To avert landslides, floods Biliran’s town mayor wants reforestation
Primo A. Cayubit (The Freeman) - December 28, 2017 - 4:00pm

CABUCGAYAN, BILIRAN, Philippines — Mayor Edwin Masbang has urged his constituents and encouraged nearby towns to conduct reforestation by planting trees in denueded areas to avert landslides or flooding during typhoons in the future.

Masbang told The Freeman that reforestation is imperative in his town of Cabucgayan and other towns in Biliran province, especially those that are situated in the hilly or mountainous areas, which are prone to landslides.

Reforestation is a proactive effort against a repeat of the typhoon Urduja devastation of the province where at least 40 people died and 24 still missing, mostly due to landslides in Naval, Almeria, and Caibiran towns, and to severe flooding in Biliran town, the mayor said.

Masbang said two landslides occurred in Cabucgayan, particularly at Barangays Lo-ok and Balaquid, but there were no casualties because these happened in areas far from the communities. The only flooded barangay was Balaquid, he added.

The mayor said that Cabucgayan has an existing seven-hectare rain forest demonstration farm, funded by the Yale University (of the United States) and the Visayas State University based in Baybay City of Leyte. This model farm, started on October this year, will serve as the showcase for rainforest reforestation in Biliran province, he added.

Masbang said Cabucgayan has also an ongoing agro-forestry reforestation project with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Region 8, under the National Greening Program.

Assistant Regional Director Carlito Tuballa of the DENR-8 meanwhile told The Freeman that his Technical Services office has been assisting Cabucgayan in rehabilitating its environment.

Tuballa explained that the soil condition of Biliran province is volcanic and that has lose soil condition, which is prone to landslide. Another is province’s topography that is hilly to mountainous, which also make this island-province prone to landslides, he said.

As such, trees are needed to hold the lose soil in Biliran’s hilly and mountainous areas, and deter landslides during continuous heavy rains or earthquakes, Tuballa added. (FREEMANNEWS)

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