MANKAYAN, Benguet– The municipal government appealed to relevant stakeholders in the different barangays to be actively involved in the implementation of environmental preservation and protection initiatives to significantly improve the town’s state of the environment.
Mayor Frenzel A. Ayong underscored the importance of striking a balance between economic development and environmental preservation and protection because the present batch of local officials want to be proactive in ensuring that the state of the environment in the municipality is maintained and improved for the benefit of the town’s population.
“We want to empower our constituents to prioritize the efforts to preserve and protect the town’s environment because we cannot afford to compromise the good state of our environment and the leave the future generations suffering from our inability to improve the town’s good environment,” Mayor Ayong stressed.
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The municipal chief executive claimed the institutionalization of the town’s Pine Tree Festival every May is testament of the present administration’s desire to inspire and motivate stakeholders to contribute in the overall efforts towards improving the state of the environment in the locality.
According to him, the festival is not only geared towards planting trees but also aimed at providing additional livelihood for the residents by ensuring the propagation of fruit bearing trees which can last for generations.
Major Ayong asserted the municipal government wants to instill in the minds of the people that preserving and protecting the environment is not only planting trees but it also involves the rearing and caring of the planted seedlings until they mature so that the same will serve its purpose instead of being left alone in the mountains after being planted.
While it is true that Mankayan is both a mining and agricultural town, he underscored what is being promoted is responsible mining where mining companies should also give special care for the preservation and protection of their tenement areas and ensure that the same will be brought back close to its original state once mine life ends.
Aside from the propagation of vegetables and other cash crops in the upland barangays, the municipal mayor said available spaces should be converted into agroforestry to serve as additional sources of livelihood while ensuring the preservation and protection of the environment as trees will surely serve as a deterrent to soil erosion and landslides.
Earlier, the municipal council approved an ordinance institutionalizing the annual conduct of the town’s Pine Tree Festival every May, a crowd drawing event primarily to inculcate in the minds of the people the importance of caring for other Earth.
Recently, the municipal government conducted a soft launch of the aforesaid festival with some 120 stakeholders actively joining the planting of some 300 pine trees and more than 800 coffee seedlings in barangay Sapid to serve as this year’s celebration of the festival.
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