Press Release
November 14, 2015

Villar leads mangrove planting in Baseco

Sen. Cynthia Villar led the mangrove tree planting at Baseco Compound in Port Area, Manila, as she commended the effort of residents to reinforce their defense against flooding and storm surges.

"Baseco Compound's location near the sea wall of Manila Bay makes it vulnerable to flooding and storm surges during typhoons. The residents' participation in the mangrove tree planting activity should be commended. It shows their commitment to help improve our disaster preparedness," Villar said.

Villar also cited the conduct of flood and storm surge drill and the initiative by the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC) to set up a mangrove farm in the area.

Villar partnered with Cavitex Advocates for the Restoration of Environment (Cavitex-CARE) and the Kabalikat sa Kaunlaran ng Baseco to plant some 500 seedlings in the area.

The activity was also attended by representatives from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-National Capital Region.

Villar, a staunch environmentalist, cited the 2012 study conducted by the University of Cambridge, which showed that mangroves slow down the flow of water during storm surges and reduce the damage in coastal areas.

The Nacionalista Party senator also recalled how the Palompon town in Leyte was spared by the storm surge caused by Typhoon Yolanda where mangroves served as barriers that weakened the tides.

"We hope to be able to replicate this mangrove tree planting activity in other coastal areas to reduce disaster vulnerability and displacement of poor communities,' Villar said. In recognition of the importance of mangroves, Villar authored Senate Bill 142, or the National Mangrove Forest Protection and Preservation Act and Senate Bill 143 or the act establishing the coastal environment program.

The Coastal Environment Program seeks to establish reservation areas in all coastal municipalities in the country solely for the preservation, protection, reforestation, afforestation and sustainable development of mangrove forests.

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