DepEd Ilocos Norte Superintendent Vilma Eda leads mangrove planting activity in Davila, Pasuquin, Ilocos Norte on Saturday, March 23. (Photo by Cherry Joy Garma)
LAOAG CITY — Personnel of the Schools Division of Ilocos Norte (SDOIN) has joined a number of volunteers trying to beat plastic pollution in the province.
Led by schools division superintendent Vilma Eda, SDOIN workers packed their breakfast meal in banana leaves on Saturday in support of their continuing “no to single-use plastic” advocacy, as they headed to plant mangrove propagules in coastal Davila village, Pasuquin town.
“We just want to contribute on protecting the environment in our own little way so we planted mangroves and did yoga near the beach,” said Eda after the successful planting activity.
The group planted some 1,000 propagules near a mangrove forest being developed to protect marine life and safeguard coastal residents from natural disasters particularly during storm surge.
“We had breakfast packed in banana leaves, leaving no plastic in the area as we left. There is this feeling of fulfillment,” Eda said.
Over the years, naturally-grown mangrove forests have been declining based on a report of Haribon Foundation.
Of the estimated 500,000 hectares mangrove forests in the country, only a hundred hectares remain, with barely five percent considered as primary or old-growth forest.
In Davila, the Pasuquin municipal government unit, along with other government agencies, peoples’ organizations, non-government organizations, academe, and the church are joining hands to rehabilitate the remaining mangrove forests.
Prior to this, the division also led the same activity during the province’s hosting of the recently concluded Region 1 Athletic Association (R1AA) with around 2,000 mangrove propagules planted in the barren areas.
A yoga session was also incorporated in the activity, where each participant brought a yoga mat and had their mind cleansing as the sun rose. Davila village officials also participated in the activity.
A February 10 memorandum issued by DepEd Region 1 Director Malcolm Garma banned the use of plastic and styrofoam in all departments during trainings, seminars, workshops, programs and other related DepEd activities. The SDOIN has been observing this prohibition while other schools in the province also expressed commitment to do the same. (PNA)