Newlyweds help restore mangroves in Hundred Islands
(The Philippine Star) - March 7, 2019 - 12:00am

ALAMINOS CITY , Philippines  —  Couples who recently tied the knot in the Kasalang Bayan (mass wedding) here a day before Valentine’s returned on Feb. 27 to plant mangroves in Barangay Bued, home of the Hundred Islands National Park. 

Lovely Milles, civil registrar, said the 116 newlywed couples wore their t-shirts given by the city government through Mayor Arthur Celeste as they trooped to the Mangrove Propagation Center.

“This is their important contribution for the environment to support the advocacy of Mayor Celeste,” she said. Two buses brought the newlyweds to the planting area.

Milles said the requirement for couples availing themselves of the Kasalang Bayan program started two years ago under the Celeste administration.

It started with the planting of fruit-bearing trees at the Core Shelter Assistance Project in Barangay Lucap. Last year, it was held at the Mangrove Propagation Center in Bued.

A video presentation about the importance of mangrove planting was shown to the participants prior to the planting activity for them to understand better the benefits of mangroves.

After the activity, the couples received their respective copies of the signed marriage certificate already registered with the City Registrar’s Office.

Of the 116 couples, two grooms are foreigners – a Nigerian and an American married to Alaminian brides.

In an earlier interview, Arceli Talania, city agriculturist, said mangrove propagation to protect marine biodiversity in this coastal city is in full swing as about 50 hectares have been planted to such trees.

She said mangrove plantation has been undertaken in nine coastal barangays, based on latest record by the City Agriculturist Office. These are in Pangapisan, Mona, Baley Ya Daan, Cayucay, Lucap, Bued, Sabangan, Pandan and Telbang.

Talania said the National Greening Program of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources also gave fund for mangrove planting. 

She added that their mangrove nursery in Bued has more than 5,000 available propagules ready for planting. 

Talania said mangrove forests are important as they serve as home to a large variety of fish, crab, shrimp and mollusk species. They also protect shorelines from damaging storm, strong wind and waves, as well as help prevent erosion by stabilizing sediments with their tangled root systems. 

She said mangroves filter pollutants from the ocean.

Talania said the city government led by Celeste and the MPIF, the corporate social responsibility arm of the Metro Pacific Investments Corp., an investment management company principally engaged in infrastructure projects in the Philippines, put up a Mangrove Propagation and Information Center here which undertakes the development of mangrove nurseries, multiplication and planting of mangrove trees in coastal estuarine areas and rehabilitation of degraded mangrove ecosystem, among others. 

The city, a tourism destination composed of 123 small islands, has mangrove nurseries in Barangays Bued and Sabangan that produce 10,000 mangrove seedlings annually.

Based on registration activity of city government, various fish species have been multiplying in the coastal areas since the project on mangrove reforestation started in 2005.         

KASALANG BAYAN MASS WEDDING
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