As part of a massive, wide-ranging plan to address perennial flooding in Bulacan, San Miguel Corporation has started planting 25,000 mangroves on 10 hectares of a coastal area in the town of Hagonoy. This is the first tranche of a total of 190,000 mangroves to be planted over 76-hectares in Bulacan and Central Luzon.
“The planting of mangroves in strategic areas is also important, because it acts as the first line of defense against inundation for those living along the shorelines, whenever there are storms or strong tides. They are also key to maintaining the marine eco-system and water quality, as they are a natural habitat for marine species,” said San Miguel president Ramon S. Ang.
Ang added that apart from the planting of mangroves, San Miguel is also spearheading the cleaning of major river systems and tributaries that have been clogged with garbage and sediment for so many decades, preventing floodwaters from draining into the Manila Bay. (Read: San Miguel Gives Free Housing to High-Risk Families in Sariaya, Quezon)
“This effort is part of our larger flood-mitigation strategy for Bulacan. The first is our P1-billion plan to dredge and clean-up the Tullahan-Tinajeros River system, which began earlier this year. This involves cleaning major river systems and tributaries that have been clogged up with garbage and sediment for so many decades, preventing floodwaters from draining into the Manila Bay,” Ang said.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has identified Hagonoy as one of the priority areas for mangrove-planting. It comes as the town is one of the lowest-lying areas in Bulacan that are always experiencing floods. (Read: These miracle stories from Typhoon Ondoy will restore your faith in humanity)
Good thing, the local government unit of Hagonoy has been proactive in promoting mangrove-planting in the area. In fact, it was Mayor Raulito Manlapaz, Sr. who led the planting of an initial 8,000 mangrove seedlings in a three-hectare area in the town. Their next planting activity will be in November, as San Miguel hopes to complete planting in all 10 hectares within this year.