‘Tree-mendous’ gift for ‘Glenda’ victims | Inquirer News

‘Tree-mendous’ gift for ‘Glenda’ victims

MMDA to give away free saplings to replace trees felled by typhoon
/ 04:40 AM July 21, 2014

Metro residents saddened by the loss of their trees to Typhoon “Glenda” may get free fire tree saplings from the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority. But first, they must agree to care for the replacement trees for the next 30 years. JOAN BONDOC

MANILA, Philippines–The Metropolitan Manila Development (MMDA) has a “tree-mendous” offer for Metro residents who lost a tree or two to Typhoon Glenda.

In an interview during the agency’s Sunday radio program on dzBB, MMDA Chair Francis Tolentino said that starting Wednesday, they would be giving away for free seven-foot-high fire tree (caballero) saplings to those whose trees were damaged or felled when Glenda’s strong winds whipped the metropolis.

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“Under the ‘Replace your tree program,’ requesting Metro residents who lost their trees to the recent typhoon will sign a one-page agreement that they will take care of the trees provided to them for a span of 30 years,” Tolentino added.

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Noting that Glenda damaged or uprooted around 400 trees in Metro Manila last Wednesday, he said that around 1,000 saplings at the MMDA nursery in Barangka, Marikina City, were ready for distribution. The saplings were provided by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

“These are good replacements for the uprooted trees since fire trees bloom [during summer, producing] orange and red flowers, making them very pleasing to the eyes,” Tolentino said. Fire trees also provide shade and protection from the rain, he added.

MMDA Metro Parkway Clearing Group head Francis Martinez, meanwhile, told the Inquirer that residents who ask for trees would be screened.

“We have to make sure that these individuals indeed lost their trees before providing them with replacements,” Martinez said.

The stability of the soil where the saplings will be planted will also be checked by the MMDA, according to Tolentino.

He added that the MMDA would also teach recipients how to prune and trim fire trees to ensure that these stay firmly rooted in case of strong winds. “This type of tree is not hard to take care of especially if the people know how to properly grow them,” he said.

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Interested residents who want to get fire tree saplings can contact Martinez at 0939-3790291.

After the destruction left by Glenda in the metropolis last week, around 700 MMDA personnel joined the cleanup operation, which consisted mostly of clearing roads of fallen trees and power lines.

Martinez said that the agency managed to save some uprooted trees whose main roots remained intact. But those that could not be saved were taken to the MMDA’s Napindan base in Pasig City.

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“After collecting all the affected trees, we will turn them over to the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority which will convert them to useful furniture like tables and chairs,” Tolentino said.

TAGS: Glenda, Metro Manila, trees

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