KAPATAGAN | A ceremonial tree planting transpired yesterday, October 6th, in one of DASURECO’s adopted site within the Strict Protection Zone (SPZ) of Mt. Apo Natural Park (MANP) particularly located at Camp Sukarap, Sitio Paradise, Barangay Kapatagan, Digos City.
Mt. Apo Natural Park (MANP) now experienced a significant decline in forest cover over the past few years due to various factors on deforestation, urbanization, and other anthropogenic activities mainly on farming. With the aim to address such problem, DASURECO engaged and partnered with the Local Government of Digos, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and the farmers to plant and grow 2000 indigenous seedlings within a three-hectare area.
The ceremonial planting became more significant with the presence of Digos City Vice Mayor Atty. Johari G. Baña, City Tourism Officer Perla May Demafeliz-Griffin, Davao del Sur MANP Deputy Protected Area Superintendent (PASu) Camilo Victoria, DASURECO General Manager Engr. Jerry D. Morastil, SPZ Farmers Gibson Y. Pedida and Nelson U. Palencia, Jr., mountaineering group, and other participating employees of the City Government, DENR, and DASURECO.
DASURECO GM Jerry D. Morastil emphasized the need to protect and conserve our environment not just as a group but an individual commitment.
“DASURECO is your [government] partner in caring for the environment. In fact, this is the first long-term project we have on environmental protection and DASURECO now have a policy that preserves biodiversity and aids in mitigating climate change of which, one of the programs is reforestation.” said GM Morastil.
Digos City Vice Mayor Atty. Johari G. Baña recognized the efforts of the various sectors who came together in the hope of rehabilitating the natural park and responded to the agenda of the environment.
“We hope that this becomes a template for other avenues of cooperation. In the end, we are all dependent on Mt. Apo. [And] the longer we fail to recognize the value of Mt. Apo, we are actually denying our existence…not just our own but of our next generation.” said Vice Mayor Baña.
“We really hope that this act, no matter how small the seedlings may be, will really inspire others to come together not just Sir Gibson and Sir Nelson here but all the others nga naa dinhing dapita. [Again] we live because of Mt. Apo and Mt. Apo gives us life.” added Vice Mayor Baña.
The participants planted tinikaran and almaciga seedlings acquired from the forest to ensure acclimatization and growth.
This initiative involved farmers as caretakers of the adopted sites in order to safeguard and nurture the seedlings to its optimum growth prior to their eviction from the SPZ area as mandated under Republic Act 9237.###