Press Release
June 25, 2021

Villar calls for tree protection on Arbor Day

SAYING trees not only provide us with clean air, but also protect us from destructions due to calamities, Senator Cynthia Villar exhorted the public to protect them, and join in greening the communities as we observe the country's Arbor Day on June 25.

Villar, chair of the Senate committee on natural resources, said Arbor Day is a special occasion to remind us the importance and role of trees in environmental health and human life.

With the onset of the rainy season, Villar said Arbor Day is a reminder of the significant role of trees to help avert massive flooding and the mangrove trees to serve as barrier against storm surges.

Villar also encouraged the public to use the occasion to accelerate protection and conservation of areas like the Las Pinas-Paranaque Wetland Park (formerly LPPCHEA), which has been threatened by development initiatives in Manila Bay.

LPPWP, a protected area as declared by Proclamation No. 1412 and listed by the Ramsar Convention as one of the world's most important wetlands, has a 36-hectare mangrove forest with 11 mangrove species.

The mangrove species growing in the area are the Bungalon, Bakauan Babae, Bakauan Bato (or Bangkau in Cebuano), Pototan, Kolasi, Pagatpat, Banalo, Tabigi, Saging-saging, Butabuta and Nilad.

According to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (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 LPPWP, it serves as protection of the coastal communities of Las Piñas and Parañaque from storm surges and high tide.

The swamps at LPPWP also provides a habitat for many migratory bird species which create the East Asian-Australasian Migratory Flyway. It's the only known breeding ground for endangered species like the Philippine duck and Chinese egret.

June 25 is declared as Philippine Arbor Day by virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 396. During this time, all government agencies including government-owned or controlled corporations, private sector, schools, civil society and citizens are encourage to participate in tree-planting activities.

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

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, activities such as tree planting, watering of plants, coastal clean-up, and nature exposure walk were held at the LPPWP to celebrate Arbor Day.

Villar has partnered with Villar SIPAG (Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation and Governance), DENR - National Capital Region and several other agencies and organizations and engaged in several environmental-related activities to mark the celebration.

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