PILAR, Bohol, Sept. 22 (PIA) -- Volunteers, people’s organization representatives, and local government planted the first 50,000 native and endemic trees for the three-year One for Trees (OFT) Project of One Meralco Foundation, Bohol, and a non-government organization partnering with people’s organizations in Pilar, beside the Malinaw Dam in Poblacion Pilar on Sept. 22.
Part of the corporate social responsibility of One Meralco Foundation, the OFT partnered with Participatory Research Organization of Communities for Education in the Struggle for Self-Reliance (PROCESS Bohol) who also partnered with seven peoples’ organizations in Pilar for the tree-planting and forest rehabilitation program.
Pilar Mayor Engr. Wilson Pajo, Ubay Mayor Constantino Reyes represented by Mario Limocon, Pilar Sangguniang Bayan members, PROCESS Bohol staff led by Aurelio Salgados Jr., Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) through the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) of Talibon and Tagbilaran City, as well as national government representatives with Bohol Provincial Environment and Management Office representative Restituto Piollio Jr. planted the endemic tree species.
This is also in contribution to the ongoing Bohol Tree Growing Project that aims to recover Bohol’s lost forest cover in the last decades.
“We have supplied the seedlings: all endemic trees native to the region, all grown at the Bohol Biodiversity Complex in Bilar,” said Piollio, who takes care of the Bohol’s end of the partnership to regain the forest cover.
Bohol Biodiversity Complex has since existed following the Bohol Environmental Code of 1998 to help protect and conserve Bohol’s different flora and fauna, particularly its endemic tree species and nurtures various endemic tree seedlings, including dipterocarps that towered in Bohol forests in the past.
Set to repopulate the ridges of Carood watershed and bring back the life that sustained the Wahig Pamacsalan, seven people’s and farmers’ organizations in Pilar are set to determine the future of the upcoming 1,275 farmers and 18 organizations to implement the next phase of the project, Salgados said.
Also implemented in areas where the DENR’s Integrated Natural Resources and Environment Management Project were laid, PROCESS will work with Lundag ESKAYA Tribe Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Nagkahuisang Mag-uuma sa San Vicente Association, Ilaud Vegetable Growers Association, Bayong Farmers Association, Bagacay Water Users Association, Barangay Cansungay Farmer's Association, and Pamacsalan Tree Growers Association in its OFT -Watershed Improved for Sustainable Environment.
Another 50,000 mangroves would soon be planted as Carood Watershed’s coastal protection for five of Bohol’s northeast towns like the mangrove planting and rehabilitation.
“This is science-based mangrove planting and we are adopting pagatpat and bungalon, or the big mangrove trees that offer the best protection for Bohol’s storm-visited coastal communities,” according to Salgados.
To implement this are Cagting Small Farmers and Fisherfolks Association and the Guintaboan Fisherfolk Association in Ubay.
Also engaged in the mangrove planting are the people’s organizations of Delmar Fishermen Association and Puntod Dako MPA Management Council in Mabini, Panaghiusang Mananagat Cogtonganon, Cogtong Active Fisherfolk Association and Pangpang, Cambuyao, Panas Fishermen Association of Candijay.
Setting up the same activity in Anda are Talisay Fishermen's Association, Badiang Fishermen Association and Suba Fishermen Association and the Kapungan sa mga Mag-uuma ug Mananagat sa Popoo of President Carlos P. Garcia.
“What is important is that the trees are not just planted, it has to be alive and grow,” said Jeffrey Tarayao, president of the One Meralco Foundation which is doing the activity as a corporate social responsibility.
One Meralco Foundation funded the 100,000 trees planted and surviving in Bohol as part of the ‘5 million trees’ project they are implementing in the country. (RAHC/PIA7 Bohol)