DAGUPAN CITY, June 26 (PNA) — Altogether, some 2,000 coconut seedlings were planted in a two-day activity on June 24 and 25 along the shoreline of Barangays Pugaro and Bonuan Gueset here.
The planting was part of the effort of the local government headed by Mayor Belen Fernandez to protect coastal villages from the effects of strong winds and typhoons coming from the Lingayen Gulf.
Fernandez herself spearheaded the two-day planting activity to sustain her Climate Change Mitigation Program which aims to minimize the effects of possible storm surges and even tsunamis which could occur in case of high-magnitude quake offshore.
The seedlings came from the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), which responded to a request from Mayor Fernandez when she expressed the need to augment the city’s coconut supply which is now dwindling.
It was noted that for lack of local coconuts, the traditional “bucayo” (coconut candy) of Dagupan is now virtually gasping for its last breath if it has not already died.
The two-day planting was concentrated in the open areas near the shore in Barangays Pugaro and Bonuan Gueset, particularly in the Tondaligan Beach.
Together with youth officials, Mayor Fernandez took the activity as a symbol of the city’s initiative of planting trees for the future.
City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer Ronald de Guzman said that aside from serving as natural “bio-shield” against storm surges and high waves, the coconut trees will also help absorb carbon emissions in the atmosphere to help lessen the effects of global warming.
Manuel Velasco, a PCA agriculturist, revealed that coconuts grow best in sandy areas near the coastline such as in Pugaro and Tondaligan.
“Aside from protecting the coastline by acting as wind barriers, these trees will also provide shade to those visiting the beach,” said Velasco.
Fernandez said that the activity not only strengthen the LGU’s disaster preparedness plan, but will also serve other purposes such as providing food stability for residents, who can also use the byproducts from the “tree of life” for their own livelihood projects.
“Aside from preparing for disasters that may come our way in the future, these trees will also serve for other purposes that will help the next generations of Dagupeños,” said Fernandez.
Fernandez also reminded the councils and residents of the two barangays to protect the coconut seedlings while also maintaining the cleanliness of their respective villages.
She also bared her plans to develop the shoreline in the island barangay of Pugaro and Bonuan Gueset into tourist destinations,” added Fernandez.
Other government agencies and groups that participated in this activity were the DENR, DILG, Department of Education, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO), City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO), Central Bank of the Philippines, senior citizen groups, Philippine National Police, Philippine Coast Guard, Boy Scouts of the Philippines, Girl Scouts of the Philippines, and the local barangay councils. (PNA)