By Albert B. Lacanlale
LUBAO, Pampanga—The municipal government here aims to keep the town a “clean and green” locality.
This was gleaned during the town hall’s celebration of Arbor Day—its fourth consecutive year—at the vicinity of Lubao Bamboo Hub and Ecopark in Barangay Sta. Catalina here.
Mayor Mylyn Pineda-Cayabyab said the town is observing Arbor Day not only because it is in compliance to a national law that mandates annual tree-planting among able-bodied citizens of the country.
Cayabyab said the local government unit recognizes the indispensability of environmental protection in safekeeping the future of every citizen.
The Arbor Day celebration, aptly themed “Aldong binye keng Indung Kalikasan, ambag keng bukas ning balen pakamalan (A day given to Mother Nature, a gift to the future of our beloved town)” was participated in by town officials, municipal department heads and employees, and representatives from various national government agencies, the academe and barangay officials.
Some 300 fire trees (scientific name: Delonix Regia) were planted along the embankment of the Porac-Gumain River as a way to protect the dike from soil erosion and promote biodiversity in the area.
In many tropical parts of the world, this specie of plant is grown as an ornamental tree and in English it is given the name royal poinciana or flamboyant. It is also one of several trees known as “flame tree”. The fire trees are expected to k Mloproduce the vibrantly-colored flowers in three to five years.
The tree-planting activity was jointly-organized by the town’s environment and natural resources office headed by Engr. Dan Aquino and local disaster risk reduction and management office, steered by Edgar Dabu.
Mayor Cayabyab, in her message to the participants, encouraged the barangay officials to replicate the activity in their respective villages and look for open spaces where trees should be grown.
She said that development should not be a reason to sacrifice the environment.
Lubao’s Arbor Day rites could be among the most successful treeplanting activities in the country with high survival rate among the trees that had been planted in the past four years.
In 2015, about 530 bamboo propagules had been planted in the area and 500 of these have survived into fully-grown bamboo clusters.
Close to 640 bamboo propagules—aside from several mangrove—were planted the following year. To date, 512 of these are giving visitors a refreshing shade at the Bamboo Hub.
As of yesterday, 543 bamboo trees were accounted for from among the 670 propagules planted last year.
“We do not just plant these trees for photo opportunities. We make sure that most, if not all, will survive. This is our way of thanking Mother Nature,” Cayabyab said.