Planting trees on Earth Day

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014


I PLANTED a mahogany tree last Tuesday in celebration of Earth Day. On that day, over one billion people in 192 countries, from Zimbabwe to Albania to the Philippines, took action to care for our only planet: Earth.

Officers and employees of Strong Built (Mining) and Development Corp. (SBMDC) joined the celebration. They planted mahogany trees in simple ceremony at their plant site in San Pedro, MacArthur, Leyte together with San Pedro barangay officials led by Barangay Captain Remegio Gabradilla.

SBMDC president Chan R. Rama led the corporate officers and employees in celebrating Earth Day. The planting of more than 200 Mahogany seedlings highlighted the company’s responsibility to the environment and the community.

SBMDC mines magnetite iron sand in San Pedro, MacArthur, Leyte. It produces iron concentrates using water and magnetic separator. No chemicals are used in the production.

I’m proud to be part of the one billion people worldwide who celebrated Earth Day. It was my first time to take part of this activity. I learned that similar activities were done in every local government unit all over the country.

This year’s theme is “Green Cities.” Earth Day Network (EDN) stated in its online bulletin that the environmental challenges are too great and too urgent for us not to march, teach, and rally for a safe, stable climate and a planet where our children can survive and thrive.

The first Earth Day on April 22, 1970 set in motion 20 million Americans. It was widely credited for the launching of the modern environmental movement, which in turn saw the passage of the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act,
etc.

EDN now works with over 22,000 partners in 192 countries that broadened, diversified and mobilized the environmental movement. With more than one billion people now participating in Earth Day activities each year, the celebration has been considered as the biggest civic observance in the world.

The lackadaisical attitude of our government agencies in protecting the environment and in enforcing environmental laws was what compelled civic organizations to take the lead.

***

Efforts of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to discipline erring and abusive public utility drivers, particularly taxi drivers, are put to naught by incorrigible drivers.

Most taxi drivers waiting at the pier area refuse to convey passengers to shorter distances on the mere excuse that they are about to go home and to garage their vehicle. These taxi drivers scout for passengers going to the Mactan airport.

Taxi drivers should be reminded that they cannot refuse passengers wanting to be conveyed to their destination, whether on a shorter or farther distance.

Passengers are at the mercy of taxi drivers. Worse, they do this at night and in places where passengers or commuters are susceptible to thugs.

We are calling again on LTFRB 7 director Ahmed Cuizonfor him to remind taxicab drivers of their obligation to the riding public. If complaints are filed against these taxi drivers and they are found guilty, LTFRB should impose the maximum penalty to serve them a lesson.

Likewise, we are calling on Land Transportation Office (LTO) 7 director Arnel Tancinco to activate LTO’s law enforcement unit to enforce the traffic code and run after undisciplined drivers of public or private vehicles.

It is about time that we put sanity back into our streets. Accidents happen because those who are not qualified to drive motor vehicles are able to possess a driver’s license.

(atty.ellieE@gmail.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 24, 2014.

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