On the Radar

Why save Sierra Madre? Save Sierra Madre Day trends amid 'Karding' onslaught

Kathleen A. Llemit - Philstar.com
Why save Sierra Madre? Save Sierra Madre Day trends amid 'Karding' onslaught
This February 7, 2021 photo shows Masungi Georeserve in Baras, Rizal. The georeserve, known for its 60-million-year-old limestone formations, was restored after 20 years of protection.
Philstar.com/EC Toledo IV

MANILA, Philippines — The public and Internet users are calling for the urgent action to save Sierra Madre during and after super typhoon Karding (Noru) wreaked havoc in many parts of Luzon on September 25.

The hashtag #SaveSierraMadre is currently trending in time for the #SaveSierraMadreDay today, September 26, as declared by the Presidential Proclamation No. 413 in 2012. 

On Twitter, Sierra Madre trended with many users reminding the public of the crucial role of the country's longest mountain range, spanning 10 provinces from northern Cagayan to southern Quezon, in the eastern front of Luzon facing the Pacific Ocean.

Registered nurse and licensed financial advisor Jim Gumboc (Jim RN) posted an animation that highlights the functions of the mountain range whenever a typhoon passes by Luzon. 

Some also posted about the legend or folklore surrounding Sierra Madre. The story tells how Sierra Madre protected her children from the destructive jealousy of her former suitor turned tormentor Bugsong Hangin. 

There are a number who posted their petition to preserve Sierra Madre by signing against projects perceived to cause harm to it, including the controversial China-backed Kaliwa Dam project. 

An ongoing petition was started by the STOP Kaliwa Dam Network on Change.org that underscored several issues that the network sees will arise once the project will push through. These include the disturbance in the lives of the 5,000 indigenous Dumagat-Remontados living on its foothills; the destruction of biodiversity and habitat of 126 species in 300 hectares of the Sierra Madre as well as endangering the lives of 100,000 residents downstream with the risk of massive flooding; and the unnecessary P10.37 billion loan from China.

Related: MOA for China-backed Kaliwa Dam signed despite Dumagats' protests

The non-profit organization Forest Foundation Philippines reminded the public of today's significance on all its social media platforms. 

"The Sierra Madre Mountain Range is the longest mountain range in the Philippines. It forms the backbone of Luzon, running from the provinces of Cagayan in the north to Quezon in the south. A lofty, unbroken wall of mountains greets the Pacific Ocean to the east and acts as nature’s shield against the onslaught of super typhoons and storm surges.

Through the Presidential Proclamation No. 413 in 2012, September 26 is declared as #SaveSierraMadreDay. The declaration is expected  to help boost awareness among the general public on "the importance of preserving our forests as well as protecting, managing, and properly utilizing the natural resources of the country; and to remind our people of the risks and dangers which a lack of concern and action for the Sierra Madre Mountains may bring about."

RELATED: Conservation initiative helps nature heal itself for Sierra Madre reforestation




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