TACLOBAN CITY- More mangroves are to be planted along the coastlines as the Environment Secretary Gina Lopez is pushing for a massive mangrove plantation nationwide.
Planting mangroves in the coastlines will protect the coastal communities from the rising of sea water or storm surges during the occurrence of strong typhoons, Lopez said during an interview.
“During typhoons our best protection are mangroves,” she said.
The massive mangrove plantation establishment is to strengthen the degraded mangrove forests along coastlines and make coastal communities less vulnerable to future destructionsas typhoons have become more ferocious and destructive, contributed mainly due to climate change.
During the incumbency of former Environment Sec.Ramon Paje, the government has allotted P1 billion for the massive mangrove reforestation and beach forest rehabilitation nationwide on top the P6.2 billion budget allotted for the country’s National Greening Program that includes the rehabilitation of denuded beach forests and mangrove areas.
Leonardo Sibbaluca, executive regional director of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-8)was earlier instructed by Sec. Lopez to evaluate and assess all areas and establish more mangrove plantations in places suited for mangrove growing in Eastern Visayas.
Records show that that DENR-8 launched the P380 million mangrove and beach forest rehabilitation project in the region last April 22, 2015, with a target of 13,500 hectares of mangrove and beach forest areas to be planted along Leyte Gulf areas.
The project covers the coastal areas from Tacloban City to the towns of Abuyog, Palo, Tanauan, Tolosa, Dulag, Mayorga, Javier, and Macarthur, all in Leyte; Basey and Marabut, both in Samar; and the municipalities of Lawaan, Balangiga, Giporlos, Salcedo, Guiuan, Hernani and Llorente, all of Eastern Samar.