RCDO, partners plant 100 mangrove propagules

The Rotary Club of Downtown Olongapo (RCDO) in partnership with the Ecology Center of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) and various government, private and people’s organizations, had planted 100 mangrove propagules at the Triboa Mangrove Forest, Subic Bay Freeport Zone.

The group also cleared the area from assorted solid waste and debris in a bid to protect the environment and the Subic Bay’s natural ecosystem.

RCDO President Marvin Bacay said “we decided on this project – Conserve Subic Bay’s Mangroves – recognizing the necessity to do our share to safeguard our environment in the present time and to benefit the next generations.”

The project aligns with this Rotary Year’s theme “Create Hope in the World.”

At least 70 participants have joined the tree planting activity.

The mangrove forests are one of the world’s threatened major tropical ecosystems and disappearing at an alarming rate. In the Philippines, over 50% of mangroves had been lost due to many factors like human intervention, water pollution, aquaculture developments and natural phenomenon among others, published reports stated. Mangroves protect shorelines, prevent erosion, maintain water quality and clarity, filter pollutants and trap sediments, and serves as nursery, breeding and spawning grounds of fishes.

There are seven mangrove forests within the Subic Freeport Zone and the SBMA had declared these coastal forests as protected areas in accordance with Republic Act 7161, which bans the cutting of all mangrove species, according to the SBMA Ecology Center.

SBMA Environmental Management Specialist Cenevix G. Mañago said the Subic Bay’s Mangrove Forests are located in the following areas: two in Boton area, two in Triboa, and one each in Ilanin, Nabasan, Binictican and Malawaan.

Bacay expressed his gratitude to RCDO members and participants who supported the mangrove planting activity. “We hope to plant more to protect and sustain our mangrove reserves in our community because there is an urgent need to help conserve the mangrove ecosystem.”

He also cited SBMA Ecology Center head Amethya Dela LLana for providing the propagules and her team’s participation in the actual planting. Prior to the planting activity, Mañago gave a brief lecture on the importance of these coastal forests, the need to protect and conserve, and how to plant these.

The participants include the Olongapo City Police Office-Philippine National Police (PNP) Public Community Relations (PCR) team, Philippine Coast Guard Olongapo Sub-station, Peace Community Action Group (PCAG), Batang Gapo People’s Organization Inc. (BGPOI), Asian Vision, DBA, One Ad with service partners, the Rotaract Club of Gordon College (RACGC), and Rotaract Club of Downtown Olongapo II (RACDO II). – Didet Santiago