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Mangrove 3Photo shows (left to right) DENR 1 ARD for Technical Services Felix C. Taguba, RED Crizaldy M. Barcelo, USec. Ed Leonardo, Rep. Jorge Antonio Bustos, Sual Mayor Liseldo Calugay, ARD for Management Services Leduina S. Co, PENR Officer Maximo Soriano, and CENR Officer Ronnie Jacinto

SUAL, Pangasinan-Region 1- Responding to the dire need for environmental restoration and adaptation to climate change, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) led by the Undersecretary for Special Concerns Eduardo DC. Leonardo, Regional Executive Director Atty. Crizaldy M. Barcelo, Public safety Alliance for Transformation and Rule of Law (PATROL) Party-List Representative Jorge Antonio P. Bustos and Sual Mayor Liseldo DQ. Calugay steered the group of environmental advocates in planting 1,000 mangrove propagules and 1,000 seedlings along the 2,000 sqm. coastline of Sual, Pangasinan.

As early as 5:30 in the morning, the so-called environmental partners trooped to Brgy. Poblacion to show their enthusiasm in the goal of the team towards environmental restoration and disaster preparedness which is also a discipline observed by the group which is represented by Congressman Bustos, PATROL Party-List.

The ceremonial mangrove planting started around 6:30am where a number of participants actively joined from the Philippine National Police (PNP), Philippine Navy, Philippine Coast Guard, Maritime Police, the Local Government of Sual, Pangasinan, Provincial Government of Pangasinan among others.

“Plant a tree, sire a son, write a book,” this old quote expressing what a man should do during his existence on earth was emphasized by DENR 1 RED Atty. Barcelo in his message as he aims to capture the mindset of the participants to do something good for the environment in their lifetime.  RED Barcelo also lauded the leadership of DENR USec. Leonardo in this endeavor particularly in collaborating with his colleagues in the service to lead the undertaking in greater heights.

DENR USec. Leonardo likewise urged everyone to refocus on the DENR mandate and look into the possibilities of recreating activities to further advocate the importance of mangroves as natural barrier from storm surge, maintain water quality and serves as breeding ground and habitat for marine resources.  He (USec. Leonardo) also cited that “just like our mountains which protect us

from strong typhoons,” these mangroves are our shield citing what happened in Leyte during the surge of Typhoon Yolanda. The USec for Special Concerns also encouraged all the partner organizations to do mangrove planting on a weekly basis in preparation for the coming rainy season.  This activity for the environment is also in cognizance of the agency’s role in Executive Order #120 creating the Build, Back, Better (BBB) Task Force

which seeks to ensure post disaster rehabilitation and recovery efforts of typhoon-hit areas.  This BBB Task Force according to UnSec. Leonardo is a high-level institutional platform and a more permanent body that will streamline and expedite post-disaster efforts in a sustained and integrated manner, with a clear unity of command.

USec. Leonardo shared his optimism by saying that the Philippines still have the chance to recover by planting more trees and mangroves.  He likewise added that with the support of PATROL Party- List they have already started to install enforcers to safeguard the environment in the Province of Rizal which they intend to replicate in the whole country.  He ended with expressing his appreciation to the efforts of the field office personnel in the implementation of the environmental programs and projects in this side of the country.

Rep. Bustos also lauded the work of the DENR, the passion of Sec. Roy A. Cimatu and USec. Leonardo in ecological restoration where he (Rep. Bustos) declares his full support to the undertaking of his friend (USec. Leonardo).  The legislator also added that he will integrate awareness in the protection and conservation of the environment and committed to help through legislation as he recognizes the huge role of the government and other organizations in keeping a healthy and safe environment. (RSCIG)