15,000 trees for Tabunan forest
About 15,000 native and endemic tree seedlings were planted in slopes of sitio Cantipla 2 in barangay Tabunan, Cebu City yesterday, the start of a series of Saturday planting sessions by volunteers of the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP).
The kick-off of PBSP’s annual Cebu Hillylands Reforestation Caravan was participated in by 750 volunteers from 35 companies.
The site is part of the 29,062-hectare Central Cebu Protected Landscape (CCPL).
Employees from member companies will continue to take turns planting in different parts of Tabunan every Saturday until October 27 to maximize the rainy reason.
Doing so is an investment in the future, said Cebu Daily News publisher Eileen Mangubat, chairperson of the PBSP Visayas hillyland development committee during a short program.
Trees absorb carbon dioxide in the air, help recharge the aquifer which is the source of Cebu City’s drinking water and prevent soil erosion and flooding, she said.
Partners in the community also maintain the seedlings after the activity to ensure a 90 percent survival rate, she said.
PBSP technical officer Leo Pelletero, who demonstrated the proper way to plant the seedlings, said PBSP works with the Pung-ol Sibugay Multipurpose Cooperative, Tabunan Forest Warden Farmers Association, Sayaw Farmers Association and KEEP Foundation.
About 10 million trees were planted by PBSP and its partners in the past two decades, said Reggie Barrientos, PBSP communication officer.
Only native and endemic tree species are used in order to promote biodiversity in Tabunan, which is the habitat of the rare Cebu flowerpecker bird and the Black Shama or siloy.
Seedling were distributed for the Cebu cinammon tree or kaningag which is a critically endangered species, and more common varietes of lawaan, tipolo, molave and narra.
Fr. Monico Catubig led an invocation before the planting and Tabunan barangay captain Lucresia Gabato welcomed the volunteers.
A children’s storytelling session was held under the shade of trees through the Philippine Daily Inquirer Read Along program while adults trekked and planted seedlings.
Two “green clincis” were held after lunch to extend the educational value of the trip.
Lisa Paguntalan of the Philippine Biodiversity Conservation Foundation, Inc. (PBCFI) handled a special pop quiz about biodiversity for participants.
Godfrey Jakosalem led a session on the basics of wildlife photography and birdwatching. Correspondent Jessa Agua