Friday, October 9, 2009

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION: A Call for the People of Albay

The fact that the province of Albay was spared from havoc of Ondoy and Pepeng recently should not make the people relaxed. What happened in Metro Manila and in northern Luzon lately should serve as a warning for Albay to prepare and do something for the environment while it might not be too late. Being a regular pathway for typhoons always makes the province amidst uncertain condition whether typhoon, heavy rains or floods will happen or not. While the Albayanos’ being prayerful is being admired by people from other parts of the country, we should not be very confident. Rather, we must be more and most prepared at all times.

I call on the provincial government and local chief executives to do something in their respective municipalities and cities. Let us pass moratorium on logging in our thinning mountains and forests. Let us be vigilant about logging, cutting trees for firewood and other abuses of our mountains. Reporting should be made very responsive by involving local residents to participate in guarding their respective communities. Let us encourage planting of trees in riverbanks. Let us be vanguards of our own riverbanks. Let us not allow too much land use development along riverbanks and near creeks. Let us plant mangroves too in coastal locations. Let LGUs pass policies that will give stiffer penalties to those who abuse the environment.

Let us encourage planting greens in our backyards. Small plants yet can contribute to fresh air. Forests, mountains from Tiwi up to the third district of Albay together with the slopes or those locations at the foot of Mayon Volcano should be protected. Let us be careful about safety of people residing near mining sites. Let us not abuse our resources through mining. If we can do something about mining and protect our own lands, then let us do it now. The curse of nature is immeasurable. Let us not make it harder for us to bear. Let us protect our islands too from too much land use development – from Kurangon island in Tiwi, to San Miguel, Cagraray and Rapu Rapu islands. Even islets should be protected. There are still many things we can do to lessen the impact of natural disasters in our soil. And we should do it now – not tomorrow nor never.

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