ALABEL, Sarangani (October 5, 2022) - The provincial government of Sarangani launched on October 5 the Sarangani One Million Trees Project, a reforestation development program designed to address the challenges that confront the environment.
The One Million Trees project took off through a tree-planting activity held at Sitio Masasato, Barangay Bagacay, where one of Sarangani's critical watersheds is located, the Calminda watershed.
According to Rolando Tuballes, provincial environment and natural resources officer, the project was the initiative of Governor Rogelio "Ruel" D. Pacquiao, that during his first term as governor from 2022-2025, Sarangani would be able to "plant and grow one million trees" across the province.
He said it was the governor's desire that through his Ronda Probinsya Para sa Kinaiyahan flagship program, the deforestation and forest degradation problem of the province will be addressed accordingly.
Tuballes alarmed the public that the USAID-Safe Water Project study showed "that in just a span of five years from 2015-2020, Sarangani has already lost a forest cover of 19,945 hectares."
Hence, the One Million Trees project "will intensify the reforestation program of the province that will address
issues on erosion and siltation by bringing back the lost forest cover and stabilizing riverbanks to improve water quantity and water quality."
The project will also "mobilize the Sarangans," from the local government units to non-government organizations, private partners and national agencies, communities, and other stakeholders "to take part and play an important role in the rehabilitation of the denuded watersheds."
On October 5, the provincial officials of Sarangani headed by Governor Pacquiao and wife Jobelle Pacquiao, Congressman Steve Chiongbian Solon represented by Engr. Gerald Faciol, Vice Governor Elmer De Peralta, Sangguniang Panlalawigan members, department heads, government employees, and various stakeholders and partners from the different government and non-government organizations gathered to plant 1,000 seedlings of iron bamboo and fruit trees including coffee, langka, durian, rambutan, lanzones.
"The 1 million trees is still a long way to go to cover the whole Sarangani province," Tuballes said, "but with your trust and support we can save the watersheds in the province and save properties at large in the future."
Governor Pacquiao also thanked all the partners of the provincial government for their full support in the government's campaign for the restoration, rehabilitation, and conservation of the natural resources in the province.
"Let us take responsibility in this kay mahimong safe ang future sa next generations kung kita karon maging responsable sa atong leadership diha sa pagprotekta sa atong kinaiyahan," the governor said.
During the event, the team from the USAID Safe Water Project also turned over to the governor and to the rest of the officials the Provincial Integrated Water Security Management Plan for Sarangani province.
"Makakaasa po kayo na hindi po ito mawalang-bahala and we will use this plan as our guide sa aming probinsya," the governor told the partners from the USAID.
The governor also hoped that through the One Million Trees Project, environmental crises such as climate change and extreme flooding will be somehow addressed "so that in the next coming years, we will not suffer from these calamities." (Jori Mae R. Samillano/SARANGANI PROVINCIAL INFORMATION OFFICE)
?Jake T. Narte