BIG WAVES caused by the southwest monsoon, which has been prevailing for weeks, destroyed the seawall, breakwaters, houses and mangroves in Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur last week. Over the weekend, the coastal community came together to plant more mangroves to replace those destroyed and as part of an ongoing tree-planting program. The project is led by San Miguel Brewery Inc. (SMB), which has a facility in the town, together with the local government and residents. SMB Davao Human Resources Manager Jovic Bernardo said most of the mangroves destroyed were part of the 2,500 they planted last year under the Trees Brew Life-Buhayin ang Kalikasan Project, which is now on its 10th year. She narrated that they have recorded a survival rate of up to 90%, until last week. “But our contribution to the success of this program is miniscule compared to the threat of climate change and global warming now in our midst. Typhoons are much stronger now during rainy season while temperatures during the summer continue to reach new heights. It is therefore imperative for the private sector to devote its resources to programs seeking to mitigate the impact of climate change like tree growing initiatives,” said Engineer Wilfredo R. Camaclang, Davao plant manager.

The program also covers tree planting activities in unproductive, denuded, and degraded forestlands in line with the government’s Expanded National Greening Project. Mr. Camaclang said they are also coordinating with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the local government and people’s organizations for developing public green spaces. “We will focus on re-greening parks and communal areas and adopt forest parks so that we will have more green spaces where our families can commune with nature,” he said. — Maya M. Padillo