In August 2015, employees of the Institute for Labor Studies (ILS) planted four hundred (400) Pitogo and Bitaog seedlings to reforest an 11-hectare beachfront in Brgy. Reserva, Baler, Aurora. In its December 2016 on-site visit of the tree planting project, the ILS validation team observed that about eighty-five percent (85%) of the planted seedlings have survived and are now thriving. This was confirmed by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Community Environment and Natural Resources Extension Office – Aurora (DENR CENRO-Aurora).
Three (3) typhoons directly hit the Province of Aurora this 2016; Ambo, Karen and Lawin, wreaking havoc on the coastlines of the province especially in the town of Baler. Fortunately, DENR personnel and volunteers from Baler were vigilant and monitored the seedlings days after calamities. According to the CENRO officers, they cleared the area of debris, and even relocated some of the seedlings to another 19-hectare treeplanting site near the mangrove area.
“We expected a low survival rate on the seedlings due to numerous challenges posed by nature, animal, and humans,” said CENRO Officer Michael Caballero, “but with our constant monitoring and intervention, we have helped these seedlings mature.”
“Storm surges brought the most damage,” added another CENRO Officer Ronald Sura. “Waves as high as four (4) meters have reached this area, uprooting even the mature trees and bringing debris like dead trees, damaged structures, etc. Damage also came from grazing animals like goats being led there by their owners.”
“We recognize the personnel of DENR-CENRO-Aurora for their efforts in the reforestation of Baler. We hope that in spite of too many challenges, these trees can reach their full maturity and will provide shelter and protection to the people in the area. We also hope that the new DENR Secretary Gina Lopez will show her support in the continuation of the National Greening Program (NGP) of the government beyond 2016,” said ILS OIC-Executive Director Mary Grace L. Riguer.
The Treeplanting activity is part of ILS’ contribution to the Green Our DOLE Program (GODP) of the Department of Labor and Employment.
(For more information on this press release, please contact Mr. Marc Peñaredondo, Labor and Employment Officer II, Advocacy and Publications Division, Institute for Labor Studies, Telephone Nos. 5273490 / 5273447)