CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga — About 1,000 propagules of Bakauan babae scientific Rhizophora mucronata were planted by Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and San Miguel Corporation (SMC) Foundation in a 10-hectare coastal area of Tibaguin village in Hagonoy, Bulacan,
DENR Deputy Director for Technical Services Arthur Salazar said the activity aims 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.
“This was a collaborative undertaking of the public and private sector to sustain and protect our mangrove areas and the lives of communities in these coastal areas of Bulacan from disaster. Planting mangroves plays a significant role in reducing flood incidences during habagat season and vital in the rehabilitation of Manila Bay,” he furthered.
DENR provided technical assistance for the mangrove rehabilitation project, while the SMC Foundation provided necessary funding and planting materials.
For his part, 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 and other parts of Central Luzon until December 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 record 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 and the National Greening Program since 2011.