Reference to Nicon’s article “Amantaw Greening” published on his blogsite http://bunsurancaravan.blogspot.com/2009/02/amantaw-greening.html, 19 February 2009, I’m asking every Sibalenhon visiting this website to please read his article and provide your comments/remarks.
For three weeks ago, Sibale Academy Alumni Association (SAAA), Kusog Sibalenhon, Inc. (KSI) and Mayor Boyet Cipriano’s LGU signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for reforestration project of Mt. Amantaw during the SAAA executive extraordinary meeting held in Manila.
As I understand, Honorable Mayor Cipriano has been planning this almost two years ago after he starts his office as our local mayor that the aforementioned area to be developed for eco-tourism! I applause him for this plan!
In fact, the good mayor, in June 2007, invited me to see Tinigban Falls and showed me its place. The place is really exquisite, stunning and picturesque deserves to be restored to its natural beauty and be protected forever as perpetual abode of our wildlife ‘animals and plants’. I took some good shots and video clip of the place and uploaded in the web.
For our awareness, as I know in 2006 the president of the Philippines, Mrs. Gloria Macapagal directed all heads and government officials to participate in the “Green Philippine Highways” project initiated by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) both at the central and at the regional offices. This project is envisioned to strengthen public concern towards environmental protection and to restore our air quality within standards in the next five years.
This means to me that our Philippine government provides/allots budget and necessary seedlings for this purpose, and Region IVb is covered of that project.
In close connection, whoever in charge of this special project should coordinate those seedlings from the responsible government agency DENR so that at least we could take advantage of the program of our Philippine Government. If we did it last year, at least somehow this reforestration project of our local mayor is most likely in place a year ago!
The reason I’m raising up this matter so that everyone who would like to support this project, which I’m one of them, can be more encouraged to support the project through proper order and channel tapping the responsible government agency to provide seedlings for our planting use to minimize expenses of SAAA for extra activities of SA grand homecoming.
On the other hand, if we are really serious about it, the LGU, together with SAAA and KSI should develop a plan as our “roadmap” for the success of the project. It’s not only about planting then afterwards nothing to be done anymore! It requires taking care and protecting, including watering, pruning and re-planting, is a cycle! As Nicon said, its a long term proposition and will require a steady hand! Thus, it requires additional cost to sustain this project, and steady and good hands to manage the project well!
Let me drop here a short line of fine suggestion if it could be tasteful to our appetite: Raising of additional fund can be done through pledges from everyone willing to support this project of at least P100 per person a year, or more, providing the LGU, SAAA and KSI shall develop a so called “A Comprehensive Tree Planting Plan & Program”, if we are serious and committed to this project “Amantaw Greening”! By having a comprehensive plan, as Manong Ramon calling it “Blue Print“, I believe we can gather more advocates for the great success of this project. This must be joint efforts of our LGU and non-government organizations such as SAAA and KSI, concerned environments groups and other members of the private sector to pool their resources for the realization of the program. Pledging is one of the viable means of raising a fund I’m suggesting!
In closing, I include in this column the comments/remarks of Manong Ramon Famarin in quotation for our further info/reference.
“ Whoever the proponents of Amantaw Greening deserves to be commended for their valuable effort to initiate a project which will have a tremendous impact on the next generations of Sibalenhons, particularly those living at the town proper.
Greening Amantaw first of all requires a draft, a blue print or better yet a CAD layout of the watershed. Thru this layout we could at least estimate its size, know its varying topography, existing vegetation, etc. and the various activities that will be involved. It will not come overnight and it requires collective effort not only from the Mayor, his LGU’s, non LGU’s or SAAA alumni, but all people of Sibale.
Since it will start by March 1, I only hope that there are already some program of works at hand. But wait, tree saplings maybe ready, but the timing may not be right. The dry season is coming and we may just waste our materials and efforts. How many trees (seedlings) are available for planting at the moment? How big is the watershed? What will be our distance of planting? Which tree, which type? Fast growing or invasive (like San Pedro in nearby Agbatang).These are some of the many questions I’d like to raise. Amantaw’s topography comprised of stiff cliffs, rockbeds, unforgiving terrain, etc. etc. The eastern side (as I see frequently everytime I visit our place) comprises mostly of cogon grass on a very steep slope. During dry season, it burns to the ground regularly. The cycle is a clue that greening the area is a nightmare. We should consider also domestic animals present in the area. They might just feast on our newly planted trees if they are left unattended.
When the watershed has been totally reforested, is there a guarantee that Amantaw spring will not run dry? Of course there will be.Here, another integral work should be considered; the renovation of the reservoir and the piping system downstream. It was constructed almost half a century ago, with the idea of bringing tap water right into the doorstep of townproper households. Today it is still in use but cannot bear the required volume of the present population.
Greening Amantaw needs to be extended a little bit upstream, thereby including the Hamtik watershed. It needs fewer trees since most of the area are covered with coconuts. I would volunteer myself as a member to green the area as I was raised and grown up there. Two years back, I was surprised to see a concrete tank just few meters down the 2 concrete Hamtik wells. It was funded by the German Embassy in Manila with a project titled Sibale Spring Development. This was suppose to be a backup of the present water system which Mayor Boyet initiated a year ago. I would be pleased to hear if it is functioning as intended. Or we could bring it to full use by also greening the watershed this coming homecoming.
Ramon F. Famarin
Class of 72 ”
Thanks Manong Ramon for highlighting us of your concerns.
Probably, our fellow kasimanwas may also have more something good to say about it or any good suggestions, you are most welcome para sa lalu pang ikagaganda it ato pinalanggang banwa ag kasimanwa!