Mountain Province lawmaker laments burning of mountains

BAUKO, Mountain Province -- Representative Maximo Dalog, Sr. deplored the yearly burning of the mountains of this agricultural rich town as he called on the residents to initiate measures to stop mountain fires.

Alarmed with the now daily occurrence of forest fires, Dalog stressed the need for a concerted effort from the local residents to protect the mountains from further denudation.

"The green sceneries and the vegetative cover of our mountains are what attract tourists to come to the municipality and the province. We should take care and show concern to our forested mountains," the lawmaker said.

During his term as governor in 2004, Dalog set the planting of one million trees in efforts to rehabilitate denuded areas in the province.

Under the program, every resident in the province is required to plant at least 10 fruit bearing or forest trees in a year for the period of three years.

Concerned sectors have been calling for the protection and preservation of the remaining forest covers not only as natural come-ons of the province but also the province being one of the watershed cradles of northern Luzon.

Specifically, the municipality of Bauko in Mountain Province together with its adjacent towns in Buguias, Benguet and Tinoc, Ifugao are practically the headwaters of four major rivers namely: Chico, Agno, Abra and Siffu rivers. These rivers supply the irrigation systems not only of Mountain Province but also the wide tracks of lands of lowland province as well as powers the electric dams in northern Luzon.

But with the unabated burning of the mountains, irrigation officials said watersheds and other water sources are at risk of producing less water if not dry up.

Dalog was the guest of honor and speaker during third day the "Begnas di Bauko" festival of this town, which while promoting the town's tourist attractions, also calls for the preservation of its natural resources and rich culture for the benefit of the next generation. (Andrew Doga-ong)

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