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IBP-Negros hosts DSB tree planting

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• GILBERT P. BAYORAN

IBP Negros Occidental chapter headed by Atty. Gerry Llena and Mayor Marxlen dela Cruz led hundreds of volunteers in tree planting activities on Sept. 16 in Don Salvador Benedicto, Negros Occidental.* GPB photo

Hundreds of volunteers joined the Integrated Bar of the Philippines-Negros Occidental chapter initiated tree planting program on September 16 at Spur 21 in Brgy. Kumaliskis, Don Salvador Benedicto, Negros Occidental, aimed preserving among the watershed areas of Northern Negros Natural Park.

IBP-Negros Occidental president Atty. Gerry Llena disclosed that more than 4,250 trees of endemic species, such as lauan, almaciga, yakal, bakan, and narra were planted in the activity that saw the participation of employees of the Vallacar Transit Inc., Negros PH Solar, various youth organizations and mountaineering groups, residents and town officials of Salvador Benedicto led by Mayor Marxlen dela Cruz, men in uniform, among others, in coordination with the Department of Environment Natural Resources and NNNP management.

Two years ago, IBP-Negros Occidental used the Spur 21 area as a pilot area for its tree planting activities, in tandem with IPs living in the area, and the planted trees are already growing, Llena said.

Since he started public service in 2016, Mayor dela Cruz said they initiated numerous interventions to restore and protect remaining forest cover of Don Salvador Benedicto.

Dela Cruz however admitted that there should be more effort in raising awareness in the protection of environment, and helping out in the preservation of flora and fauna in Salvador Benedicto, as he acknowledged encroachment of forested areas, through slash and burn activities for farming, and illegal charcoal making, which is not massive compared to before.

The mayor said that he is exerting efforts to convince those violators to be an advocate of protecting the environment through sustainable tourism activities.

Don Salvador Benedicto, which is the summer capital of Negros Occidental, is now among the favorite tourism destination areas in the province because of its cool climate.

Because of good road networks, dela Cruz said it is now easy for farmers to bring their goods to the town proper.

He reported that the national government built 25 kilometers of concrete roads in Don Salvador Benedicto since 2016, on top of 15 kilometers of road construction funded by the local government.*

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