Urban Greening Program initiatives in Iloilo City

Trees are precious gift to humanity from nature. They play a very critical role for healthy and vibrant communities worldwide.

Trees do not just generate oxygen, but also help improve air quality by absorbing carbon dioxide, odors and pollutant gases (nitrogen oxides, ammonia, sulfur dioxide and ozone) produced by cars, buildings, corporations, and human activities.

Greening our cities to raise the quality of environment is one of the objectives of the Urban Greening Program under the Enhanced National Greening Program (ENGP).

Thus, a total of 4,058 assorted seedlings of fruit-bearing and ornamental trees and palms were planted in Sooc, Arevalo; Navais and PHHC Block 22 in Mandurriao; and Hinactacan and Ticud, La Paz, Iloilo City.

The seedlings include assorted fruit trees: Atis, Avocado, Camias, Guyabano, Mango and Nangka which were planted at Brgy. PHHC Block 22, last January 10, 2018. The activity was part of the congressional initiative of former Iloilo City congressman now Mayor Jerry P. Treñas.

“Tree planting is one of the mitigations against climate change and to cushion its impact. We will undertake sustainable tree planting program. I am happy to note that the private sector is ready to help,” Treñas said.

Aside from fruit bearing trees, the Iloilo City Government also planted balayong or golden shower trees and other species that add beauty, fragrance and vibrant colors in major roads and plazas in Iloilo City. The

Urban Greening or Urban Forestry in accordance with the updated 2016-2018 Master Plan for Forestry Development was designed to raise the quality of environment of the people in urban areas.

DENR-6 Regional Executive Francisco E. Milla Jr. urged the public, especially in urban areas, to plant more trees because it is the best way to combat climate change, sequester carbon emission and the reduce urban heat island effect.

“Trees help moderate temperatures by creating a cooling effect which can counteract the heating effect in urban environment. It also filters the air we breathe by removing dust and other particulates and releases oxygen,” Milla said.

ENGP is one of the ten priority programs of DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu that seeks to plant billion of trees throughout the country to help food production, poverty reduction, biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation and adaptation. (DENR-6/CENRO-Guimbal)