The Schools Division Office of Sarangani took a proactive step towards environmental protection and disaster resilience by organizing a mangrove planting activity today, July 31, 2023 at Purok 6, Kawas, Sarangani Province.

GATHERED FOR A CAUSE. Seventy personnel from SDO Sarangani, 35 learners from Alabel NHS, 17 SPES members from LGU Alabel, and representatives from CLAFI and MENRO came together to plant 1,000 mangrove propagules of three different species at Purok 6, Kawas, Alabel, Sarangani Province, July 31, 2023.

The event aimed to raise awareness about the vital role of mangroves in safeguarding the environment in celebration of National Disaster Resilience Month.

Senior Education Program Specialist, Romeo L. Martin, emphasized the importance of mangroves in maintaining ecological balance and protecting coastal communities from natural calamities.

Mangrove forests act as a natural buffer, mitigating the impacts of storm surges, tidal waves, and even tsunamis.

ADVOCATING RESILIENCE. (Left) SEPS Romeo L. Martin explains the purpose of the activity. (Right) Supply office staff take part in the mangrove planting activity.

Led by Marlon Agad, the DRRM focal person, the mangrove planting activity was a collaborative effort, made possible through partnerships with the Conrado and Ladislawa Alcantara Foundation, Inc. (CLAFI), and the Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office.

Their collective dedication to environmental conservation showcased the power of public-private collaboration in addressing pressing ecological issues.

COMMUNITY SUPPORT. The mangrove planting activity was supported by CLAFI and MENRO. (Left) CLAFI Program Officer for Environment Angelie Christine S. Budo explains how mangroves protect coastal communities. (Right) Edwin A. Balagonza on MENRO Alabel demonstrates how to properly plant the propagules.

Angelie Christine S. Budo, the Program Officer for Environment of CLAFI, disclosed that a total of 1,000 mangrove propagules were planted during the activity. These propagules consisted of 500 pagatpat-piapi (Avicennia marina), 300 bakhaw (Rhizophora apiculata), and 200 tungog (Ceriops tagal). The strategic selection of these mangrove species further enhances the ecosystem’s resilience and biodiversity.

Participating actively in the mangrove planting were the enthusiastic learners from Alabel National High School’s SAVERS club. The involvement of the younger generation in such activities demonstrates their commitment to safeguarding the environment for a sustainable future.

TAKING SOME TIME OUT. In addition to contributing to a worthy cause, SDO Sarangani employees enjoy the chance to be out in nature.

Maejel Alimama, ADAS II, representing the personnel unit, expressed her delight in contributing to the noble cause of environmental conservation.

She shared, “I am happy to be part of this activity of helping save our mother earth. Finally, we are able to go out from our offices and feel stress-free with nature.”

Her sentiment highlights the positive impact of connecting with nature and the potential for similar activities to boost the well-being of individuals and communities alike.

NOTHING WORTH DOING COME EASY. Participants endure the scorching heat of the sun and wade in knee-deep mud to plant mangrove propagules.

The mangrove planting activity in Sarangani not only fosters a sense of environmental responsibility but also serves as a concrete step toward disaster resilience. As these newly planted mangrove forests flourish, they will continue to serve as a living testament to the enduring commitment of the community toward environmental stewardship.

The Schools Division Office of Sarangani, along with its partners, stands as a shining example of how collective efforts can make a significant difference in protecting the environment and building resilience against natural disasters.

This inspiring endeavor serves as a call to action for other communities to embrace sustainable practices and work together for a greener, safer future.

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