Follow-up and monitor
I probably am biased with Isabel town’s development activities. It’s understandable because I am always in the agro-industrial town every week to help the production of a weekly newspaper, the LEYTENEWS. Among the many successful project implementations of the present leadership I am quite impressed at the consistent campaign for the reforestation of this town. Some 2 decades back when the news of establishing a copper-smelting plant in the area expectedly this was met by strong, albeit silent protests claiming that this would create grave pollution problem in the area. It was martial law then.
The fear however has proved not very accurate because after all these years except for some isolated and very few instances, Isabel environment remains pure, clean and safe.
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Of course the maintenance of a continuing clean and safe Isabel environment in spite of the industrial plants potential pollution threat that may happen is attributed to the consciousness and competence of the local municipal leadership and the PASAR plant officials of an impending problem. Off hand tree planting activities have consistently been conducted up to the present to prepare the area as buffers should a pollution problem occur.
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When Mayor Saturnino “Jun” Medina got elected as mayor of Isabel in 2004, his first term, of the many concerns he had in mind, massive tree planting efforts was one of them. His target was to plant 500,000 or half a million trees in nine years, or when he steps down after 3 terms or 9 years, a constitutional mandate.
Lo and behold! As of this writing the Medina municipal administration has hit high his accomplishment that zoomed far beyond the target, in only 2 years of his second term.
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Why the success?
The tree planting efforts all over town were done at hillside, highways, school plants and watershed areas which were consistently done monthly. The mayor tapped local employees primarily, but he succeeded in convincing Isabel citizens from all walks of life, local civic organizations, even religious groups to join actively in the tree planting activities.
And the not so secret strategy that Mayor Medina employed that has reaped this success is the creation of an active monitoring team: the LGU-Isabel Multi-Partite Monitoring Team with Dr. Eduardo Mangaong, the town’s environment consultant as team leader, SB Member Flaviano Centino, Ruthlyn Gorgonio of the Dept. of Agricuture, Almira Villasera and Dr. Melicio Tatoy both of RHU, members.
Motivated by Mayor Medina’s sincere concern for this successful tree planting project implementation, environment advocates from a private group of Isabel, led by Engr. Rogelio Tantuico have as of the moment made a draft proposal for monitoring and replanting activities to be done by marginal farmers and fishermen over the DBP grant given to Isabel on shoreline, mangrove reforestation and rehabilitation projects.
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Their proposal was forwarded to Congresswoman Lucy Torres Gomez of the 4th district for funding assistance. It was learned that the pretty lady solon has already expressed her desire to respond positively to the proposal.
By: Alvin Gz. Arpon
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