PLANTING TREES, REAPING HAPPINESS. “Gusto ko sanang bumalik sa abroad. Pero habang nakikita ko ang mga puno na lumalaki, nabubuhayan ako ng loob. Napamahal na ako rito. Masaya ako rito.” Roderic Mallanao, chairman of Barangay San Antonio Reforestation Association (BSARA) shared his testimony on how the National Greening Program (NGP) changed his perspective in life.
“Sa tingin ng iba ay kahoy lang, pero kailangan mahalin parin. Mahalaga ang bawat puno para sa ikakabuti ng kalikasan. Masaya akong maging parte ng NGP,” Mallanao said. The 100-hectare NGP plantation established in San Antonio, Cabagan, Isabela was awarded to the association in 2016.
With only nine members, the then pasture land transformed into a Gmelina forest with over 70,000 trees.
Roven Talaue, site leader said ring weeding and patrolling are regularly conducted to avoid grass fire and to prevent stray animals from destroying the trees.
“Everytime na may parating na bagyo, nagpupruning kami ng mga puno para hindi mabuwal ng malakas na hangin,” he said.
Senior Ecosystems Management Specialist Luz Soriano of Community Environment and Natural Resources Office in Cabagan advised the beneficiaries to plant high value agricultural crops to generate additional income. She also encouraged them to double their effort in protecting the plantation since it serves as a mini sanctuary to migratory birds.#