Mangrove planting now underway along Leyte Gulf

TACLOBAN CITY- A massive planting on mangroves along the coast of the Leyte Gulf is now being undertaken by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to serve as natural barrier of possible storm surges during a typhoon. DENR Executive Regional Director Leonardo Sibbaluca said that the areas along the Leyte Gulf were the hard-hit areas during the onslaught of supertyphoon Yolanda nine months ago.

According to Sibbaluca, while there is more than 9,800 hectares identified to be planted within the Leyte Gulf, which stretches from several towns in Eastern Samar up to Abuyog town in Leyte, they have so far planted mangroves covering 600 hectares since June of this year. The government has allocated P38 million for mangrove planting in Eastern Visayas, the region that bore the brunt of Yolanda. Mangroves are considered to be natural barriers for storm surges as Sibbaluca narrated that a family living in Anibong District, Tacloban was able to survive by clinging and hiding in mangroves planted along the coast of their village.

Moreover, the DENR has linked with the Eastern Visayas State University on its mangrove rehabilitation project. “We selected EVSU but other schools are also encouraged,” Purificacion Daloos, regional information officer of the DENR-8, said. DENR-8 targets to finish the planting of mangroves by the end of December of this year. (SHERYMAE P.SESO, LNU Intern)