CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- Some 1,000 propagules of Bakauan have been planted in the 10-hectare coastal area of Tibaguin village in Hagonoy town of Bulacan through the partnership with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) here and the San Miguel Corporation (SMC) Foundation.
The activity aims to sustain the long-term rehabilitation program of Manila Bay and address the perennial flooding in the province.
DENR technical services director Arthur Salazar said the activity aimed to fast-track efforts on reviving water bodies connected to the Manila Bay, while protecting the coastal and inland towns of Bulacan from frequent flooding.
Salazar added that planting mangroves plays a significant role in reducing flood incidences during habagat seasons and vital in the rehabilitation of Manila Bay.
He added the DENR provided technical assistance for the mangrove rehabilitation project, while the SMC Foundation provided necessary funding and planting materials.
SMC Foundation representative Elmer Bohol said the mangrove planting activity is the first part on the 190,000 mangrove propagules to be planted over the 76-hectare coastal area in Hagonoy town and Central Luzon until December of this year.
Aside from being a natural refuge and habitat to several wildlife species and marine life, mangrove forests also stabilize coastline, prevent coastal erosion and protection against threats of water pollution and siltation. They serve as natural flood defense and reduce damages caused by typhoons, tsunami and sea level rise and tides.
In Central Luzon, there are about 1,901 hectares of mangrove forests covering the provinces of Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Pampanga, and Zambales.
DENR records shows that the Manila Bay cleanup and rehabilitation program, which started on January 2019, has already established 72 hectares of mangrove plantations planted with over 174,000 propagules covering the Manila Bay areas in Bataan, Bulacan and Pampanga.
This is in addition to the more than 1,000 hectares of mangrove plantations established in the region under the Integrated Coastal Resources Management Program (ICRMP) and the National Greening Program (NGP) since 2011.