By Marna Dagumboy Del Rosario
LUBAO, Pampanga — More than 400 fruit-bearing trees were planted on Thursday in Barangay Sta. Catalina here as part of the continuing effort to mitigate flooding and boost local tourism in this town.
The activity was also in line with the town’s fifth-year celebration of Arbor Day — officially observed every June 25 as provided by Republic Act 10176 or the Arbor Day Act of 2012 reviving tree-planting day as yearly event for local government units.
Mayor Esmeralda G. Pineda led the tree-planting at the Lubao Bamboo Hub and Ecopark which has become a major tourist attraction in this town.
Pineda was joined by her brother, Governor Dennis Pineda, Second District Rep. Juan Miguel “Mikey” Arroyo and other municipal and barangay officials in planting propagules of santol, guyabano, lemon, coconut, and rambutan.
The planting site lies just across the bamboo hub and is hoped to become another attraction of the ecopark that has become known for its lush bamboo clumps and other family amenities.
Engr. Danilo Aquino, municipal environment and natural resources officer, said organic fertilizer produced at the town’s material recovery facility, was mixed with the soil where the trees were planted.
He noted that proper spacing of trees was observed to ensure the survival of the propagules.
Pineda explained that when the trees start to bear fruits, visitors can enjoy fruit-picking to add to the bamboo hub’s income.
“I urge my constituents to plant more trees as part of our flood mitigation project, particularly in the low-lying areas,” the mayor said.
Governor Pineda, in an interview, lauded the effort of the local government in sustaining the tree-planting activity for five consecutive years.
“We are encouraging other officials in the province to follow suit and plant more trees, which is good for the environment. It will also benefit our province, especially places that are flood-prone,” he said. (PNA)