Press Release
June 25, 2016

Villar marks Arbor Day at critical habitat

Sen. Cynthia Villar led the celebration of the Philippine Arbor Day at the Las Pinas-Paranaque Critical Habitat and Eco-Tourism Area (LPPCHEA).

By virtue of Proclamation No. 396 and 643, June 25 was declared as the Philippine Arbor Day. The active participation of all government agencies including government-owned or controlled corporations, private sector, schools, civil society and citizenry in tree planting activity was enjoined.

"The Arbor Day is a special occasion that reminds us of the importance of trees. Trees not only provide us with clean air, trees also protect us from the destruction of calamities. We should all be inspired to take action and take part in greening the communities," Villar said.

Villar also reminded the public that Republic Act No. 10176 or the Arbor Act mandates citizens aged 12 years and above to plant one tree every year.

Activities such as tree planting, watering of plants, coastal clean-up, and nature exposure walk were held to mark the occasion at LPPCHEA in Manila Bay.

Villar partnered with Villar SIPAG (Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation and Governance), Department of Environment and Natural Resources - National Capital Region (DENR-NCR), Cavitex Advocates for the Restoration of the Environment (CARE), Save Freedom Island Movement, Alliance for Stewardship and Authentic Progress (ASAP), and Philippine Red Cross- Las Pinas Sub-Chapter.

The activity was also participated in by the Bureau of Fire Protection, Philippine Coast Guard Auxilliary, Maynilad, Greenpeace, and Barangay and Homeowners in Las Pinas.

LPPCHEA, a Ramsar-listed wetland of international importance, has 35 hectares of mangrove forest. There are at present 11 mangrove species growing in the area, including Bungalon, Bakauan Babae, Bakauan Bato (or Bangkau in Cebuano), Pototan, Kolasi, Pagatpat, Banalo, Tabigi, Saging-saging, Butabuta and Nilad.

According to DENR, mangrove forests are critical spawning grounds, nursery, feeding and temporary shelter areas, not only to fishes but other wild life species as well. Mangrove forests also act as natural barriers. In the case of LPPCHEA, it serves as protection of the coastal communities of Las Piñas and Parañaque from storm surges and high tide.

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