The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Bicol headed by Regional Executive Director (RED) Francisco E. Milla, Jr., CESO III spearheaded a region-wide mangrove and tree growing, cleanup, and information drive in celebration of the 2023 World Wetlands Day (WWD) on February 2, 2023.
With the theme, “It’s Time for Wetland Restoration”, the DENR Regional Office, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Offices (PENROs) and Community Environment and Natural Resources Offices (CENROs) in coordination with the provincial, municipal and barangay local government units (LGUs), national government agencies, academe and local residents participated in the activities.
“There is a great need for all of us to help and do our share in the protection and conservation of wetlands. Our small actions like planting and cleanups make a ripple effect to restore and revive our wetlands,” RED Milla said.
In the province of Masbate, the celebration was led by PENRO Masbate headed by OIC, PENR Officer Benito B. Salazar, CENRO Mobo headed by CENR Officer Jean V. Imperial, CENRO San Jacinto headed by OIC, CENR Officer Basil Cesar S. Camba and LGU Palanas. Some 120 mangrove propagules were planted and 15 sacks of solid wastes were collected at Barangay Bontod, Palanas while 235 native tree seedlings were planted and five sacks of solid wastes were collected along Dalakit Falls, Barangay Almiñe, San Jacinto. In addition, IEC drives to the faculty members and students of Rondina Atendido National High School at Barangay Nabangig, Palanas and San Jacinto National High School in Poblacion District 2, San Jacinto, both in Masbate were also conducted.
In the province of Catanduanes, an IEC drive was conducted by PENRO Catanduanes headed by PENR Officer Imelda D. Baltazar at Alinawan Elementary School in Barangay Alinawan, Panganiban. Also, a total of 500 mangrove propagules were planted by the public, which was followed by a bird watching activity in the same area.
Meanwhile, PENRO Albay headed by OIC, PENR Officer Engr. Jerry R. Arena together with LGU Manito conducted a coastal cleanup drive in Barangay Cawit, Manito, Albay. In addition, CENRO Guinobatan headed by OIC, CENR Officer Narisol C. Divina and the LGU Camalig spearheaded an IEC drive at Binanderahan Elementary School at Barangay Binanderahan, Camalig, Albay. Afterwhich, participants planted some 200 assorted native tree seedlings at the Green Lake in the said barangay.
Likewise, PENRO Sorsogon headed by OIC, PENR Officer Tito R. Migo and LGU Gubat led the public in planting Bongalon (Avicennia marina) mangrove propagules at Barangay Rizal, Gubat, Sorsogon.
Moreover, PENRO Camarines Sur headed by PENR Officer Ronnel B. Astor and CENRO Iriga headed by OIC, CENR Officer Herleo O. Pavericio together with the LGU Buhi headed by Mayor Rey P. Lacoste led the cleanup drive along Lake Buhi. Some 10 sacks of solid waste and 20 truckloads of water hyacinth were removed from the lake. Also, at least 160 liters of chemical solution known as Effective Microorganism Activated Solution (EMAS) was poured into the water ways of the market area and the Sowong River in Buhi to help mitigate the increase of bacteria. Also, 1,000 mangrove propagules were planted and at least three sacks of solid wastes were collected at Barangay Biong, Cabusao and was conducted by CENRO Sipocot headed by CENR Officer Eduardo C. Ampongan. Another mangrove planting and cleanup drive will be conducted in the town of Goa, Camarines Sur on February 17, 2023.
Also, PENRO Camarines Norte headed by OIC, PENR Officer Nestor Franz A. Fortuno led the cleanup drive at Barangay Mambulangon, Mercedes, Camarines Norte wherein 15 sacks of solid wastes were collected.
The WWD marks the date of the Adoption of the Convention on Wetland in Ramsar City in Iran on February 2, 1971. The Philippine government adopted its local celebration in 1995 under Presidential Decree No. 74, “Declaring February 2 of every year as National Wetlands Day”. (With reports from PENROs and CENROs) ####