Members of the De La sale University-Araneta community came to the Municipality of Orion to signify their intentions in extending environmental services to the municipality. The DLSU-Araneta group, led by Mr. Jorge Buenaventura visited the town last September 11 in preparation for the outreach program to be participated by the DLSU-Araneta academic community.  It is the university’s manifestation of commitment to the “One Million Trees and Beyond” program, a university initiative and response to the universal issue on climate change.  The DLSU group will be back to the municipality to actively participate in the International Coastal Clean-up Day (Kontra Kalat sa Dagat) and will likewise engage in a mangrove reforestation program in Bgry. Balut.


In a simple welcome rites, SB Member Gannie B. de Leon praised the La Salle people for going out of the comforts of their houses and school to serve the people of the municipality through such programs.  According to him, what the DLSU-Araneta people did is a manifestation that the symbolic green color they carry transcends the boundaries of the school and carries with it their commitment to the environment.  The group received an orientation on mangrove reforestation from Ms. Mila Ramirez, Provincial Environmental & Natural Resources Officer.  They were briefed on the economic and ecological functions of mangroves.  A guided tour to the Sta. Elena Mangrove Reserve Area was also conducted to brief the visitors with the varieties of mangrove being protected by the municipality.  The tour, facilitated by Mr. June Hernandez of the Municipal Agriculture Office, enabled them to see the real situation of mangroves in the town and the efforts being exerted by the local government in protecting these mangroves.  After the tour, a visit to the Bataan School of Fisheries (BSF) Mangrove Nursery was made part of the short itinerary.  At the BSF, the visitors from DLSU coordinated with the BSF administration for the procurement of propagules which they will use in the reforestation program.


In an audience with the Mayor, the Hon. Antonio L. Raymundo, Jr., thanked the group for helping the municipality in its efforts to protect the remaining mangrove forest of the town.  An initial group of DLSU-Araneta faculty and students will be in town again on Sept. 19, for the Kontra Kalat sa Dagat and mangrove reforestation project.  Also in the group were Ging Sison, Bernard Lunar, Cherry Parreja, Jethro Arsenio, Jing Rosal and Sonia Lusung.  Ms. Shirley Fantone, Community Environment & Natural Resources Officer and members of the Bantay Dagat and representatives of fisherfolk organizations joined the DLSU people.


By: Hon. Isagani de Leon

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