Press Release
July 23, 2015

Villar marks International Mangrove Action Day at LPPCHEA

In celebration of the International Mangrove Action Day, Sen. Cynthia Villar today led the mangrove tree planting and clean up activity at one of the world's most important wetlands, the Las Pinas-Paranaque Critical Habitat and Eco-Tourism Area (LPPCHEA).

The event was also highlighted by the turnover of a trash boat from Manila Bay Coordinating Office (MBCO) to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-NCR to beef up efforts to clean up LPPCHEA.

"I have to admit our clean up efforts are limited because our volunteers can only collect the trash accumulated on the shore lines. With the help of a trash boat, we can now collect floating debris and trash on the sea bed," Villar said.

MBCO of DENR has been giving out trash boats to the local government units and appropriate government agencies surrounding Manila Bay to comply with the continuing mandamus issued by the Supreme Court to clean up, rehabilitate, and preserve Manila Bay.

The trash boat is 30 feet in length, has 12 feet breadth, and a depth of about 3 feet. It is made of fiber glass and runs on unleaded gasoline with a fuel consumption of 34.5 liters per hour.

"Incidentally, the month of July is also the National Disaster Consciousness Month. This is an opportune time for our effort to preserve LPPCHEA and its mangroves to receive such needed boost," Villar added.

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.

About 500 persons joined Villar in the tree-planting and clean up activity coming from the Philippine Red Cross - Las Piñas, Bureau of Fire Protection- Las Pinas City, OIKOS, students from De La Salle Benilde, Las Pinas and Paranaque schools, and residents.

In this endeavor, Villar partnered with Cong. Mark Villar, Villar SIPAG (Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation and Governance), LPPCHEA Management, DENR-NCR led by Regional Director Lourdes Wagan, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources - Region 4-A led by Regional Director Esmeralda Paz Manalang, Manila Bay Coordinating Office, DENR led by Ms. Floradema G. Colorado, and CAVITEX - CARE (Cavitex Advocates for the Restoration of the Environment), Wild Bird Club of the Philippines, Wetland Society, Save the Freedom Island Movement and TIEZA.

Mangrove Action Day, celebrated on July 26, is an international day of solidarity and action to save the mangroves. 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.

LPPCHEA, a 175-hectare protected area by virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 1412 and one of the world's most important wetlands as listed by the Ramsar Convention, is also Metro Manila's last remaining mangrove area.

News Latest News Feed