ARBOR DAY CELEBRATION. A simultaneous tree and bamboo planting along the Cagayan River and its major tributaries was held on June 25 in celebration of the Philippine Arbor Day.
Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Regional Executive Director Gwendolyn Bambalan and Assistant Regional Director Marcos Dacanay led the Arbor Day celebration that coincided with the inspection conducted by Secretary Roy Cimatu on the removal of sandbars along the Cagayan River in Lal-lo, Cagayan.
Director Bambalan said the planting activity along riverbanks is part of the department's initiative for the rehabilitation and restoration of the Cagayan River under the Build Back Better program chaired by Secretary Cimatu.
According to the regional environment chief, the Arbor Day which is part of the celebration of the Philippine Environment Month is a nationwide public working holiday to encourage the people to plant trees to upkeep and preserve the environment.
“This event is relevant because we know how precious and valuable trees are in our lives. We are also constantly reminded of the importance of trees which contribute to ecosystems services such breathing a clean air and drinking a safe water,” she said.
A total of 200 bamboo propagules were planted along the riverbanks in Brgy. Maddarulug covering the municipalities of Solana and Enrile towns in Cagayan.
More than 100 environmental partners from the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), Philippine National Police (PNP), and local officials and some residents participated in the activity.
The bamboo planting was also highlighted with the signing of the Deed of Undertaking for river stabilization between the DENR and the identified lot owners of the planting sites near the edge of the river.
In the undertaking, the lot owners gave their consent to the planting of bamboos within their premises. They will protect and maintain the species planted while the DENR will continue to provide them technical assistance.
Meanwhile, the Society of Filipino Foresters Inc. and the Professional Regulation Commission in Region 2 also conducted their tree planting activity in Namabbalan, Tuguegarao City.
With the officials and employees of the City Government of Tuguegarao, BFP, PNP and barangay officials and residents, they planted a total of 1200 forest and fruit-bearing trees.
Other DENR field offices in Cagayan Valley also participated in the celebration.
The Philippine Arbor Day is celebrated every June 25 of each year by virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 643 s. 2004.#