Tree planting marks 3rd ‘Ondoy’ anniversary; ‘emotional scar still there’By DJ Yap
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Hundreds of eco-warriors planted trees at the Marikina watershed to fortify Metro Manila’s last line of defense against floods and ensure that there would be no repeat of the destruction wrought by Tropical Storm “Ondoy” exactly three years ago on Wednesday.
Environment Secretary Ramon Paje, meanwhile, said it was not enough to remember the storm that struck the country on Sept. 26, 2009, and inundated a huge portion of the metropolis in floodwater, killing nearly 500 people. The lessons it taught should be heeded as well, he added.
“What happened three years ago remains vivid to each and every one of us,” he said in a statement.
“The damage, the loss, the emotional scar are still there, particularly to those who lost their loved ones but somehow, it taught us some good lessons to be more resilient in light of climate change,” he added.
Some 500 volunteers from nine government and nongovernment organizations, including the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the private sector-led Philippine Disaster Recovery Foundation, took part in planting 8,000 seedlings of 10 indigenous species at a 10-hectare area in Barangay (village) Pintong Bocaue, San Mateo, Rizal.
The Marikina watershed is bounded by Antipolo City and the towns of Baras, Rodriguez, San Mateo and Tanay, all in the province of Rizal.
The forested river basin catches the waters from the mountain ranges of Central Luzon on its way to Manila Bay and Laguna Lake.
Its “severely weakened absorptive capacity” has been identified by scientists as one of the factors that led to the deluge of floodwaters at the height of Ondoy.