BALANGA CITY, Bataan – This component city of Bataan received the third runner-up award in the 2021 national tilt for mangrove protection and management programs known as “Para El Mar” (For the Sea), Mayor Francis Garcia announced on Monday.
Prieto Diaz in Sorsogon was chosen as the champion, followed by Palompon, Leyte as first runner up and Ibajay, Aklan as second runner up.
Garcia credited fishermen, concerned citizens and personnel of the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for the well-maintained mangrove area here, especially at the Wetland Park.
Various groups, including students, conduct regular mangrove planting in the area adjacent to Manila Bay.
Thousands of migratory birds flock in the mangrove and fishpond areas from September to April.
The mayor said “Para El Mar” recognizes the initiatives of local government units in the protection and management of mangroves in the country.
“Kailangan back-up ng city ordinances at resolutions ang mga ipinatutupad na project at programa, kasama na ang enforcement to prevent illegal cutting of mangroves and illegal fishing activities para mag-benefit ang ating mga mangingisda sa mas masaganang huli (The implementation of projects and programs, including the enforcement to prevent illegal cutting of mangroves and illegal fishing activities must be backed-up by city ordinances and resolutions so our fishermen would benefit from abundant yields),” Garcia said in an interview.
The tilt started in 2019 with the awarding intended to be made every two years.
Organizing the competition were the Marine Protected Area Support Network, Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit, German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, United States Agency for International Development, Zoological Society of London, University of the Philippines, DENR and the Department of Agriculture. (PNA)