By: Lilibeth A. French
PREPARATIONS for another round of tree planting activities are underway in celebration of the 13th Piyesta sa Kakahuyan this year.
The Executive Committee for the One Million Trees Program: Action for Regreening and Transformation (ART) and the Iloilo Watershed Management Council recently met to discuss the tree planting activities for the 2nd phase implementation of the ART program this year during the yearly “Piyesta Sa Kakahuyan”.
Provincial Administrator Raul Banias said they are banking again on the support of the barangays, municipalities, schools, government agencies, and civil society for the success of the forthcoming event.
Earlier in the meeting, Banias attributed the successful implementation of the ART program last year through volunteerism and community mobilization.
Some 1,399,249 trees were planted in 2011 exceeding the one million tree target of the Iloilo provincial government under the program which is in support of the National Greening Program of the government and seeks to help mitigate the adverse effect of climate change.
Data obtained from the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office said that the survival rate of the total trees planted last year was at 64. 53 percent as of February, this year. The Barangay Service Point Officers were tasked to conduct the monitoring and evaluation of the trees planted by the villages to ensure their 100% survival rate under ART.
This year’s Piyesta sa Kakahuyan will involve upland and mangrove tree planting activities.
Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer Sol Sucaldito said some 50,000 seedlings are targeted to be planted in an available ten hectare area in Brgy. Igtuble on September 8.
“We also intend to enhance the biodiversity in Brgy. Igtuble through this tree planting activity,” said Sucaldito.
For the mangrove tree planting, Sucaldito said there are two proposed sites. These are Punta Pulao in Dumangas and Brgy. Malayuan, Ajuy on a date that have to be decided yet.
Tree planting activities will also be held in the different barangays of the province during the provincial government initiated Piyesta sa Kakahuyan to sustain the province’s efforts to hit its target to plant one million trees this year.
Banias said all municipalities in the province have given 100 percent support to the program. In terms or barangay participation, he noted that only 173 out of the 1,721 barangays in the province have not submitted their reports as to their participation to the tree planting activities last year.
Governor Arthur Defensor himself led the mangrove and tree planting activities conducted early this year as part of the first phase of the implementation of the ART program and in celebration of the Arbor Day.
These tree planting activities were held in Leganes, Iloilo City on April 11 and in Passi City on July 14. He also joined the tree planting activity initiated by the municipality of Leon at Brgy. Bucari in support of the ART program last July 15.