URDANETA CITY, Pangasinan – “The National Greening Program (NGP) aims to bring back the diminishing forest cover of the Philippines, sana matulungan niyo kami na pangalagaan ang mga puno at kagubatan at, ginagawa natin ang lahat para mag-succeed ang project na ito,” Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Assistant Secretary for Enforcement Daniel Darius Nicer said during the Environmental Caravan dubbed “Bike and Hike for Health and Environment” held at Sitio Parasapas, Barangay Casantamaria-an, San Quintin, Pangasinan on March 12, 2020. The said activity is also in line with the celebration of the International Year of Forests (IDY) this month of March, 2021 with the theme, “Forest Restoration, a path to recovery and well- being.”
The combined sports, health and nature activity was initiated by Asec Nicer which aims to entice people of their active participation in restoring and protecting our forests that will help improve a healthier environment especially during this pandemic.
In his message, Asec Nicer also called for the active participation of the communities especially the youth who has passion in riding bicycles to have` help nurture our forests. Some NGP areas have potentials as tourist attractions because of some development like camping grounds and a bike ramps which was created by the bikers. On the NGP site in Barangay Casantamaria-an, ilang-ilang species were planted which were foreseen to augment the income of the People’s Organizations (POs) in the area and provide them sustainable livelihood and protection in their community. The flower of an ilang-ilang tree produces essential oil which is the main component of some expensive perfumes being produced here and abroad. Beside the planted ilang-ilang are pet bottles bored with small holes that serve as the “water reservoir” to continuously augment water to the plants even without somebody to water them occasionally.
The event was participated by CENRO Urdaneta personnel headed OIC, CENR Officer Engr. Ronnie M. Jacinto, LGU San Quintin led by Honorable Mayor Clark Cecil P. Tiu, San Roque Power Corporation (SRPC) led by Vice President for Public Affairs Tommy T. Valdez, Eastern Pangasinan Bikers Club (EPBC) led by Mr. Luis Manuel Fonacier, Philippine National Poilice (PNP) San Quintin led by PCPT Freddie Lorenzo, and Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) San Quintin led by SFO3 Harry Carig.
According to Mayor Clark Cecil P. Tiu, “Sa dami na po ng naitatanim dapat, marami na dapat tayong kahoy sa kabundukan, but sometimes people are hardheaded, though, we are exerting effort to advise them, but there are still, who doesn’t care and understand the importance of our environment and the forest, kaya yung mga nagkakaingin, nagsusunog doon sa kabundukan, a small fire can cause a big problem, especially this month is tag-init, pag isang pagkakamali lng, upos lng ng sigarilyo na maitapon, it can destroy the whole mountain area”.
“This is a very good activity na naisipan po ng ating ASEC Daniel Dicer na kung saan po ang ini- involve po ang ating madlang people especially ang ating mga bikers, to create awareness at the same time and protect the environment”, Mayor Tiu points out.
The Bike and Hike for Health and Environment is correlated to adopt a tree where all participants espoused a tree that will be named after them. Signing of the Pledge of Commitment was highlighted during the conclusion of the activity as a manifestation of the support of all participants in the protection and preservation of the environment and natural resources. (ZLP-RSCIG)