Local government employees, members of the Philippine Navy, Philippine National Police, Bureau of Fire Protection, Philippine Information Agency personnel and various media groups joined the 12th year of tree-planting that began after super typhoons Milenyo and Reming devastated not only Legazpi’s agricultural areas but also claimed the lives of more than a thousand city residents. However, it was only five years ago when the City Legislative Council adopted a resolution declaring every February 14, the feast day of Saint Valentine, as the city’s own Arbor Day.

Legazpi City Mayor Noel E. Rosal said for this year’s activity, “the planting materials have been provided by the City Environment and Natural Resources and the City Agriculture Office”. He revealed that from 2007 up to the present, the city administration has been able to plant an estimated 90,000 seedlings in various areas near the slopes of Mt. Mayon as well as in Lignon Hill, Legazpi golf course in Padang and other portions of the southern section of this city. Rosal, along with other elective officials, have been spearheading the Valentine’s Day march and tree-planting activity to promote the city’s reforestation campaign so it could also be maintained as a “landslide-free zone”.

He noted that most of the seedlings planted during the initial years of the reforestation project have grown, particularly those at the top of the view deck of Lignon Hill, site of the observatory of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology. “All these planted trees are gifts to our mother nature that will benefit the future generation,” the mayor said. Rosal commended all the participants for helping plant trees that would ultimately protect the people of Legazpi from the impact of natural hazards like floods and landslides. (PNA)