Ilocos Sur. A total of 4,285 seedlings of mangrove, beach type and fruit-bearing species were planted by about 554 planters. DENR-employees including various government agencies, concerned municipal LGUs, civil society organizations, People’s Organizations and community residents participated in this event.

Ecosystems Research and Development Service (ERDS) spearheaded the tree planting of about 300 seedlings of Botong along the shorelines of Sta. Cruz, Ilocos Sur led by DENR RO1 Regional Director Samuel R. Peñafiel and Ecosystems Research and Development Service (ERDS) Regional Technical Director (RTD) Nelson V. Gorospe, Mayor Teresita Valle and Mr. Agapito Pablico (representing CSOs).

The activity was participated in by about 350 people from different organizations such as Fishermen Association, Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), Tricycle Operators and Drivers Association (TODA), Rural Improvement Club (RIC), Barangay Health Center (BHC), Senior Citizens, Barangay Nutrition Scholars (BNS) and community members of Parangay Pilar. Members of PENRO Ilocos Sur, CENRO Tagudin, Philippine Army 81th Infantry Battalion and 4P’s also participated in the said event.

Botong is a tree species belonging to family Lecythidaceae and scientifically known as Barringtona asiatica (Linn.) Kurz. It is common in the Philippines and usually cultivated as shade along seashores. It has medicinal uses –its leaves are used to relieve stomach ache and rheumatism while its seeds serve as vermifuge and used to cure cysts, goiter and tumors.

The planted botong will not only serve as shade and source of medicine, but also as windbreak and barrier against storm surges and floods.

As an impact of this event, Mayor Valle requested DENR for more botong seedlings to be planted in the other coastal barangays of Sta. Cruz.

After the tree planting activity, RD Samuel Peňafiel led the launching of the Public Land Titling Partnership with the Municipal LGU of San Emilio, Ilocos Sur and distributed 168 Agricultural Free Patents to 131 beneficiaries. RD Peñafiel signed a Memorandum of Partnership Agreement (MOPA) representing DENR with the Municipal LGU represented by Mayor Ferdinand A. Banua.

Meanwhile, Regional Technical Director Barbara M. Pernia of the Forest Management Service and PENRO Samuel Songcuan of La Union spearheaded mangrove planting activity in the coastal areas of Sto. Tomas and Agoo together with representatives from the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), Parole and Probation Administration of District II, concerned Municipal LGUs, members of 4P’s (Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program), People’s Organization and community residents. Three thousand (3,000) bakauan propagules were planted along the seashores of Brgy. Cupang in Sto. Tomas while nine hundred eighty five (985) assorted beach-type forest and fruit trees species which include botong (Barringtona asiatica), Acacia auriculiformis, agoho, mabolo, atis and guayabano were planted along the coastal area of Brgy. Sta. Rita.